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Interview with Murray Rode, Chief Executive Officer at TIBCO

“Java risks setbacks if it becomes controlled by one or two mega vendors”

Gabriela Motroc
Red Hat
© Shutterstock / ADragan

The news that tech giant IBM is acquiring Red Hat made waves throughout the industry. We talked to Murray Rode, Chief Executive Officer of TIBCO about the impact of the acquisition on the open source ecosystem, the multi-cloud trend and more. Since both IBM and Red Hat are deeply involved in the Java ecosystem, we also discussed what the Java market has to lose if things go south.

“Multi-cloud and multi-platform strategies aren’t necessarily a temporary period of transition”

It’s been less than a month since tech giant IBM announced the acquisition of Red Hat to the tune of $34 billion. According to the press release, the “most significant tech acquisition of 2018 will unlock true value of cloud for businesses”.

Earlier this month, we talked to Karthik Ramasamy, co-founder of Streamlio, who thinks that “the acquisition makes clear that the window for additional public cloud platforms to gain traction has passed completely.” When asked if both IBM and Red Hat should keep their JCP EC seats, he said the following

Community and standards bodies almost always benefit from a balance of interests rather than any concentration of power aligned with a single member company, and in that light, it would be wise to have IBM not have greater influence there by virtue of having multiple seats.

Karthik Ramasamy, Streamlio

Read the entire interview here

It seems that Ramasamy is not the only one who’s worried about the impact the acquisition will have on the JCP EC seats. Paul Fremantle, CTO and co-founder of WSO2 does not think IBM and Red Hat should both keep their seats.

The EC is designed to represent major stakeholders and a representative cross-section of the community. IBM/RedHat are now logically a single stakeholder and one of their seats should make way for another stakeholder.

Paul Fremantle, WSO2

Read the entire interview here

Our next interviewee is Murray Rode, Chief Executive Officer of TIBCO, who weighs in on the impact of the acquisition on the open source ecosystem, the multi-cloud trend and more.

 

JAXenter: What does the acquisition mean for both IBM and Red Hat?

Murray Rode: I suspect they’re both thinking about the growing influence of open source in the enterprise market as well as the opportunities around integrating systems and data. We’ve known that the combination of open source solutions and reliable infrastructure is a potent mix.

JAXenter: What impact will the acquisition have on the open source ecosystem?

The combination of open source solutions and reliable infrastructure is a potent mix.

Murray Rode: IBM says it’s basically leaving Red Hat alone. Certainly, some folks doubt it – and even if that’s the plan today, plans could change. But if Red Hat does remain fairly independent, it calls into question the viability of the rest of IBM’s strategy.

The value of combining the two is to have an integrated approach, which is the path TIBCO follows for its customers.

JAXenter: Does this mean that OSS is more important than ever? How does this move unlock the future of cloud computing?

Murray Rode: We believe the world is going to remain heterogeneous. Companies innovate when a business idea intersects with a new enabling technology. Both open source and commercial software are useful in this respect, one may be more applicable than the other depending on the specific situation.

JAXenter: The truth is, even though the acquisition shows how important the open source space is, things can go south and people are worried that the move can be damaging for customers if Red Hat’s direction is moved toward IBM’s traditional closed and proprietary model. Do you think that might happen? What can be done to prevent that?

Murray Rode: Our thinking at TIBCO has been that there is a growing need among companies for open source solutions that can complement commercial software. It gives an enterprise the broadest possible range of new tools to match up with their business imperatives.

While we see value in the combination of open source and commercial software, it seems unlikely that IBM will add value to Red Hat’s business. So yes, there’s a real risk if you’re a pure Red Hat customer.

JAXenter: Both IBM and Red Hat are really involved in the Java ecosystem. What does the Java market have to lose if things go south? What does it have to gain if things go well?

Murray Rode: The Java ecosystem will thrive as long as enterprise customers continue to benefit from choice and competition within it. Pluralistic ecosystems like Go, Python, or Java today prevent particularly painful forms of lock-in and mitigate technology risk. Java risks setbacks if it becomes controlled by one or two mega vendors.

JAXenter: Both IBM and Red Hat are members of the JCP EC. Some people seem to believe that it wouldn’t be a good idea to keep both seats. What do you think? What are the pros and cons?

Murray Rode: JCP is considered a toothless tiger these days and Java isn’t what gets people excited. Governing a large diverse community like Java is always going to be a challenge – and you need checks and balances to maximize the outcomes for the broader ecosystem, beyond the largest entities.

It’s quite difficult to make the argument that two seats controlled by the same entity will benefit the Java ecosystem, consumers of Java technology, and the Java community at large

I’ve talked to many of our customers, partners, and experts in the field, and I think it’s quite difficult to make the argument that two seats controlled by the same entity will benefit the Java ecosystem, consumers of Java technology, and the Java community at large.

JAXenter: What impact will the acquisition have on the (multi-)cloud trend?

Murray Rode: The hybrid cloud was already here and the IBM acquisition reflects that. Multi-cloud and multi-platform strategies aren’t necessarily a temporary period of transition but can be an end-state themselves.

Business needs dictate technology deployment, and factors like compliance and cost mean it often makes sense for enterprises to run workloads across the cloud and on-premise environments. At TIBCO, we think neutrality is the best way to give our customers the open choice of technology and industry-leading partners.

JAXenter: How can Red Hat help IBM get its foot in the door regarding the cloud ecosystem?

Murray Rode: I don’t think it can. These are two vastly different companies, and it’s not clear that this will do anything but slow down Red Hat.

Thank you!

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.