Red Hat

This article is about the software company. For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation).
Red Hat, Inc.
Traded as
Industry Computer software
Founded 1993 (1993)[1]
Founder Bob Young
Marc Ewing
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Hugh Shelton (Chairman)
Jim Whitehurst (CEO)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Mobile Application Platform
Red Hat Directory Server
Red Hat Certificate System
Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
Red Hat Satellite
JBoss Enterprise Middleware
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
Red Hat Storage Server
Red Hat CloudForms[2]
Red Hat OpenShift

Revenue Increase US$2.052 billion (2016)[3]
Increase US$288.05 million (2016)[3]
Increase US$199.37 million (2016)[3]
Total assets Increase US$4.155 billion (2016)[3]
Total equity Increase US$1.334 billion (2016)[3]
Number of employees
9,860 (Aug 2016)[4]
Subsidiaries Red Hat India

Red Hat, Inc. is an American multinational software company providing open-source software products to the enterprise community. Founded in 1993, Red Hat has its corporate headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, with satellite offices worldwide.[5]

Red Hat has become associated to a large extent with its enterprise operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux and with the acquisition of open-source enterprise middleware vendor JBoss. Red Hat also offers Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), an enterprise virtualization product. Red Hat provides storage, operating system platforms, middleware, applications, management products, and support, training, and consulting services.

Red Hat creates, maintains, and contributes to many free software projects. It has acquired several proprietary software product codebases through corporate mergers and acquisitions and has released such software under open source licenses. As of March 2016, Red Hat is the second largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel version 4.5 after Intel.[6]


In 1993, Bob Young incorporated the ACC Corporation, a catalog business that sold Linux and Unix software accessories. In 1994, Marc Ewing created his own Linux distribution, which he named Red Hat Linux[7] (Ewing had worn a red Cornell University lacrosse hat, given to him by his grandfather, while attending Carnegie Mellon University[8][9][10]). Ewing released the software in October, and it became known as the Halloween release. Young bought Ewing's business in 1995, and the two merged to become Red Hat Software, with Young serving as chief executive officer (CEO).

Red Hat went public on August 11, 1999, achieving the eighth-biggest first-day gain in the history of Wall Street.[7] Matthew Szulik succeeded Bob Young as CEO in December of that year.[11] Bob Young went on to found the online print on demand and self-publishing company, Lulu in 2002. Before its IPO, Red Hat had received some funding from Joyce Young, the aunt of founder Bob Young. When Red Hat went public, she cashed in enough stock to recoup her initial investment, then left the remaining stock to linger, "for fun". Her return on investment was so great that, by January 2000 she was a millionaire, allowing her to donate US$29 million to the Hamilton Community Foundation in June 2000.[12]

On November 15, 1999, Red Hat acquired Cygnus Solutions. Cygnus provided commercial support for free software and housed maintainers of GNU software products such as the GNU Debugger and GNU Binutils. One of the founders of Cygnus, Michael Tiemann, became the chief technical officer of Red Hat and by 2008 the vice president of open source affairs. Later Red Hat acquired WireSpeed, C2Net and Hell's Kitchen Systems.[13]

In February 2000, InfoWorld awarded Red Hat its fourth consecutive "Operating System Product of the Year" award for Red Hat Linux 6.1.[14] Red Hat acquired Planning Technologies, Inc in 2001 and AOL's iPlanet directory and certificate-server software in 2004.

Red Hat moved its headquarters from Durham to North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina in February 2002. In the following month Red Hat introduced Red Hat Linux Advanced Server,[15][16] later renamed Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Dell,[17] IBM,[18] HP[19] and Oracle Corporation[20] announced their support of the platform.[21]

In December 2005, CIO Insight magazine conducted its annual "Vendor Value Survey", in which Red Hat ranked #1 in value for the second year in a row.[22] Red Hat stock became part of the NASDAQ-100 on December 19, 2005.

