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Red Hat Becomes First $2 Billion Open-Source Company (zdnet.com) 116

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Red Hat just became the first open-source company to make a cool 2 billion bucks. Not bad considering Red Hat became the first billion dollar Linux company only four years ago. Red Hat did it the old-fashioned way: They earned the money instead of playing upon the gullibility of venture capitalists. Red Hat's total revenue for its fourth quarter was $544 million. That's up 17 percent in U.S. dollars year-over-year, or 21 percent measured constant currency. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $480 million, up 18 percent in U.S. dollars year-over-year, or 22 percent measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue in the quarter was 88 percent of total revenue. Analysts estimated Red Hat would make $534 million. Looking ahead for its 2016 FY Red Hat expects to see between $2.380 billion to $2.420 billion. At this rate, Red Hat should easily become the first $3 billion open-source company.
While Red Hat's president and CEO Jim Whitehurst credits the "hybrid cloud infrastructures," Red Hat's subscription revenue can largely be ascribed to Red Hat's flagship product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Still, RHEL, which is now available on Microsoft Azure, is becoming a prominent cloud operating system.
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Red Hat Becomes First $2 Billion Open-Source Company

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  • by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @03:29PM (#51763521)

    I've long switched to debian-based distributions, but I remember buying boxed distros in the 90s to help support the commercialization of Linux. I'm still waiting for LOTD*, but a win's a win.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm not so nice: I switched to Ubuntu because, as much as I dislike their politics (Mir vs Wayland, Unity vs Gnome-3, etc.), they provide software *correctly*.

      RHEL will suddenly break your shit mid-release. They won't ship an out-of-tree kernel module or a patch to a kernel driver to save your life, so good luck with RHEL 6 and Intel e1000e NICs (get the -lt kernel from ElRepo; but you can't remove RH Kernel or you break LSB, so have fun managing your bootloader as it keeps switching back to the broken

      • Your complaints seem to match my experience, though it might be that we use the system differently. Fedora was great for breaking changes, but RHEL (CentOS in my case) is generally rock solid. Yes, newer stuff can take a while to get supported.

        The main reason I wanted to reply is that there is a fix for your problem with the kernel updates switching back to the default kernel. Unfortunately I'm not sure it's covered in the RH documentation, but if you were to change the value of the DEFAULTKERNEL setting in

        • And that's what I get for failing to proofread until after I submit. The first sentence should read "Your complaints don't seem to match my experience,...".

        • I've had RedHat break multiple subsystems during a point release. Once, they removed an entire configuration system (crmsh) and replaced it with a completely different configuration system. They outright removed the packages. I've seen them do major upgrades of sever software on a point release and put n the release notes that certain deprecated features are now non-features and your configuration won't work if you used them.

          The weirdest one was when I upgraded httpd and Apache broke because you need

      • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

        RHEL will suddenly break your shit mid-release. They won't ship an out-of-tree kernel module or a patch to a kernel driver to save your life, so good luck with RHEL 6 and Intel e1000e NICs (get the -lt kernel from ElRepo; but you can't remove RH Kernel or you break LSB, so have fun managing your bootloader as it keeps switching back to the broken one and then dropping network entirely on a kernel OOPS). They freeze the distro at a point release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9...) as they publish security patches, while ripping out some configuration subsystems and throwing in new ones (what has worked last week no longer works today, and you can freeze your release and not get further support!).

        I never use RHEL-style distributions if I can avoid it.

        Yeah, this doesn't match my experience at all either. Larger than "normal" changes do happen at the X.n, X.n+1, etc points, of course, but I've hardly ever had *anything* break that wasn't well documented in the notes and usually forced by some sort of outside issue. (Breaks if we change it, breaks if we don't change it.)

        About the only thing that really comes to mind was the cluster manager software somewhere between 6.2 and 6.4. Virtually everything else I can think of back to the 4.1/4.2 days has been jus

  • $2B in revenue and $288M in earnings for the year. Still nothing to sneeze at.
  • "open source" (Score:2, Informative)

    by iggymanz ( 596061 )

    closing access to the security/bug repositories except to paying customers isn't the open source spirit. RedHat forgets who made them great, it was us in the 90s that could install and try it out, and became sold on it so we introduced it at work by buying the full support.

    That's why a lot of us have tossed RH over the side at work now for alternatives. Using Fedora, an alternative distro that makes the users test rats for RH brain farts, is making us 2nd class citizens.

