IDG News Service - Red Hat Inc. has scheduled a March release for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL5), the latest version of its open-source operating system, while it tries to fend off new competitive threats from Oracle Corp. and the Microsoft Corp.-Novell Inc. partnership.
Red Hat Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens discussed RHEL5, the competition, the Fedora Project and other topics with the IDG News Service, a Computerworld sister organization.
Following is an edited transcript of the interview, conducted this week at the InfoWorld Virtualization Executive Forum in San Francisco.
RHEL5 comes out in March. What are some of the features that will move virtualization forward and keep Red Hat competitive? RHEL5 is a scalable, full native 64-bit platform. In the second quarter of 2005, there was a crossover point where more 64-bit x86 systems were sold than 32-bit systems. So there is this untapped [64-bit] capability within the IT shops, as many systems are still running 32-bit applications on 64-bit systems. With RHEL5, we aim to help allow IT and independent software vendors to realize the power of 64-bit computing on these multicore architectures. There is a lot of untapped capability in performance there, so we aim to help that.
As to virtualization, it comes as an integrated feature set for RHEL5.
How has the move by Oracle to undercut you on the price for its Linux support and the partnership between Microsoft and Novell affected the direction you are taking Red Hat as CTO? It hasn't really affected the day-to-day activities because Red Hat is focused on creating value for customers. We have developed really close relationships to understand where we need to drive technology to make a meaningful impact on their businesses. We focus on the fundamentals, not on something else. If you start to think about what is going to create revenue for the company versus what's going to create value for the customer, you're thinking about it the wrong way. Our results for the last quarter show that we are largely unaffected.
We look at the vibrancy of the Fedora Project, our open-source community. Fedora is Red Hat's vehicle for bringing advanced technology really quickly to end users. The last release of Fedora has been out for about four months, and we are averaging more than 100,000 downloads a week and 1.5 million downloads total. Compare that 100,000 a week to Oracle with their release of Oracle Linux. We reach in seven hours what they reached in their very first month of releasing that source code.
With the Novell-Microsoft deal, we continue to believe interoperability
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