Red Hat aiming to grow JBoss at twice the rate of RHEL

The company is gunning for $1 billion in revenue within the next three years, and this time, it's not just a Red Hat Enterprise Linux story.

I saw that Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's new CEO, is gunning for $1 billion in revenue within the next three years. Given that Red Hat did $400 million in 2007, up from $278 million in 2006, this is perhaps not all that surprising of a goal.

What is more interesting is that Red Hat expects to get there by growing JBoss at twice the rate of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL, operating system. I believe that JBoss was on target to hit (roughly) $60 million in 2006. It may have fallen short of that, but let's assume that it managed to hit $75 million to $90 million in fiscal year 2007.

With Red Hat sales (not revenue) growing 41 percent over the past five years , let's also assume that Red Hat's growth target for JBoss is 80 percent to 100 percent each year (though, as I note below, it could be much lower).

This would put JBoss revenue at roughly $135 million to $180 million in 2008, unless my math--and assumption--is way off. (I was an English literature major, so it may well be off.) If this is true, that's a pretty amazing number for a free application server.

Even if we take the lower quarter-over-quarter growth rate reported in the last earnings call (28 percent growth in the third quarter of 2008 from that of 2007), that's still a sizable jump, from $120 million to $144 million in 2008 (Red Hat's fiscal year 2009). That would be pretty exciting.

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