    • Re:"open source" (Score:5, Informative)

      by sherr ( 3751965 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @03:48PM (#51763739)
      The free version of RHEL is CentOS or Scientific Linux, not Fedora. Fedora is, as you note, a upstream, fast-moving, bleeding-edge, "test" OS. If that's not what you want then you're using the wrong thing.
      • those lag behind redhat of course, CentOS a month for last release, SL two months

        which isn't too bad compared to past

        • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

          those lag behind redhat of course, CentOS a month for last release, SL two months

          which isn't too bad compared to past

          Speaking of the past, it hasn't been like that in forever. CentOS is usually same-day, sometimes a day or two later. The only exception is usually full-point releases, which might be a week or so if something drastic changed in the ISO building/installing process.

          RHEL6 > CentOS 6 was a one-off issue, although it did prove that having two downstream distros (one varying, one trying to be a completely binary compatible rebuild) is a good thing.

      • The free version of RHEL is CentOS or Scientific Linux, not Fedora. Fedora is, as you note, a upstream, fast-moving, bleeding-edge, "test" OS. If that's not what you want then you're using the wrong thing.

        CentOS was created without Redhat's help when Redhat discontinued and tried to kill the open source version of their product. The gave everyone fedora so they could technically be in compliance with the open source license but they had enough glue that was not open source so that centos and fedora had to jump thru a bunch of hoops to be usable at all. So, no, CentOS is not the officially sanctioned open source version of Redhat. Redhat tried (and luckily failed) to kill off the open source version of the

    • Closing access to the security and bug repositories to all but paying customers is understandable in Redhat's case, and isn't a factor for my workplace dumping Redhat. We have a few reasons (in no particular order):

      1) License tracking is license tracking, regardless of whether it's Redhat, Microsoft, or Oracle. The major appeal of Free (and Open Source) software is not having to report to anyone.

      2) We don't use Redhat support for anything other than software updates. The few times we used Redhat support

      • not understandable at all when they're spitting in the face that made them a success. the money is for official redhat phone support, hot fixes, etc.

        note the binaries are different between redhat and centos and scientific linux, the compilation environment isn't perfectly duplicated

        oh well, we've removed hundreds of redhat at work. good luck with the empty suits when us tech people won't specify you, redhat. of course, you depend on the oracle and ibm wares that list supported distros, but realize even t

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          Unfortunately, the FedGov lurves its Red Hat. It also loves Windows too. Expect that the growth in government services will keep increasing the revenues of both companies for the foreseeable future.

          • well certain parts of the federal governments operations also have Scientific Linux (RH based free of cost), SLES (some supercomputers), and Cray Linux

      • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

        I think part of it depends on what you are doing with your Red Hats, and what the expectation is. If you are running a bunch of internal servers for computing tasks or network tasks, I think that many Linuxes have serious strengths there, and a cost benefit analysis is a pretty big deal. At my work, we've been married to Solaris, and any Linux we use would have to have the blessing and backing of an entity like Red Hat- and hopefully we'll be switched soon.

      • 1) License tracking is license tracking, regardless of whether it's Redhat, Microsoft, or Oracle. The major appeal of Free (and Open Source) software is not having to report to anyone.

        It's not a licence, it's support. Depending on whether you have signed a contract that restricts you further (at your own choice) or not, you can install as many copies as you like (but you would need to do some work to get updates to more instances, like run reposync on an instance that has a subscription).

        2) We don't use Redhat support for anything other than software updates. The few times we used Redhat support for problem solving, the support personnel knew less about the problem space than we did. This is typical of most paid support.

        We, a linux-centric team within a big telco, also only use RH support for updates for the same reason (we can almost always resolve issues quicker than it would take to get a ticket escalated to soneone

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday March 23, 2016 @04:06PM (#51763869)

    Generally, when you say 'an X dollar company', people are referring to market cap, or the aggregate consensus value believed in by your investors.

    • Generally, when you say 'an X dollar company', people are referring to market cap, or the aggregate consensus value believed in by your investors.

      Red Hat was founded back in 1993, which means it took them twenty years on the up to the billion in revenue. The company was something like twenty years old when it made the first billion. Soon after Red Hat made second billion, so the question remains: how long will it take to get to its third? Among the others new control panels for Red Hat, there are some worthy: https://serversuit.com/communi [serversuit.com]... [serversuit.com]

  • I remember well the Red Hat IPO. It was supposedly open to the public on E*trade and I was at work waiting to buy in, but turns out it was only available for an instant, not sure how long exactly, but anyway I and many others missed the boat and were pretty angry, especially when it rocketed from IPO price of $14 to $300. Some even complained to the SEC. It split 2:1 but then fell below $5 so I bought a bunch then, it's certainly done better than most of the tech bubble stocks.
    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      I bought as much as I could. It was open to the public, however you had to have some involvement in the company. Even if you were just contributing to bugtrack you were in. I fully support that. Why should we let those that have no involvement make a bunch of money. My lesson is I learned the difference between a market order and a limit order when it was around $300/share. Don't worry, I made plenty.

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