Notes from Red Hat Open Source Day 2011

Red Hat Italia organized its fifth open source day last week in Rome, and it was quite a success by the numbers:  700 people subscribed to the event, about 500 attendees, 6 talks in the plenary session and 12 speeches in the parallel sessions.

I have been following the whole event before running the final round-table, and I wish to share here some notes from the event.

Gianni Aguilletti,  Red Hat Italia country manager, opened the event and introduced IDC’s speech. I found interesting to know that while Windows Servers sales go up faster than Linux (slide 8), Linux total software revenues will grow three times (Windows +9.1%, Linux +22.9%). Much less of interest to loo at IDC surveys asking companies in 2011 if they use open source,  though.

Werner Knoblich – Red Hat VP and General Manager EMEA – gave a speech about Red Hat cloud strategies, 9 months later Red Hat vision about the cloud is clearer and pragmatic now that both CloudForms and OpenShift have been announced.

HP talk was probably filled with too much corporate information. In fact while HP’s commitment to open source is unquestionable, as happens often multinational players miss the opportunity to deliver locally the open source value.

Ed Boyajian, EnterpriseDB CEO, gave a great talk speaking of PostgreSQL as the most disruptive force in Open Source Since Linux. His speech was probably the most appreciated by the audience, and in my opinion the most effective. Postgres Plus offer appears really competitive, at a reasonable fraction of the Oracle cost (1/6 is actually in the open source price range suggested by Dave Rosenberg).

Almaviva TSF case study was interesting too, showing how Red Hat, JBoss and other open source components are actually used to manage a complex infrastracture, thanks also to Red Hat systems management platform Satellite.

After lunch I stepped by few parallel sessions, some of them were really crowded (e.g. Babel’s speech around messaging systems), others were less popular but not less interesting (e.g. AMD-HP on converged infrastructure).

I enjoyed chairing the final round-table, hosting people from both Platinum sponsors (AMD, EnterpriseDB) and Silver sponsors (Acronis, Babel, Extraordy, GruppoPA). AMD explained why a microprocessor company contributes code to the Linux kernel, and how is important to them collaborate with partners like HP. EnterpriseDB explained why in his vision is now the time to choose Postgres, leaving the door open to local SIs. Acronis explained its Backup+Disaster+Data Protection all in one, Babel spoke about how customers should avoid lock-in, Extraordy spoke about the value of Red Hat certifications, and Gruppo PA unveiled its open source strategy for the ERP market.