Red Hat looks to symposium to spread the gospel

Red Hat is embarking on a two-month tour of the Asia-Pacific region spreading news about its latest Linux offering as well as open source alternatives in the virtualization and middleware space.

Called the Open Source Symposium 2006, the event starts in Singapore on August 17 before heading to Melbourne on August 23 and Sydney on August 29. Auckland follows and the symposium ends in Bangalore in mid-October.

It is the first time Red Hat has held such an event. In the past, and in the future, said Max McLaren, GM for Red Hat A/NZ, the company has participated in Linuxworld expos or IT events such as AusCert or Gartner's annual symposium.

McLaren said this event will provide an update on Red Hat and where it is headed in its product roadmap.

"The market [wants] more information from us. It is an opportunity to provide to the market the information it is looking for."

He said the symposium will discuss the RHEL 5 product; focus heavily on virtualization through Xen; and talk about the Fedora concept of Stateless Linux, where a system administrator can set up a network of hundreds of desktop client machines as clones of a master system.

"We also want to highlight the open source software stack. It is not just about Linux. For example, JBoss, MySQL or Perl."

McLaren said the symposium will appeal to the converted, as it consists of technical streams, and people at the C-level within an organization that were looking for an open source alternative to existing proprietary systems.

With Windows Vista much talked about now, he said taking an open source alternative message to such people was timely. However, he conceded that much needs to be done to convince many antipodeans to switch their Windows servers to Linux.

"Most organizations in this part of the world are using Linux as a Unix alternative," he said.

Information on the symposium can be found at