by Wade Tyler Millward, CRN

Lightspeed expansion. Red Hat OpenShift AI enhancements. And deeper partnerships with the likes of Stability AI, Oracle and Nvidia.

These are some of the biggest news items from the Raleigh, N.C.-based open source enterprise tools vendor's Summit 2024 event held Monday through Thursday in Denver.

Red Hat, a subsidiary of IBM and soon-to-be sister company of HashiCorp, focused much of Summit on its role in the growing use of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and other AI tools to save on costs and improve operations.

Red Hat Summit 2024

As part of Red Hat's moves to meet the AI moment, the vendor has positioned its portfolio as aiding customers with moving AI models from experimentation into production at a lower hardware cost, meeting data privacy concerns, preventing barriers between existing systems and storage platforms, achieving choice in deployment across cloud, data center and edge locations – among other benefits.

About 80 percent of overall Red Hat sales come through indirect channel and alliance relationships, according to CRN's 2024 Channel Chiefs.

Chris Weis, director of modern data center solutions at World Wide Technology – a Maryland Heights, Mo.-based Red Hat partner and No. 9 on CRN's 2023 Solution Provider 500 – told CRN in an interview that WWT has seen growing interest from customers in AI workloads on top of OpenShift.

For customers who understand the infrastructure and AI use cases, Red Hat and Kubernetes are an opportunity to bring those workloads to production in the future, he said.

"AI is very new to a lot of customers, but we think over the next six to 12 months, that's going to become a reality for them," Weis said. "They're going to need to basically understand that (middle) layer much better than what they do today. So Red Hat is doing a great job there."

WWT also continues to invest in growing its expertise in Red Hat's Ansible and automation offerings as well as OpenShift virtualization, Weis said.

WWT's Red Hat practice has also seen more work from customers wanting to diversify their portfolio after Broadcom's acquisition of VMware.

Some of these customers "probably will still continue to run VMware in the future," but "they are trying to look at alternative platforms, though – in particular, OpenShift virtualization – as a way to augment some specific workloads."

Read on for some of the other major announcements from Red Hat Summit 2024.

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