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Red Hat’s Buying Gluster & Moving into Storage

Claims the acquisition will let it “define a new baseline” for how enterprise IT manages the explosion of unstructured data

Red Hat is buying Gluster.

It's spending $136 million cash money to get the six-year-old open source start-up's GlusterFS, a software-only, scale-out storage system that will give Red Hat entry into the world of Big Data in the cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.

Red Hat claims the acquisition, which should close this month, will let it "define a new baseline" for how enterprise IT manages the explosion of unstructured data and the total addressable Big Data market is currently supposed to be worth $4 billion.

GlusterFS lets enterprises combine large numbers of commodity storage and compute resources into a high-performance, centrally managed, globally accessible storage pool.

Red Hat says that with the growth of unstructured data - your usual log files, virtual machines, e-mail, audio, video and documents - "the 90s paradigm of forcing everything into an expensive single-system DBMS residing on an internal corporate SAN has become unwieldy and impractical." It claims that by combining commodity economics with a scale-out approach, customers can deploy abundant storage without compromising on cost, performance and manageability.

Gluster CTO and co-founder AB Periasamy quipped that "Gluster started off with a goal to be the Red Hat of storage. Now, we are the storage of Red Hat."

Red Hat reaffirmed its latest Q3 and fiscal 2012 guidance and figures its revenues this fiscal year should suffer no material impact because of the acquisition. It says they should begin to grow next year based on a subscription revenue model.

Red Hat CTO Charlie Peters said in a statement that "This is an exciting new area of potential growth for Red Hat and one in which we intend to invest aggressively." He expects Red Hat's non-GAAP operating margin for fiscal 2013 could be 150 basis points lower than fiscal 2012 as it makes additional investments to realize Gluster's potential.

Gluster counts Pandora, Box.net and Samsung among its 150 commercial customers. It got an $8.5 million B round last November from Index Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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