Container space is crowded, but Red Hat is ‘very optimistic’ heading into 2020, says exec

IBM has frequently touted the $1 trillion hybrid cloud market ever since it purchased Red Hat, and Red Hat Canada’s country manager Claude Reeves is “very optimistic” about the opportunities channel partners will have next year to get in on that action, he told Channel Daily News.

“I really like what I’m seeing in the Canadian market,” said Reeves. “In 2019 we went from talking about whether or not hybrid cloud and containers are right for my business, to ‘okay, what do I need to do to start this journey.’ It feels like we have a lot of momentum.”

The numbers appear to back this up.

Claude Reeves, Red Hat Canada’s country manager.

In North America, on-premises environments (traditional and private cloud, as well as third-party colocation) represent the primary workload execution venue for a shrinking percentage of organizations – from 68 per cent in 2019 to 46 per cent by 2021, according to 451 Research.

Additionally, workloads targeting “on-prem traditional resources” are projected to drop from 40 per cent today to just 19 per cent in 2021, and “workloads primarily executed in hosted/cloud environments” will grow from 36 per cent today to 57 per cent in 2021.

Red Hat’s OpenShift platform, which Reeves said represents a big chunk of the $34 billion mega-deal, is a container platform and the hybrid cloud asset at the heart of IBM’s sales strategy moving forward.

“We’ve had some customers come to us saying, ‘Hey, we’ve already been looking at all this and we want to talk to you seriously about OpenShift,’” explained Reeves, adding small consulting hybrid cloud partners like Arctiq have found tremendous success in helping enterprises fully, or partially, transition over to cloud computing.

Reeves said he hopes to see similar partners emerging out west.

“Out west we have the Long Views of the world, but finding [partners] that have those deep skills around containers and automation, and offer nimble services while handholding the customer, is what we need more of out there,” said Reeves.

But those partners are being presented with an increasingly crowded container market.

Docker Enterprise Edition, which Forrester ranks ahead of OpenShift when it comes to enterprise container platforms, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry are just a couple of OpenShift’s direct competitors.


IBM walking away from single cloud focus deserves ‘huge respect’ says Red Hat


Additionally, Amazon Web Services went from dismissing on-premises computing to offering its own hybrid cloud software products, such as Outposts. Microsoft has AzureStack, and Google has Anthos.

But Reeves is confident that Red Hat’s existing group of channel partners, in addition to several key IBM partners that have met with Red Hat recently to discuss business opportunities moving forward, are the keys to success.

“Worldwide, but particularly in Canada, we’re very channel-focused,” he said.

A recent survey from DigitalOcean interviewed more than 200 developers from Canada, and while the survey suggests Canadian developers are contributing little to open source projects, more than 50 per cent of respondents said their involvement with open source mostly has to do with the consumption of software.

This is good news for Red Hat, a company that’s built itself into a multi-billion dollar company through the use of open source software, and its partners indicated Reeves.

“I think it’s safe to say that 50 per cent of the customers that we’re engaged with have hit the point where they’re no longer wondering if hybrid cloud and containers are the right decision. Now they’re asking about how to get started, which is a much more fun place to be.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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