Last week, Red Hat decided to go the buy route, and acquired middleware player Fusesource for an undisclosed sum. In an interview with InternetNews, Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst explained why he decided to acquire Fusesource and how he goes about the buy versus build decision making process.
“Every company needs to know what they’re good at and we think we’re good at catalyzing open source communities,” Whitehurst said.
Fusesource’s technology is what is known as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and it’s something that Whitehurst admits his company wasn’t doing well. When he set out to find an ESB technology, he didn’t look for the leading company, he went looking for the leading community. In the ESB case, that leading community is the Apache Camel project. With that community identification done, the next phase of the buy versus build process is all about talent.
“Can we hire enough people that we can do it ourselves or is there a company that has a lot of great talent?” Whitehurst said. “They [Fusesource] have ten committers in Camel, so it just made sense.”
Fusesource isn’t the only company in the ESB space, both Mulesoft and Talend are active as well. In Whitehurst’s view, neither of those companies have a community built the way Camel has been built.
“If you honestly believe that robust community builds better softer, than this makes more sense,” Whitehurst said.