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Red Hat: JBoss growing twice as fast as Linux

The company's JBoss business is booming, it says, paving the way for it to compete well beyond its roots in the operating system--perhaps tackling the application business in earnest.

Red Hat has been talking with The VAR Guy, and the news is positive for those of us who think that Red Hat's future lies beyond the operating system: Red Hat's JBoss business is growing twice as fast as its Linux business, and it delivers $10 in consulting fees for every $1 in subscription revenue.

This means that JBoss is much more interesting to Red Hat's channel than Red Hat Enterprise Linux is. It also means that JBoss should be the foundation for Red Hat getting into the application business in earnest.

Red Hat told analysts last month that JBoss was growing "substantially faster" than its Linux business, but this is the first on-the-record indication I've seen of just how fast it's growing. It's a sign that Red Hat has both the temperament and ambition to succeed beyond Linux, which is great news for Red Hat partners and bad news for its competitors.

If you're a proprietary competitor that makes its money by selling overpriced maintenance contracts, how do you compete with CIOs' consistent top pick for value? Just to get Red Hat started, here are Goldman Sachs' estimates of how much revenue each of the big software vendors makes from maintenance:

Goldman Sachs

Consider this a prop for target practice.