Quotes, insights and anecdotes from the 2012 Red Hat Summit

Couldn’t make it to this year’s Red Hat Summit and JBoss World? We hit the high points with quotes and insight from the event.

Red Hat pros, JBoss users and Linux penguins from around the world descended on Boston this week for the 2012 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. Attendees gobbled up mountains of free food and sat through keynotes, workshops and sessions on everything from big data to RHEV 3.1.

Industry bigwigs offered up some interesting tidbits and insights, and as always, the Twittersphere buzzed with lively commentary.

“I feel a little overdressed. I’m coming from England where dressing down is undoing your top button.”
Irfan Khan, chief technology officer, Sybase

Speaking during Wednesday’s general session, Khan certainly did seem overdressed, as he addressed the contingency of IT pros in Veterans Memorial Auditorium. His well-groomed, suit-and-tie ensemble clashed dramatically with the Mozilla Firefox t-shirts, jeans and sneakers in the crowd, which are apparently now considered business casual. It was a “sea of geeks” as one guest so eloquently put it.

@markmc_: “All three keynotes at Red Hat Summit this morning gave a big namecheck to #OpenStack. Cool stuff!”

All three of Thursday’s general session speakers – Steve Dietch of HP, Pauline Nist of Intel and Brian Stevens of Red Hat – gave a nod to OpenStack, the open source Platform as a Service initiative for creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers in a cloud computing environment. Red Hat has promised distribution of OpenStack for cloud management, but customers are still waiting for the supported version.

“VMware has KVM coming at them now, and a new version of Hyper-V on its way…they’re starting to face price pressure, and they haven’t really responded yet.”
Al Gillen, vice president of Infrastructure hardware, software at IDC

There’s been plenty of talk recently about the VMware vs. Hyper-V price war, but as Gillen points out, RHEV is another player that often flies under the radar. Then again, Red Hat is fourth in virtualization market share, behind the likes of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. As such, RHEV doesn’t appear in a position to exert the kind of pressure to influence VMware pricing decisions.

“RHEL pays the bills and keeps the lights on.”
Andy Cathrow, RHEV product manager, Red Hat Inc.

Red Hat hit a quite a milestone this year, generating more than $1 billion in revenue, a feat which none of the general-session speakers would let guests forget. While Red Hat is expanding its virtualization and cloud offerings, Cathrow offered a friendly reminder: The company’s bread and butter is still Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

@jstrachan: “enjoyed my first Red Hat Summit / JBossWorld - reminds me of JavaOne back when it was great! lots of people & energy in 1 place with beer :)”

Can’t forget the beer! If there’s one thing to be said about the IT industry, they know how to host summits. Red Hat kept guests well-fed throughout the week and gave out plenty of free swag, including backpacks and baseball caps – red, of course. But the real showstopper took place Thursday night: IBM hosted a party at Fenway Park, which was followed by a pub crawl. These summits are almost enough to make you want to enter the world of IT...almost.

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