Red Hat on Thursday announced the acquisition of Qumranet, paying about $107 million in cash for the privately held company.
Qumranet is a virtualization company that is best known for its KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) platform and SolidICE offering, a virtual desktop (VDI). In combination, these two Qumranet products offer a virtualization platform for customers.
Red Hat will also pick up Qumranet's talent. The company's team of professionals that develop, test and support Qumranet solutions, as well as leaders of the open-source community KVM project, will join Red Hat.
"Red Hat customers enjoy highly responsive, flexible and cost-effective IT infrastructures," said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat. "This acquisition furthers our capability to widen the gap between open source and proprietary infrastructure software."
The Next Generation of Virtualization
Whitehurst went on to say that Qumranet's KVM and VDI technologies are at the forefront of the next generation of virtualization. He's convinced these technologies represent an opportunity to raise the bar and meet the market's demand for virtualization solutions.
Red Hat said it acquired Qumranet to forward its efforts to transform the virtualization market and drive end-to-end virtualization technology and management solutions into every system, from servers to desktops, on both Linux and Windows. With Qumranet in its portfolio, the company can offer a solution that integrates with the operating system. That brings with it a promise to drive down IT costs and enhance the flexibility and responsiveness of the IT infrastructure.
"With this acquisition, Red Hat has clearly positioned itself as a competitor within the virtual desktop market," said Michael Rose, a research analyst at IDC. "KVM not only represents a competent platform for hosting virtual desktops and other workloads, but protocols such as SPICE will increase the performance that users can expect to experience from their server-based computing environments, making the platform viable for a larger set of users."
Server-Based Approaches Gaining Ground
Qumranet also adds to Red Hat's virtual enterprise solutions mix, which includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an embedded hypervisor that supports all major operating systems, a management platform for both virtual and physical systems, a defining cloud and grid management solution, inter-application messaging, clustering solutions, and integrated infrastructure.
Finally, Red Hat said the Qumranet acquisition extends its virtualization solutions for managing Windows desktops. SolidICE is designed to enable a user's Windows or Linux desktop to run in a virtual machine that is hosted on a central server. That's an important point, according to Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
"This acquisition signals that what goes on with the client to the end user is no longer the providence of Microsoft and browser makers. Whether commercial or open source, organizations that have focused on the server infrastructure and applications development and deployment are now extending that out fully to all the things that constitute what a PC does using virtualization," Gardner said. "Red Hat is the harbinger that this idea of creating a server-based approach to delivering full desktop functionality is really starting to gain a lot of ground."