Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is reaching out to Linux application developers and cloud developers, while strengthening a relationship with SAP. Indeed, the open source company has updated its Developer Suite for both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift, the platform as a service (PaaS) offering. The moves are part of a bigger Red Hat partner and ISV (independent software vendor) push that's unfolding this week in Boston, Mass.

At the Red Hat Summit, the company has already announced upgrades to its JBoss and OpenShift solutions. Now, the related Linux developer tools seek to ensure Red Hat remains relevant while customers shift their applications from physical to virtual and cloud services.

An example: Red Hat and SAP say they are partnering more closely to ensure SAP runs on physical Red Hat servers, in virtualized environments or in the cloud. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) will play an important role in those efforts.

Meanwhile, Red Hat says its latest Enterprise Linux Developer Suite includes:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux;
  • High-Availability Add-On;
  • Load Balancer Add-On;
  • Resilient Storage Add-On, Scalable File System Add-On;
  • High-Performance Network Add-On;
  • Extended Update Support; and
  • MRG Real Time and Smart Management Add-on.
For VARs that lack software development expertise here's a timely heads-up: Gartner VP Tiffani Bova recently predicted that the best performing VARs will have in-house software development expertise to tackle cloud integration opportunities.

Cloud Noise

While Red Hat remains dominant on corporate servers, there's a real danger that the company's cloud messaging and services could get lost in all the competitive noise. Emerging and potential cloud rivals with VMware CloudFoundry, OpenStack, CloudStack and Microsoft Windows Azure seem to loom around every corner.

Microsoft recently extended Azure to support numerous Linux distributions -- SUSE, Ubuntu, CentOS and more. But Red Hat Enterprise Linux was left off that list -- which shows just how fierce the competition in cloud customers and developers could become...