IBM wants a piece of the Red Hat cloud

Over the weekend the news broke that IBM is acquiring Red Hat for an incredible $34 billion. Red Hat Linux is essentially the paid, supported version of Linux that companies historically graduate to when they need to guarantee availability, particularly on data center hardware.

This acquisition is a big deal because it's the stitch-up of two enterprise juggernauts. Why IBM wants Red Hat, in that case, is an interesting question: is it really about the Linux OS or something else? We can find the answer between the lines: the IBM press release mentions the words "hybrid cloud" 14 times and Linux three times.

IBM wants in on the virtualization industry, which Microsoft, Google and Amazon have capitalized so well on with their cloud services. Red Hat's Open Stack technology is the most obvious match here, which makes a case for companies that still haven't migrated onto the cloud yet.

For background, the public cloud is made up of commodity services, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud, which allow anyone to rent servers and resources on demand, and run on shared infrastructure. The private cloud is the same concept, with on-demand compute resources, but generally entirely owned by the company using it for various reasons.

There's a very clear segment of companies that cannot use the public cloud for data privacy, availability requirements or other reasons, making a third category called hybrid cloud an interesting, lucrative opportunity. A hybrid cloud infrastructure infrastructure is a mix of both; private resources hosted by the organization offering control over the data, but the ability to leverage the raw power of public clouds like AWS for non-sensitive tasks.

IBM seems particularly interested in this segment, and largely focuses on big, slow enterprises that play in this space: they need control, but still need access to the public cloud's resources. Open Stack, which Red Hat owns, helps with this by providing companies with a single interface to orchestrate both worlds.

It's funny to write all of this now, in 2018. All of this feels like news that should have happened years ago, but IBM is only coming to this realization now, when it feels like the technology has become commonplace. In a former life I worked as an infrastructure engineer for large-scale platforms, and I don't even know the last time I touched a physical server.

Still, enterprises move at the pace of glaciers, and need help with these things: nobody gets fired for hiring IBM, and I imagine there's big amounts of money to be made helping move the old world of computing onto modern platforms. Plus, IBM finally gets an operating system out of this deal, so there's that.

Apple's last hardware event of the year is today

Today's Apple's last big hardware debut of the year and we're expecting new iPads, refreshed iMacs, a new Mac Mini and maybe even new laptop hardware. The biggest focus will certainly be on the iPad Pro, which is due to get the largest refresh to date with Face ID, thinner bezels and a bunch more.

I'll have the full recap here tomorrow, along with a story like the other events, but you can watch the action unfold live here on Apple's website at 10 a.m. New York Time. Let me know on the community what you're hoping for out of the event, or what you're excited was unveiled after the fact! 

Tab Dump

Why iBeacons and Android Nearby failed
iBeacons, the tiny devices that helped phones understand their proximity to things indoors, were supposed to be the next big thing but totally died. The reason, as always, seems to be that people love spamming things like this.

The OnePlus 6T might have the least offensive notch yet
I'm still not over the notch thing, and I can kinda deal with the way that OnePlus is solving it with their new 6T smartphone. It's wild how cheap this is compared with the competition: it starts at $549, and it's available in T-Mobile stores across the US. It's a shame the camera is still bad, but it's an impressive effort.

Snap's CEO picked a new business chief, then changed his mind
The share price also happens to be $5.99 right now, a huge drop from the opening price of $24. Evan Spiegel is... not running a tight ship.

Twitter reportedly plans to kill the like button
This is a stupid move, but entirely unsurprising from the company if it happens. I agree, however, with Taylor Lorenz that the company's focus on the button seems misdirected and perhaps should go after retweets instead.