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Code morpher Transitive dives into Red Hat Exchange

Proprietary chums meet open sourcers

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Red Hat added a peculiar name to its Exchange software store by picking up OS morphing code from Transitive.

Last year, Red Hat launched RHX (Red Hat Exchange) as a centralized shop for customers looking to pick up software that runs on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux server operating system. RHX offers up code such as Alfresco's content management software, the MySQL database and Zimbra/Yahoo!'s messaging products. Red Hat vows to support these applications, resolving issues with RHX partners on behalf of the end customers.

All of the applications available so far on RHX will be familiar to members of the open source/Linux world. Transitive, however, has mostly made a name for itself letting customers run Solaris for SPARC software on x86 and Itanium processors without modification and helping shift software written for PowerPC-based Macs to Intel-based systems via Rosetta.

Okay, sure, part of Transitive's Solaris/SPARC play centers on placing Solaris customers on machines running Linux. (Transitive will also move Solaris/SPARC customers onto Solaris/x86 boxes.) But Transitive isn't typically talked about in the same breath as the Linux clan regulars like MySQL or Zmanda.

In addition, most of the RHX partners have open source licenses or something nudging near an open source license.

Meanwhile, Transitive is a proprietary software player that relies on licensing its code and doing engineering deals with companies such as IBM, SGI, HP and Sun.

"The RHX distribution agreement between Transitive and Red Hat was strongly encouraged by our enterprise customers, who regard the combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and QuickTransit as a single solution for broadening the range of applications that can be run on modern standards-based server platforms,” said Ian Robinson, VP of marketing for Transitive. "By purchasing QuickTransit with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, customers obtain a platform capable of running not only the popular and diverse range of Linux applications, but also the vast selection of software developed for Solaris/SPARC platforms.”

According to Robinson, customers have been asking Transitive to form a deal with Red Hat to make renewing subscriptions and support easier.

"We spend quite a bit of time doing proof of concepts. Once that process finishes, the customers will ask to buy 50 or however many licenses. We've heard from a number of those customers buying in volume that they'd like to get the software through Red Hat Exchange."

While the companies said QuickTransit is available immediately via RHX, you won't actually find the code on Red Hat's web site. Robinson explained that Transitive is currently taking care of customers who have already asked for an RHX deal and that it will post documentation to RHX at a later date.

"The reality is that if a customer wants this we can deliver it now," he said.

RHX has taken off a bit slowly, although some companies have generated a lot of business through the service. Alfresco executive Matt Asay described his rather positive experience with RHX during the last episode of Open Season. ®

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