Red Hat releases its first open-source app stack

Red Hat has unveiled its first integrated open-source application stack based around the JBoss application server it acquired this summer.

The new Red Hat Application Stack includes software, support and upgrades for a single server running Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Application Server, JBoss Hibernate and one of two open-source databases: MySQL or PostgreSQL.

Aimed at Linux and Java developers running fewer than 10 servers, the offering will be delivered online through the Red Hat Networkaccording to Todd Barr, Red Hat's director of enterprise marketing. An annual subscription starts at US$1,999 for a single server, and does not involve extra costs for client access licenses.

At its annual summit in June, Red Hat dumped its own Red Hat Application Server in favor of JBoss, which Red Hat announced it would buy in April for an estimated US$400 million.

Barr said Red Hat hopes to woo customers away from proprietary application servers such as BEA Systems's WebLogic and IBM's WebSphere Application Server. According to a recent survey of 700 developers by Evans Data, they are still considered the two leading application servers on the market, with JBoss ranked sixth. Indeed, Red Hat's announcement comes one day before the start of BEA's annual BEAWorld show in San Francisco.

Barr downplayed competition with HP, despite the fact that the company ships a trio of open-source middleware stacks, including one based around JBoss and Red Hat.

HP, which partners with Red Hat by bundling Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its Proliant and Integrity servers, said through a spokeswoman that its own JBoss-based offering differs by including hardware support. She declined to compare the price of HP's offering with Red Hat's.

Red Hat's move also puts it into competition with dedicated open-source support providers such as SpikeSource and OpenLogic, who certify and support open-source applications running in many cases on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based servers.

Red Hat said its future stacks will be targeted at vertical markets such as telecommunications and health care.

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