Dell, Red Hat mix and match OS and application stack

Windows OS and open-source infrastructure will give IT more choice

Red Hat and Linux continued its move up and down the enterprise operating stack with the announcement this week by Dell that it would offer its customers the Red Hat middleware stack on Dell PowerEdge servers.

In buying Dell hardware, an IT department will now be able to choose either a Windows or Linux operating system and combine that with either the JBoss Enterpise Application Platform or the Red Hat Application Stack.

However, one industry analyst says these are no longer strategic decisions.

"It doesn’t really matter which one you go with. Both are open standard compliant, and both are in the open-source space," said Josh Greenbaum, principal analyst with Enterprise Applications Consulting.

According to Greenbaum, what this announcement is really saying is that Red Hat is having trouble deciding which horse to run with and they want to see who wins.

On the plus side, the ability to mix Windows and an open-source application server stack will give IT more flexibility and expand the amount of choice in using Windows while running JBoss server compliant applications. While it may no longer be a strategic decision, said Greenbaum, it does take an issue off the table.

The Dell/Red Hat offering will come in three versions. The first is a JBoss Enterprise Application Platform that combines the JBOSS Application Server along with Hibernate and JBoss Seam with Dell hardware, plus a choice of Linux or Windows. According to Dell officials this offering simplifies the development, deployment, and manageability of Java applications on any operating system.

A second offering, Web Application, combines the Red Hat Application Stack, which includes JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Enterprise Linux with Dell hardware. This choice is targeted at those running Java or LAMP (Linux Apache, MySQL, Pearl or Python) applications applications.

Finally, Web Edge combines Red Hat enterprise Linux and Dell hardware and is advantageous for such purposes as Web serving with Apache.

Availability and pricing were not announced at the LinuxWorld conference.

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