Red Hat acquired open-source middleware provider JBoss on June 5, 2006, and JBoss became a division of Red Hat. On September 18, 2006, Red Hat released the Red Hat Application Stack, which integrated the JBoss technology and which was certified by other well-known software vendors.[23][24] On December 12, 2006, Red Hat stock moved from trading on NASDAQ (RHAT) to the New York Stock Exchange (RHT). In 2007 Red Hat acquired MetaMatrix and made an agreement with Exadel to distribute its software.

On March 15, 2007, Red Hat released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and in June acquired Mobicents. On March 13, 2008, Red Hat acquired Amentra, a provider of systems integration services for service-oriented architecture, business process management, systems development and enterprise data services.

On July 27, 2009, Red Hat replaced CIT Group in Standard and Poor's 500 stock index, a diversified index of 500 leading companies of the U.S. economy.[25][26] This was reported as a major milestone for Linux.[27][28]

On December 15, 2009, it was reported that Red Hat will pay US$8.8 million to settle a class action lawsuit related to the restatement of financial results from July 2004. The suit had been pending in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Red Hat reached the proposed settlement agreement and recorded a one-time charge of US$8.8 million for the quarter that ended Nov. 30.[29]

On January 10, 2011, Red Hat announced that it would expand its headquarters in two phases, adding 540 employees to the Raleigh operation, and investing over US$109 million. The state of North Carolina is offering up to US$15 million in incentives. The second phase involves "expansion into new technologies such as software visualization and technology cloud offerings".[30]

On August 25, 2011, Red Hat announced it would move about 600 employees from the N.C. State Centennial Campus to Two Progress Plaza downtown.[31] A ribbon cutting ceremony was held June 24, 2013, in the re-branded Red Hat Headquarters.[32]

In 2012, Red Hat became the first one-billion dollar open source company, reaching US$1.13 billion in annual revenue during its fiscal year.[33]

On October 16, 2015, Red Hat announced its acquisition of IT automation startup Ansible, rumoured for an estimated US$100 million.[34]

Fedora Project

Fedora Project logo
Main article: Fedora Project

Red Hat sponsors the Fedora Project, a community-supported open-source project that aims to promote the rapid progress of free and open-source software and content. Fedora aims for rapid innovation using open processes and public forums.[35]

The Fedora Project Board, which comprises community leaders and representatives of Red Hat, leads the project and steers the direction of the project and of Fedora, the Linux distribution it develops. Red Hat employees work with the code alongside community members, and many innovations within the Fedora Project make their way into new releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Business model

Red Hat operates on a professional open-source business model based on open code, development within a community, professional quality assurance, and subscription-based customer support. They produce open-source code so that more programmers can make further adaptations and improvements.

Red Hat sells subscriptions for the support, training, and integration services that help customers in using their open-source software products. Customers pay one set price for unlimited access to services such as Red Hat Network and up to 24/7 support.[36]

In September 2014, however, CEO Jim Whitehurst announced that Red Hat was "in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile...(T)he prize is the chance to establish open source as the default choice of this next era, and to position Red Hat as the provider of choice for enterprises' entire cloud infrastructure."[37]

Programs and projects

One Laptop per Child

Red Hat engineers worked with the One Laptop per Child initiative (a non-profit organization established by members of the MIT Media Lab) to design and produce an inexpensive laptop and provide every child in the world with access to open communication, open knowledge, and open learning. The XO-4 laptop, the latest machine of this project, runs a slimmed-down version of Fedora 17 as its operating system.


Dogtail, an open-source automated graphical user interface (GUI) test framework initially developed by Red Hat, consists of free software released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is written in Python. It allows developers to build and test their applications. Red Hat announced the release of Dogtail at the 2006 Red Hat Summit.[38][39]


Red Hat MRG is a clustering infrastructure platform intended for integrated high-performance computing (HPC). The acronym MRG stands for "Messaging Realtime Grid".

