Throwing some nails in the path of archrival Oracle, Red Hat has rolled out a community migration program designed to entice users over to its open source-based servers.
In tandem with the migration program, Red Hat also outlined an open source project focused on creating tools to help corporate users get off Oracle platforms as well as off BEA's WebLogic (owned by Oracle) and IBM's WebSphere for JBoss.
The goal of the JBoss Migration Assistance (Mass) program, which Red Hat officials hope will see its first tangible results in a couple of months, is to deliver tools to smoothly migrate that code which is different in individual servers.
The hope of Red Hat is that the program and tools will give Oracle business users who find licenses to Oracle's products and services too rich for their blood a reason to switch. The new program and tools have given some administrators pause.
"I know my budget, and I suspect those of a lot of other companies will be under such pressure for the rest of this year, [and] I think a program like this will give us a reason to examine our database options," said John Henderson, a database administrator with a large Chicago-based financial company.
What gives Red Hat's program a fighting chance is Oracle's reluctance to compromise very much on its pricing models, particularly in the midst of the current economic crunch.
Further increasing the program's chance of success is the momentum JBoss appears to be gaining in some markets. Red Hat officials said JBoss is moving closer to the heart of some companies' strategies. They said recently that Red Hat's version of Linux is pushing the doors of corporate IT shops wider, allowing JBoss to gain more acceptance.
If Red Hat can successfully tear away hunks of Oracle's market share in its bread-and-butter middleware market, some believe it would set the stage for significant growth in Red Hat's overall revenue.
"This program [Mass], if it takes off, could get a lot more people interested in switching over to a more heavily flavored Linux-based environment -- at least at the departmental level," Henderson said.