Red Hat and IBM launched the Red Hat Marketplace, a hub for hybrid-cloud-ready enterprise applications, the two companies announced Wednesday. Through the platform users can try, buy, deploy and manage enterprise applications in on-premise and multicloud environments.
More than 50 commercial products are live on the platform, stemming from 12 different categories including AI/ML, database, monitoring, security, storage, big data and developer tools, according to the announcement.
Applications in the marketplace are built on Kubernetes Operators, an open source framework. The marketplace apps are also certified to run on RedHat's Kubernetes platform OpenShift.
When IBM acquired Red Hat in 2018, it was seen as a strategy to leverage open source and increase the company's cloud reach.
The marketplace approach is an attempt to reduce the friction in application selection, deployment and management in a hybrid cloud environment.
Customers turning to the marketplace-ready apps will be able to leverage automated deployment through Kubernetes-native infrastructure, according to Lars Herrmann, senior director, Technology Partnerships at Red Hat, in the announcement.
But a centralized hub with a catalog of vetted apps isn't new in the cloud. AWS launched its own marketplace in 2012, as did Microsoft a couple of years later. Salesforce's AppExchange, with built in training capabilities through its Trailhead platform, went live in 2017.
Red Hat will need to prove its ability to become a developer-friendly resource for deployments that can run seamlessly in the hybrid cloud.
The mandate is aligned with IBM's new management direction. In January the company increased the profile of cloud within its organization by tapping former cloud exec Arvind Krishna as its new CEO. It was Krishna who helped lead IBM's $34-billion acquisition of Red Hat as the former SVP for cloud and cognitive software.
In a COVID-19-afflicted business world, the priority for executives tasked with running the cloud is on cost-control and ease of portability, bringing Kubernetes, but also cloud agnosticity, to the forefront.