Red Hat Enterprise MRG replaces the Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL, a Linux distribution developed by Red Hat, kernel in order to provide extra support for real-time computing, together with middleware support for message brokerage and scheduling workload to local or remote virtual machines, grid, and cloud infrastructures.[40]

As of 2011, Red Hat works with the Condor High-Throughput Computing System community and also provides support for the software.[41]

The Tuna performance-monitoring tool runs in the MRG environment.[42]


The platform strives to incorporate all the above aspects of HPC into one IT infrastructure for better performance, reliability, and interoperability. It claims to simplify and automate a range of IT tasks of deployment, operation, managing and monitoring of clustered and distributed infrastructure and applications.

Red Hat produces the online publication The site highlights ways open source principles apply in domains other than software development. The site tracks the application of open source philosophy to business, education, government, law, health, and life.

The company originally produced a newsletter called Under the Brim. Wide Open magazine first appeared in March 2004, as a means for Red Hat to share technical content with subscribers on a regular basis. The Under the Brim newsletter and Wide Open magazine merged in November 2004, to become Red Hat Magazine. In January 2010, Red Hat Magazine became[43]

Red Hat Exchange

In 2007, Red Hat announced that it had reached an agreement with some free software and open source (FOSS) companies that allowed it to make a distribution portal called Red Hat Exchange, reselling FOSS software with the original branding intact.[44][45] However, by 2010, Red Hat had abandoned the Exchange program to focus their efforts more on their Open Source Channel Alliance which began in April 2009.[46]

Red Hat Subscription Manager

Red Hat Subscription Manager (RHSM)[47] combines content delivery with subscription management.[48]


Red Hat operates OpenShift, a cloud computing platform as a service, supporting applications written in Node.js, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, JavaEE and more.[49]


Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform delivers an integrated foundation to create, deploy, and scale a secure and reliable public or private OpenStack cloud. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform combines the world's leading enterprise Linux and the fastest-growing cloud infrastructure platform to give you the agility to scale and quickly meet customer demands without compromising on availability, security, or performance.[50]


Red Hat CloudForms is Red Hat's Cloud Management Platform that provides hybrid cloud management of virtual infrastructure based on VMware vSphere, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Microsoft Hyper-V, OpenStack, and Amazon EC2. Red Hat CloudForms is based on the upstream ManageIQ project that Red Hat open sourced. Code in ManageIQ is from the over US$100 million acquisition of ManageIQ in 2012.[51][52]

Other projects

Red Hat has some employees working full-time on other free and open source software projects that are not Red Hat products, such as two full-time employees working on the free software radeon (David Airlie and Jerome Glisse[53]) and one full-time employee working on the free software nouveau graphic drivers. Another such project is AeroGear, an open source project that brings security and development expertise to cross-platform enterprise mobile development.

Red Hat also organises "Open Source Day" events[54] where multiple partners show their open source technologies.[55]

Utilities and tools

Subscribers have access to:

Over and above Red Hat's major products and acquisitions, Red Hat programmers have produced software programming-tools and utilities to supplement standard Unix and Linux software. Some of these Red Hat "products" have found their way from specifically Red Hat operating environments via open-source channels to a wider community. Such utilities include:

The Red Hat website lists the organization's major involvements in free and open-source software projects.[61]

Community projects under the aegis of Red Hat include:


Red Hat India

Red Hat, Inc. created its subsidiary, Red Hat India to deliver Red Hat software, support, and services to customers in India.[63] Colin Tenwick, vice president and general manager of Red Hat EMEA said that "the opening of [Red Hat India] is in response to the rapid adoption of Red Hat Linux in the subcontinent. Demand for open source solutions from the Indian markets is rising and Red Hat wants to play a major role in this region".[63] Red Hat India has worked with local companies to enable adoption of open source technology in both government[64] and education.[65]

In 2006, Red Hat India had a distribution network of more than 70 channel partners spanning 27 cities across India.[66] Red Hat India's channel partners included Ashtech Infotech Pvt Ltd, Efensys Technologies, Embee Software, Allied Digital Services, and Softcell Technologies. Distributors include Integra Micro Systems and Ingram Micro.

Mergers and acquisitions

Red Hat's first major acquisition involved Delix Computer GmbH-Linux Div, the Linux-based operating-system division of Delix Computer, a German computer company, on July 30, 1999.

