Red Hat Summit 2016 in San Francisco is an ideal setting to experience the power of open source in enterprise, for customers, partners and community enthusiasts. For me personally, this year’s event was a great learning experience, both from the standpoint of quality face-to-face time with industry experts, and the opportunity to check out the coolest technology updates from hi-tech companies. Read the pre-event blog post for highlights and key Cisco activities.

Let me start with some trivia, where I give the answer as well. Where did the company Red Hat derive its name from? Turns out the founder, Marc Ewing, had an affinity for red hats and wore his grandfather’s red lacrosse cap during his college days at CMU. In fact, Marc used to name his projects Red Hat 1, Red Hat 2 and so on.   When he started his Linux project, he named it Red Hat Linux for lack of a better term – so goes the history.

My key observations:

  1. Containers is a huge bet for Red Hat. It now competes with many, including Docker, even on how to deliver them.
  2. Security scanning for containers is going to be big in the enterprise and a number of companies will offer scanning tools to help reduce and eliminate potential threats.

Red Hat has added container workload analytics to provide greater visibility so that businesses can more safely adopt containers. Red Hat’s Hybrid Cloud Management Platform is a flexibility play and supports AWS, Microsoft Azure, and of late GCP. Red Hat CEO made a call for more open source participation for businesses.  Not only to be consumers of open source technology, but also to participate by giving back to the community.

The call for cultural change was one that echoed through most of the conference. Both Red Hat and companies such as Cisco, all called for businesses to change their culture in order to keep up with the pace of innovation, and to make open source work.

Cisco’s Chief Technical Architect David Ward presented a keynote Open Source: the Forefront of Innovation and emphasized open source, open communities and collaborative development.  His “shoes off” approach and message resonated with the audience and Twitter erupted with photos and quotes about the future of open source. Ward was also interviewed by The Cube and was featured live on Periscope.


In addition to the David Ward Keynote, Mike Cohen’s session featured how Openstack, Contiv and Cisco ACI work together, and Duane Decapite spoke to the convergence of Hadoop, Containers and Openstack.

Three days at Red Hat Summit, yet it felt like a short event. I cannot wait for Red Hat Summit 2017 when more exciting updates await us on the emerging technolony for data centers, IT professionals and developers.

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Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions