Red Hat Buys Container Vendor CoreOS

The red-hot container industry got another log added to the fire with the recent announcement that Red Hat is buying CoreOS, a company focused on container-based development and management.

The deal, which was reportedly valued at $250 million, gives Red Hat a significantly larger footprint in the container space, a place it has been increasingly focused on. CoreOS’s Tectonic product melds Kubernetes, a technology that has become the de facto way to manage containers, with the tools necessary to run containers at scale, including security and automation components.

Kubernetes was originally developed by Google, and quickly became the go-to way to deal with large container environments. The container Big Dog, of course, is Docker, which is now very much a competitor of Red Hat’s following the announcement. Docker created its own management stack, called Swarm, but it hasn’t developed a strong following the way Kubernetes has.

Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies for Red Hat, explained in a press release the reason behind the acquisition:

“The next era of technology is being driven by container-based applications that span multi- and hybrid cloud environments, including physical, virtual, private cloud and public cloud platforms. Kubernetes, containers and Linux are at the heart of this transformation, and, like Red Hat, CoreOS has been a leader in both the upstream open source communities that are fueling these innovations and its work to bring enterprise-grade Kubernetes to customers. We believe this acquisition cements Red Hat as a cornerstone of hybrid cloud and modern app deployments.”

It’s quite possible that Tectonic could be folded into OpenShift, Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment. OpenShift was created to streamline app development and delivery in the cloud, and manage those apps across their lifecycles and environments. Containers are the key part of the platform.

Joe Fernandes, senior director of OpenShift Product Management at Red Hat, said in a blog post that the CoreOS acquisition means that the company is “…doubling down on the commitment to open source innovation and open collaboration with communities and customers that are at the heart of who we are as a company.”

Red Hat and CoreOS have collaborated in the past on Kubernetes development, following the open-sourcing of Kubernetes by Google years ago. This deal seems to fit well within both companies’ strategies for building out cloud-based development, which relies on the lightweight nature of containers for portability and scalability. It may also signal the beginning of a round of consolidation, as larger companies looking for an edge buy out smaller container vendors. Stay tuned.