UK VARs have reported a turnaround in end-user attitudes towards open source software, just as Linux kingpin Red Hat posted a double-digit sales surge.
Red Hat has grown consistently throughout the downturn and its run shows no signs of slowing after it logged its fourth quarter and full-year results. The New York-listed outfit’s share price has doubled over the last 12 months.
The vendor claimed it is now closing in on its $1bn (£668m) turnover goal after reporting a 15 per cent surge in annual sales to $748m. Its fourth quarter, which ended on 28 February, was even better as revenues surged 18 per cent, topping analyst expectations.
That buoyant view is also backed up on the ground by UK channel players.
Nigel Wright, UK sales director at VAR Abtech, said larger, higher-profile end users, including global oil companies, were beginning to consider open source applications as a genuine option.
He argued the increasing maturity of the market, as well as the downturn, are combining to drive growth of the market.
“People are tightening their belts and looking much more seriously at Linux and open source both to save cost and because the market is maturing,” Wright said.
“Companies like Ingres used to be proprietary and are now open source. Alfresco is making waves, there are new entrants like MindTouch, and VMware is investing in Zimbra, which gives more weight and credibility to open source.”
Red Hat said it added more than 350 employees throughout the year, mainly in engineering and sales. Annual subscription revenue rose 18 per cent to $639m, while net profit rose 11 per cent to $87.3m.
Jim Whitehurst, chief executive of Red Hat, said: “As we look forward, we believe that we are well positioned at the confluence of several major technology trends in the datacentre, including cloud computing, virtualisation and middleware.”
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