A Red Hat Storage 2.0 beta with Big Data and Apache Hadoop support is now available. So what is Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) trying to achieve in the storage market, and where do partners potentially fit into the story? The VAR Guy is so pleased that you continue to raise such timely questions. Here are the answers.

First, the basics. Red Hat acquired Gluster in 2011 to push into the storage market. Red Hat Storage is a software-only solution that seeks to help partners and customers manage the storage of unstructured data. Open source storage, virtualization and middleware represent three critical ways Red Hat is trying to diversify beyond its Linux heritage.

The Red Hat Storage 2.0 beta is built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat says the beta offers:
  • Unified file and object access.
  • Big data storage compatibility with Apache Hadoop. Red Hat claims the functionality enables faster file access and opens up data within Hadoop deployments to other file-based or object-based applications.
  • Performance enhancements like faster rebalancing and Network File System Version 3 (NFSv3) optimization.
  • The ability to use Red Hat Storage as a storage layer for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.
  • Enhanced manageability and reliability.
Translation: Red Hat is connecting the dots between Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Storage.  Some partners and customers may wonder if that integration is the start of a "closed" system. But keep in mind: Each Red Hat software component is open source, which means customers and partners should be able to mix and match Red Hat's components with third-party components.

Roughly 55 percent of Red Hat's revenues come from channel partners. The VAR Guy will be watching to see if that trend holds true for Red Hat Storage.

An educated hunch: The VAR Guy suspects Red Hat Storage 2.0 will ship around the time of Red Hat Summit (June 26-29, Boston).