Red Hat acquired Cygnus Solutions, a company that provided commercial support for free software, on January 11, 2000 - it was the company's largest acquisition, for US$674 million. Michael Tiemann, co-founder of Cygnus, served as the chief technical officer of Red Hat after the acquisition. Red Hat made the most acquisitions in 2000 with five: Cygnus Solutions, Bluecurve, Wirespeed Communications, Hell's Kitchen Systems, and C2Net. On June 5, 2006, Red Hat acquired open-source middleware provider JBoss for US$420 million and integrated it as its own division of Red Hat.

On December 14, 1998, Red Hat made its first divestment, when Intel and Netscape acquired undisclosed minority stakes in the company. The next year, on March 9, 1999, Compaq, IBM, Dell and Novell each acquired undisclosed minority stakes in Red Hat.


Date Company Business Country Value (USD) References
July 13, 1999 Atomic Vision Website design  United States [67][68]
July 30, 1999 Delix Computer GmbH-Linux Div[note 1] Computers and software  Germany [69]
January 11, 2000 Cygnus Solutions Limited gcc, gdb, binutils  United States $674,444,000 [70]
May 26, 2000 Bluecurve IT management software  United States $37,107,000 [71]
August 1, 2000 Wirespeed Communications Internet software  United States $83,963,000 [72]
August 15, 2000 Hell's Kitchen Systems Internet software  United States $85,624,000 [73]
September 13, 2000 C2Net Internet software  United States $39,983,000 [74]
February 5, 2001 Akopia Ecommerce websites  United States [75]
February 28, 2001 Planning Technologies Consulting  United States $47,000,000 [76]
February 11, 2002 ArsDigita Assets and employees  United States [77]
October 15, 2002 NOCpulse Software  United States [78]
December 18, 2003 Sistina Software GFS, LVM, DM  United States $31,000,000 [79]
September 30, 2004 The Netscape Security-Certain Asts[note 2] Certain assets  United States [80]
June 5, 2006 JBoss Middleware  United States $420,000,000 [81]
June 6, 2007 MetaMatrix Information management software  United States [82]
June 19, 2007 Mobicents Telecommunications software  United States [83]
March 13, 2008 Amentra Consulting  United States [84]
June 4, 2008 Identyx Software  United States [85]
September 4, 2008 Qumranet KVM, RHEV, SPICE  Israel $107,000,000 [86]
November 30, 2010 Makara Enterprise software  United States [87]
October 4, 2011 Gluster GlusterFS  United States $136,000,000 [88]
June 27, 2012 FuseSource Enterprise software  United States [89]
August 28, 2012 Polymita Enterprise software  Spain [90]
December 20, 2012 ManageIQ Orchestration software  United States $104,000,000 [91]
January 7, 2014 The CentOS Project CentOS  United States [92][93]
April 30, 2014 Inktank Storage Ceph  United States $175,000,000 [94]
June 18, 2014 eNovance OpenStack Integration Services  France $95,000,000 [95]
September 18, 2014 FeedHenry Mobile Application Platform  Ireland $82,000,000 [96]
October 16, 2015 Ansible Configuration management, Orchestration engine  United States [97]
June 22, 2016 3scale API management  United States [98]


Date Acquirer Target company Target business Acquirer country Value (USD) References
December 14, 1998 Intel Corporation Red Hat[note 3] Open source software  United States [99]
March 9, 1999 Compaq Red Hat[note 4] Open source software  United States [100]
March 9, 1999 IBM Red Hat[note 5] Open source software  United States [101]
March 9, 1999 Novell Red Hat[note 6] Open source software  United States [102]
  1. Delix Computer GmbH-Linux Div was acquired from Delix Computer.
  2. Netscape Security-Certain Asts was acquired from Netscape Security Solutions.
  3. Intel Corporation acquired a minority stake in Red Hat.
  4. Compaq acquired a minority stake in Red Hat.
  5. IBM acquired a minority stake in Red Hat.
  6. Novell acquired a minority stake in Red Hat


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