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Red Hat getting into the hosting business?

Red Hat looks to be getting into the hosting business, which could position it well to compete more effectively in the rising networked-software world.

MSPmentor is reporting that Red Hat has quietly been adding positions that indicate increased attention to the hosting and managed services market. Red Hat, which does 54 percent of its business through its partner channel, looks to be trying to increase that ratio further.

Red Hat...has created two staff positions to serve hosting partners. Plus, Red Hat is evaluating a strategy to work more closely with managed service providers, MSPmentor has learned....

In recent months, Red Hat has received a growing number of inquiries from hosting and managed services partners, according to Mark Enzweiler, vice president of channel sales at Red Hat. Attune to the trend, Enzweiler created a new management position at Red Hat last year, in order to better serve hosting partners.

If Red Hat can learn this space well, it may position the company to do more with Red Hat Exchange, allowing it to fully host open-source applications (and take a percentage of the revenue for its troubles). It could also set Red Hat up nicely to better grok and respond to the rise of specialized web companies like Google that currently have adopted Linux en masse...and pay Red Hat $0.00 for it.

The only way to become a player in the market is to participate in the market. This could prove to be a valuable experiment for Red Hat.