Earlier this week, technology news was buzzing with the IBM purchase of Red Hat for $34 billion.
IBM has been a big data consultant in partnership with ESRI for many years. Red Hat is the designer of the Linux server operating system and has also supported modern ESRI enterprise services for many years as well (since 9.3) . This announcement is buzzing the financial markets with a new cloud partnership focus to develop build private cloud options for clients.
The initial press chatter about the new IBM / Red Hat arrangement cites that IBM will leave the Red Hat corporate structure in place and allow for it continued autonomous management of Red Hat goals but invest an IBM need to develop private clouds on Red Hat Linux architecture instead of the Amazon Cloud or Microsoft Clouds. So this venture has the possibility to create co-location services on the Red Hat Linux operating system. It is eluded that this relationship would create the same deployment dashboards that are already available from Amazon and Microsoft cloud services. In 2017 IBM announcement the BLUE MIX partnership with ESRI for better spatial integrating into their traditional business analytics with their BLUE MIX development platform.
As a small to mid size GIS consultant, I am often looking for big data tools to help small (mom & pop) regional firms integrate business analytical tools effectively manage alongside their large national competitors. In my geographic region, a large portion of the economy is still employed by mom & pop firms. I am interested in as many tools that support the proper security requirements for investment costs to help these firms and their employment rates. It will be interesting to see the new IBM/RedHat player evolve into this market space. It will also be interesting to see at what cost point and service point it will release it first collaborative product. ESRI, in true form, as been a leader growing enterprise spatial analytical tools that carry through all tiers of data management ( on the desktop, in relational databases, through server processes into cloud services onto mobile devices for field data collections). As a result, I expect ESRI would manage their existing relationships to support all cloud platforms (Amazon, Microsoft and the new IBM/RedHat) while also continuing to providing a lite cloud service to the general public with AGO (ArcGISOnline).
Recently Oxford trained Economist Dambis Moyo discussed comments in her book and on the CSPAN television show After Words that echoed Jack Dangermond's technology rapid deployment curve impact. She also mentioned that ultimately she believes like Jack that long term we will be fine. But she cautions that her concerns about the damage these shifts will impact the middle market places that have no resources for re-tooling. This new business deal is an example that just as the market is getting used to understanding cloud resources and new one to popularize private cloud services to push us to the next level. And these steps are vital to handle critical infrastructure and medical data warehouses. Regardless if these warehouses are built on window servers or Linux servers, conversations need to be held about data responsibility, data bill of rights and ranges of accessibility and liability will be needed for these markets to fully materialize. And ultimately that we truly increase productivity and not recycle activity.
Thank you ESRI for being a key player in all these relationships and interested in healthy maturity.