IBM's proposed acquisition of Red Hat for $34 Billion is remarkable for a number of reasons. Firstly, $34 Billion is such a huge valuation. To put a figure of this size into context, Oracle paid $7 Billion for Sun Microsystems and that included Java, Solaris, MySQL, the SPARC processor architecture as well as global manufacturing facilities.

The second point is that Red Hat is primarily a vendor of support services for an open source operating system. In most instances, it is remarkably easy to move those support services to an alternative provider or indeed to self-support. So many purchasing departments we come across believe that they are purchasing physical licenses and are therefore legally obliged to pay.

Users of Red Hat should be concerned about IBM's intentions. Monetising an acquisition of this scale could result in IBM putting pressure on Centos users to move to a paid subscription model. This is exactly what Oracle is doing with Java as of the 1st January for all business users who will now have to pay a monthly subscription.

Fortunately, there are alternatives for Linux support and BSI has a tremendous amount of experience in this area. If you would like to look into alternatives please get in touch.