Red Hat grew up on Linux, but the company's next generation of growth will involve JBoss middleware, cloud computing and virtualization. That's the message Red Hat intends to deliver to European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) partners in May 2010.  And again to global partners in June 2010. Here are the details.

First, The VAR Guy needs to be clear: Red Hat remains committed to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). But the open source company has made a concerted effort to diversify its revenue stream. Much of the company's 2009 partner push involved JBoss middleware. And for the rest of 2010, it's safe to expect heavy partner emphasis on cloud computing and virtualization.

With those goals in mind, Red Hat plans to host an EMEA Partner Summit, scheduled for May 2-5 (2010) in Spain.

According to Red Hat, the event will attract distributors, system integrators, JBoss Partners, ISVs (independent software vendors), OEM (original equipment manufacturers), resellers, and training partners. Confirmed participants include  Savvytek (Red Hat's training partner in Jordan), Entelyst (one of Qatar's leading providers of enterprise solutions) and Opennet (one of Red Hat's regional distributors.

The VAR Guy expects Red Hat to give conference attendees updates on multiple initiatives -- including the cloud certification program and the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization initiative.

Keeping Score

Red Hat generates roughly 60 percent of its revenue through channel partners, and is the rare open source company to have diversified beyond one cash cow (Linux) into new markets (JBoss middleware, with virtualization apparently coming on strong). Red Hat landed atop The VAR Guy's 2009 Open Source 50 report, which tracks the most promising open source channel partner programs. (The 2010 Open Source 50 survey is ongoing now.)

Meanwhile, Red Hat plans to further promote partners during Red Hat Summit and JBoss World (June 22-25, Boston). Also of note: There are indications that Red Hat will make some sort of business intelligence move -- perhaps with existing partners like EnterpriseDB (open source databases) or Jaspersoft (open source business intelligence). Though moves involving Ingres (another open source database provider) could also emerge at the EMEA event, source say.

Regardless, Red Hat is pushing hard to become more than a Linux company. Will partners embrace the effort?

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