Red Hat, Hyperic start open-source project

Red Hat and Hyperic are working together on an open source project for IT management.

Red Hat and Hyperic have formed an open-source project for developing a core set of IT infrastructure management capabilities, the companies announced Thursday.

Dubbed RHQ, the project's source code will be available under the GPL v2 license, according to a Red Hat spokeswoman. The companies have set up a Web site for the project at www.rhq-project.org.

The RHQ project's roots lie in the pact formed in 2005 between Hyperic and JBoss, which saw the latter company use code from Hyperic's Web infrastructure management product, Hyperic HQ, as a basis for JBoss Operations Network. Red Hat acquired JBoss in 2006, and Hyperic moved to an open-source model.

It shouldn't be long before a healthy community springs up around RHQ, according to Katrinka McCallum, vice president in Red Hat's management solutions business unit. "The fact Hyperic has an established name around open source is giving us a kick-start," she said, adding, "I don't think it will be that hard because a lot of customers have been asking us to open source our management assets."

RHQ will not provide a packaged management platform, per se. Instead, it will consist of a set of services such as for reporting, security and agents -- that could be built into various product offerings. The companies plan to bake the results into upcoming versions of their respective products, including JBoss Operations Network 2.0, which is set to ship later this year, according to a statement.

"We're really looking at saving some money when it comes to collaborating on the core platform," Doug MacEachern, Hyperic's chief technology officer, said of the partnership.

"I think there's going to be a lot of opportunities to upsell in both directions," he added. "JBoss might need coverage in other areas, whereas otherwise our customers might be looking to go deeper into the JBoss stack."

Red Hat's new CEO, Jim Whitehurst, recently spelled out an ambitious growth plan for the company. One observer suggested Hyperic and Red Hat may work even more closely together in the future.

"The most headliney thing is that it solidifies Hyperic's position as an acquisition target for Red Hat," said Michael Cote, an analyst with Redmonk. "This is all speculation on my part, but it adds up."

McCallum would not confirm or deny whether Red Hat is considering a purchase of Hyperic.

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