Red Hat

What is your corporation most trying to accomplish with its new innovation?

In June 2014, Red Hat announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest major release of the Red Hat’s flagship platform. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 not only lays the foundation for the open hybrid cloud and serves enterprise workloads across converged infrastructures, but it also pushes the operating system beyond today’s position as a commodity platform. Built to meet modern datacenter demands along with next-generation IT requirements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 powers the spectrum of enterprise IT, from application containers to cloud services.

Since its introduction more than a decade ago, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has become the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, and it has set industry standards for performance, capacity, and security. Today, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a leading force in the enterprise datacenter and in the cloud. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, along with organizations in nearly every industry and around the globe, rely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

What do you think sets your corporation’s work apart from the work of others in your field?

Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions. We use a community-powered approach to providing reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies, while offering award-winning support, training, and consulting services. We work with our customers, partners, and the communities in which we participate to create innovative technologies that prepare enterprises for the future of IT.

What or who inspired your corporation to come up with this innovation?

20 years ago, Marc Ewing created the first Red Hat Linux distribution. The original vision for Red Hat Enterprise Linux was simple - to create the best enterprise-class server operating system. However, our work with the open source communities have taken Linux and Red Hat further than any of us could ever have imagined. Red Hat Enterprise Linux now serves as a foundation for the next-generation datacenter, and Red Hat's emerging technologies around cloud, storage, big data, and middleware are quickly gaining momentum in the enterprise.

What have been the greatest challenges that your corporation has encountered in developing your innovation?

Right now, we believe we're in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. Red Hat president and CEO Jim Whitehurst calls this "a once-every-twenty-years kind of change", where winners will emerge that set the standard for the era. Red Hat is staring at a huge opportunity and the chance to become the leader in enterprise cloud, much like Red Hat is the leader in enterprise open source. Red Hat is working to establish open source as the default choice of this next era, and to position Red Hat as the provider of choice for enterprises' entire cloud infrastructure.

We want to show customers that open is better, and we're working to bring customers the tools they need to build their infrastructure from the ground up with open source, enabling amazing flexibility and choice.

Do you believe leaders and innovators have certain qualities that they all share? If so, what?

Whitehurst believes there are three key characteristics of great leaders.

First, leaders engage those they work with and those who work for them. Engagement is about ensuring that everyone understands the strategy and objectives of their organization and their team. That everyone not only understands the what’s but also the why’s.

Second, leaders are willing and able to just be themselves. In a 24-7 always connected world, it's harder and harder to separate who you are from what you do. In prior generations, the lack of communication tools made it easier to construct a persona - a way one would want to be perceived. That's getting harder and harder in a world where people expect to be able to interact with their leaders and the technology exists to do so. As people expect their leaders to be more personally engaged, the ability to present a false front becomes so hard. His experience has shown that it's much easier, and better to be yourself than try to be someone you’re not.

Finally, leaders have to inspire. In a world where the best people have choice in where and with whom to work, leaders are those who have followers. And people follow those who inspire them. But to inspire others, you first have to show passion. Whether it’s in the mission of your firm or company, or the specific project on which you are working, leaders are passionate. They show their commitment and interest.

At Red Hat, our mission is to be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way. The most respected and influential people at Red Hat are those who show passion for our mission and live it every day. They aren’t necessarily those with the biggest titles. A leader cannot begin to inspire others if they themselves aren't inspired. 

How would your corporation most like to change the world through its work?

2014 has been a defining year for the technology industry. It's been a year when cloud architectures have started to go from experimentation to deployment, where big data from promise to production, and when we've gotten our first glimpses at how these innovations are potentially going to change our world. There have been many Web 2.0 companies that have been using big data for some time now. But, we haven’t seen as many mainstream corporate companies tap that same power. That’s about to change, and in ways that will fundamentally impact us all.

For example, last year, Whitehurst spoke to a healthcare company that believes big data could help them substantially improve the lives of their patients. From identifying risk of diseases before they occur to best utilizing treatments, the possibilities are endless.
What’s more compelling to Red Hat is open source has played a key role in the development of all of these emerging technologies – from cloud to big data to social to mobile.

Red Hat wants to be the undisputed leader in enterprise cloud, and that's why we're going to continue to push. We're going to continue to grow our capabilities in OpenStack, OpenShift and CloudForms. We're going to continue to push our advances in storage and middleware and offer those to customers and our partner ecosystem. We're going to continue to offer what we see as the best operating platform in the world. And we're going to continue to work hand-in-hand with our customers, partners and the open source community to deliver the best open source infrastructure stack we can. If we do all of that and are successful, there's no telling the impact our technologies will have on the world.

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