Red Hat Summit 2012, Linux comes of age

Red Hat is this week hosting its Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012 developer symposium in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.

The company has been more than vocal in the run up to the event’s opening ‘pre-keynote’, as delivered by VP & GM for middleware Craig Muzilla.

Muzilla along with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst talk with almost aggressive assertion about this being the “time of the season” for Linux as we now see long time open source partner IBM push out more Linux units at the enterprise level than ever before.

Could this be the perfect storm for Linux now then?

To be clear, while many IT industry commentators suggest that Windows 8 will not be as well received as Microsoft would have liked — and with Java Enterprise Edition and the enterprise level Linux stack including middleware now well out of its adolescence and into mature adulthood… this may be the moment that Linux (and enterprise Linux at that) comes of age.

Red Hat for its part is pushing deep into Java Platform-as-a-Service territory this week with the announcement of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 6.0, which (as an open source Java PaaS solution) will allegedly help “usher in” an era of cloud-enabled application servers for HTML5, mobile and enterprise.

EAP 6.0 is available as a developer preview in OpenShift’s free introductory offering via, creating what Red Hat likes to label as the “industry’s first enterprise-grade Java PaaS” no less.

According to Red Hat, “The combination of JBoss EAP and OpenShift validates the importance of openness and hybrid cloud computing. The hybrid cloud is one of the fastest-emerging and most important trends that we strongly believe empowers and preserves open choices for our customers.”

Red Hat says says supports a philosophy and strategy for the cloud based upon:

• Flexibility – in terms of a choice of deployment models i.e. on-premise (private), virtualized or in a public or private cloud infrastructure.

• Cloud portability without lock-in – i.e. the ability migrate deployments to the cloud location and type of choice at all times

• Spanning & connecting clouds – for customers running multiple cloud environments concurrently

Secret (middleware) sauce?

So how will all these technologies be underpinned and woven together? Red Hat for its part is banking on the (also announced this week) JBoss Enterprise BRMS 5.3 iteration, which includes “situationally-aware” active decision enterprise Business Rules Management System (BRMS) functions.

“The ability to execute business rules, processes and complex events is the cornerstone to building a highly-intelligent, well-integrated enterprise. JBoss Enterprise BRMS 5.3 drives our customers toward this goal by helping them become more intelligent and agile. It includes a powerful combination of features that, together with our affordable subscription model, offer an enormous amount of business value,” said Muzilla.

So the future is open source, the future is complex event processing, the future is the “Internet of things” and connected devices, the future is business process management (BPM) software and the future is open clouds — it is ALL of these things we are told.

Is Red Hat biting off too big a chunk of the enterprise IT space?

Or has (enterprise) Linux truly come of age?