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Red Hat Stacks The Deck

Some open source developers prefer LAMP stacks. Some prefer J2EE. Red Hat is betting that by combining both into one stack, it'll deliver the best of both worlds in a standardized way.

Today Red Hat is announcing the Red Hat Application Stack, which includes components of both LAMP and J2EE, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Application Server, JBoss Hibernate and the MySQL and PostgreSQL open source databases.

The move shouldn't come as too much of a surprise since Red Hat acquired leading open source J2EE vendor JBoss in April of this year for $350 million.

The new stack is not a software application stack, but is intended as an infrastructure stack.

"We're really an infrastructure software company, so we're looking for the broad play," Todd Barr, director of enterprise marketing at Red Hat, told internetnews.com.

Barr explained that while some might ask why not just buy a LAMP or a J2EE stack, what's critical is the standardization.

"You target development at the application stack and that way you don't have to figure out what versions of software you're using," Barr said.

"It's a standardization of a real baseline open source infrastructure."

And for those who just want to use the stack as a LAMP stack, that's fine by Red Hat, too.

"We aren't selling a LAMP stack, but we've priced it in such a way that even if you just want to run a LAMP application on it, it's still a great deal," Barr noted.

The Red Hat Application Stack is a first-of-its-kind product offer from Red Hat, according to Barr.

He explained that Red Hat did announce a stack strategy back in December but then acquired JBoss. The Red Hat Application Stack is now the result of that new strategy.

"What we're trying to do with the stack is answer a barrier to open source adoption," Barr said. "That barrier in the mid market is that they don't have one place to get all the pieces, and they don't want to go figure that out themselves."

Red Hat also announced today that JBoss's existing subscription offerings are now being made to Red Hat's channel.

Previously, JBoss had taken a mostly direct sales approach. According to Barr, Red Hat does over 60 percent of its business through the channel

"That was one of the promises of the acquisition," Barr noted.

"That Red Hat would take JBoss, which is a company that has been successful selling directly, and move them to a channel that is pretty well established."