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Red Hat Inc  (RHT)
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Red Hat Inc

Business Description


We are a global leader in providing open source software solutions to the enterprise, including our core enterprise operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, our enterprise middleware platform, JBoss Enterprise Middleware, our virtualization solutions and other Red Hat enterprise technologies. We employ an open source software development and licensing model that uses the collaborative input of an international community of contributors to develop and enhance software. We actively participate in this community-oriented development process, often in a leadership role, and leverage it to create our Red Hat- and JBoss-branded enterprise technologies.

We believe the open source development and licensing models offer advantages over the proprietary software development and licensing models both for Red Hat and our customers. Through the open source development model, we leverage the community of developers and users, whose collective resources and knowledge supplement the developers we employ. As a result, we believe we are able to offer functionality enhancements and upgrades more quickly and with less development cost than is typical of many proprietary software vendors. In turn, our customers are able to take advantage of the quality and value of open source software, which we help develop, aggregate, integrate, test, certify, deliver, maintain and support for their enterprise use.

The collectively developed software is distributed under open source licenses, such as the GNU General Public License and GNU Lesser General Public License, permitting access to the human-readable software source code. These licenses also provide relatively broad rights for licensees to use, modify and distribute open source software. These broad rights afford significant latitude for our customers to inspect, suggest changes, customize or enhance the software if they so choose.

Red Hat’s participation in the community-driven development process is illustrated by Red Hat’s sponsorship role in the Fedora Project and the JBoss.org communities. This participation enables us to leverage the efforts of these international communities, which we believe allows us to reduce both cost and development time and lower the risk of including products and features in our technologies that the market and the community will not accept and support. Thus, we are able to use the Fedora Project and the JBoss.org communities as proving grounds and virtual laboratories for new technology that we can draw upon for inclusion in our enterprise technologies. Additionally, the open and transparent nature of these projects provides our customers and potential customers with access and insights to the direction of these projects.

We offer a choice of operating systems and virtualization options for servers, work stations and desktops that support multiple application areas, including the data center, edge-of-the-network applications, information technology infrastructure (applications such as database, ERP and large web servers), corporate desktop and technical/developer workstation. Our current version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes integrated virtualization.

JBoss Enterprise Middleware delivers a range of middleware products for developing, integrating, deploying and managing distributed composite and web-based applications. JBoss Enterprise Middleware is based on the Java programming language that enables the deployment of service-oriented architectures. JBoss Enterprise Middleware provides an application infrastructure for building and deploying distributed applications that are accessible via the Internet, corporate intranets, extranets and virtual private networks. Examples of applications deployed on JBoss Enterprise Middleware include hotel and airline reservations, online banking, credit card processing, securities trading, healthcare systems, customer and partner portals, retail and point-of-sale systems and telecommunications network infrastructure.

Our integrated content distribution services, Red Hat Network (“RHN”) and JBoss Customer Support Portal (“JBoss CSP”), permit these Red Hat enterprise technologies to be updated and configured, while our management offerings, Red Hat Network Satellite (“RHN Satellite”) and JBoss Operations Network (“JBoss ON”), permit these and other technologies to be provisioned, updated, monitored and managed in an automated fashion. Our suite of training and other professional service offerings also enable enterprise customers to leverage the performance and scalability benefits of our enterprise technologies in their environments.

We also provide other infrastructure enterprise technologies, including software development tools, higher availability clustering of systems and services, and directory services.

We intend to continue to expand capabilities available under our open source architecture to help meet the performance, security, reliability and scalability requirements critical to the enterprise. In March 2008, we expanded our service offerings through the acquisition of Amentra, Inc. (“Amentra”), a leading provider of application integration and middleware consulting services. With the acquisition in September 2008 of Qumranet, Inc. (“Qumranet”), a company that produces and sells virtualization technologies, we expanded our server and desktop virtualization and virtualization management capabilities.

In addition to our development and licensing models, we believe that our business model differentiates Red Hat from many software companies. We provide Red Hat enterprise technologies under annual or multi-year subscriptions. Through the life of a subscription, a customer is entitled to specified levels of support as well as security updates, bug fixes, functionality enhancements and upgrades to the technology, when and if available, via our integrated management technologies (i.e., RHN and, JBoss CSP), generally without additional charges. This business model allows the customer to access consistent improvements to and innovations in our technologies and the services it needs for the duration that it needs them.

We sell subscriptions to Red Hat enterprise technologies through both direct and indirect channels of distribution. We sell directly to customers through our sales force and our web store. Our indirect sales channel includes distributors, systems integrators, resellers, telecom/network technology companies, and independent software vendors (“ISVs”). In addition, leading global server and workstation hardware vendors support and pre-load Red Hat enterprise technologies on various servers and workstations and also sell their hardware together with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as part of pre-configured solutions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware technologies also have gained widespread support from many of the leading ISVs and independent hardware vendors (“IHVs”). With the support and tools we make available, many of these companies have engineered and certified that their offerings run on or with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware technologies or, in the case of some ISVs, have built their products using JBoss Enterprise Middleware. We believe widespread support from these companies helps market acceptance and adoption of our enterprise technologies.

COMPETITION

In the operating systems market, we compete with a number of large and well-established companies that have significantly greater financial resources, larger development staffs and more extensive marketing and distribution capabilities. These competitors include Microsoft, Novell, Sun and Oracle, all of which offer hardware-independent, multi-user operating systems and various virtualization software for Intel platforms that compete with Red Hat offerings. Moreover, HP, Unisys Corporation, IBM and Sun each offer the UNIX operating system. Many of these competitors bundle competitive operating systems, such as UNIX, with their own hardware offerings, thereby making it more difficult for us to penetrate their customer bases. Moreover, Sun also provides their Solaris UNIX software under an open source license, now called Open Solaris. In addition, with virtualization emerging as an important element of the operating environment, virtualization software companies like VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems, Inc. are also competitors to Red Hat. No assurance can be given that our efforts to compete effectively will be sufficient.




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