Red Hat Inc. appears to be putting its faith in services to help differentiate its Java application server, announced last week, in this increasingly crowded market.
Red Hat says it will provide global, 24×7 support and maintenance, with software updates, for an annual subscription of $85 per month. Additional services, including installation, configuration, set-up and training are available for extra.
The company says it is providing customers with a single point of contact for service and support. Red Hat had provided ad-hoc support to customers who had downloaded components like JBoss, JOnAS and Apache, and who had struggled to ensure compatibility with different products and different versions of products.
Red Hat Application Server uses JOnAS, from the ObjectWeb Consortium, Apache Software Foundation’s Tomcat, and Struts for development of Java applications.
Vice president of product management, Deb Woods, told ComputerWire that customers liked open source technology but are reluctant to incorporate it into their infrastructure unless it’s supported by vendors. Red Hat, she said, was recognized as a market leader in deploying and supporting open source technology.
We bring single point of contact and Red Hat certification stack expertise in supporting technologies, Woods said.
Red Hat says it picked the JOnAS application server because of a sophisticated and easy-to-use user interface for management and development.
However, it is the quality of Red Hat’s support that will become an important factor, as Red Hat not only competes with open source Java application server vendor JBoss Corp, but is also targeting a set of potential customers who want fairly low-specified, mass-market products.
JBoss is a Red Hat Ready Partner, however the organization has been sewing up open source Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server market. Hewlett Packard Co. and Novell Inc. have support agreements in place for JBoss used on their servers.
As for features, many application servers are used simply for their Java Server Pages (JSP) capabilities, not more sophisticated Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) architecture. Red Hat is targeting the 80% of the market using JSPs that is increasingly commoditized and running basic web services, web hosting or simple e-commerce transactions.
Woods said Red Hat is not targeting companies according to their size, rather customers according to what they are doing. As things commoditize it’s right for an open source play – it makes sense for Red Hat to look at those markets as more and more people look at open source technology, she said.
As open source moves in, people want to know where do I get the service and support, Woods said.