red-hat-summit-2009When the Red Hat Summit (and the associated JBoss World) conferences  kick off Sept. 1 in Chicago, The VAR Guy will be watching closely for new channel and partner developments -- some of them involving Qumranet, Cisco Systems, EnterpriseDB and Alfresco. In fact, here are five key Red Hat trends our resident blogger expects to cover at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World.

They are...

1. Virtualization Partners: Red Hat updated its channel partner program in mid-August 2009 to include three areas of specialization -- infrastructure (Linux), middleware (JBoss) and virtualization. Red Hat hasn't exactly been known as a virtualization powerhouse. And The VAR Guy finds it ironic that Red Hat Summit is the same week as VMworld (held Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in San Francisc0). Watch for potential news involving Qumranet, a virtualization company that Red Hat acquired in September 2008.

2. The Cisco Connection: Yes, Cisco will be in the house at Red Hat Summit. Watch for a closer working relationship between Red Hat and Cisco's Unified Computing team to emerge.

3. Move Over, MySQL and Oracle: Here comes EnterpriseDB President and CEO Ed Boyajian. He'll be on hand to discuss open source database adoption in the enterprise. EnterpriseDB's sense of timing is perfect. Oracle's pending takeover of Sun Microsystems (and the MySQL database) seems nearly complete. But the future of Sun's hardware and MySQL open source database business remains unclear.

4. Taking On SharePoint: Alfresco will spend portions of Red Hat Summit asserting the Alfresco content management system is a lower-cost, open source alternative to SharePoint. No doubt, SharePoint is a hit with solutions providers and many of The VAR Guy's readers. Can Alfresco steal at least some of that Microsoft momentum and mind share? Apparently yes.

5. New Partner Initiatives: The VAR Guy can't go into details. But if you take a close look at Red Hat's Summit sponsor list you may find some clues about what's coming next from Red Hat.

For now, that's all The VAR Guy has to say about that. More Red Hat Summit coverage to follow throughout this week.