They’re a promiscuous lot, these tech giants, bed-hopping like a cul-de-sac overgrown with pampas grass. The latest one to throw its keys into the bowl is open software company Red Hat, which had the good fortune to make itself available just as Ericsson was looking to give Cisco a taste of its own medicine.
The overt premise for their ‘partnership’ is the reciprocal benefit derived from Ericsson’s desire to diversify in a software direction and Red Hat’s strategic move into the telco vertical. Red Hat offers the full monty of telco software buzzwords, including OpenStack, containers, NFV, SDN and SDI (software-defined infrastructure, not strategic defence initiative), while Ericsson brings telco market expertise and credibility to the table.
Telecoms.com spoke to Radhesh Balakrishnan, GM of OpenStack at Red Hat, to get all the inside gossip. “The future of the telecommunications industry is moving away from proprietary solutions and towards community-powered open software and standardized hardware,” he winked. “By engaging in an ‘upstream first’ relationship, Ericsson and Red Hat have committed to driving innovations needed for next-generation communications infrastructure via open source communities, including projects focused on software-defined infrastructure for compute, networking and storage.
“These technologies are driving extreme agility for the modern telco, opening the door for automation, scale and reuse, but they need an open source and open standards-based foundation to truly reach their potential. Our alliance with Ericsson helps assure customers that they have a technology based on common code and standards, not a ‘special snowflake’ that becomes more costly over time.”
We’re not sure exactly what an ‘upstream first’ relationship consists of, but it sounds pretty saucy. It seems likely that Red Hat will be paying for dinner more often than not as Ericsson is feeling a bit strapped for cash right now. We can only speculate about the payment in kind Ericsson might offer Red Hat in return.