Red Hat Summit: Musings on Matt Hicks’ Vision for AI and Virtualization

Red Hat Summit: Musings on Matt Hicks’ Vision for AI and Virtualization

All in on AI

While my analyst cohorts discuss the announcements for RHEL AI, OpenShift AI, InstructLab, and IBM’s open sourcing of Granite, what I am finding insightful is Red Hat CEO Matt Hicks’ perspective on the market and the moves the company is making. Matt opened by stating that this intersection of open source and artificial intelligence (AI) is opening the most interesting “explosion of options.” And at the “center of all this innovation is open source and academia.” That gave pause for thought.

And one might have to agree. For open source, we see it in the large language model (LLM) development, we see it in deployment and container platforms, and we see the rapid development of companies based on these platforms. And academia? Well, the national labs, university research, and the like have been the primary source of mathematical creation, fueling machine learning (ML), neural networks, and now generative AI. So when Matt states, “open source unlocks the world potential for AI,” it resounds with some credibility. Granted, we needed the power of compute and the innovation of data storage to support the demands of AI.

Matt went on to predict that AI will not be built by a single vendor or a single monolithic model. We have already seen LLM’s or foundation models prolificate. But Matt’s vision takes this to a different level, and that is the ability to contribute to models. And be able to fine tune as part of the open-source community. This brought him to InstructLab through which you can train an LLM, keep your data private or choose to contribute. And he expects contributions. And as evidence is the open sourcing of the IBM Granite family of language and code models.

Next Up, the State of Virtualization

Virtualization was not a lead topic of discussion on stage. However, it was a lead topic among the attendees and their pursuit of information. So where is Red Hat in this journey? Mike Barrett, VP and GM of Red Hat Hybrid Platforms, reminded us that KubeVirt is in the top 10 Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects, with 100 companies involved in its development. This development includes Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Amazon Web Services (AWS), NetApp, Pure/Portworx, NVIDIA, Veeam/Kasten, to name a few. Customers from Emirates, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and SiriusXM presented and held virtualization workshops.

Strategically, where is the company headed? Per Matt Hicks, “… we are not going back in time.” Red Hat will “address the pain points that take the virtualization forward.” The company is betting on its ability to help guide the open-source community to build the capability and durability that is needed in the platform and support the different ecosystems. Red Hat is looking at the critical apps and what can be done now (i.e., VDI) as well as the longer view strategy. Overall, it is a forward-looking, client-focused, and practical view to what can be delivered.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Camberley Bates

Camberley brings over 25 years of executive experience leading sales and marketing teams at Fortune 500 firms. Before joining The Futurum Group, she led the Evaluator Group, an information technology analyst firm as Managing Director.

Her career has spanned all elements of sales and marketing including a 360-degree view of addressing challenges and delivering solutions was achieved from crossing the boundary of sales and channel engagement with large enterprise vendors and her own 100-person IT services firm.

Camberley has provided Global 250 startups with go-to-market strategies, creating a new market category “MAID” as Vice President of Marketing at COPAN and led a worldwide marketing team including channels as a VP at VERITAS. At GE Access, a $2B distribution company, she served as VP of a new division and succeeded in growing the company from $14 to $500 million and built a successful 100-person IT services firm. Camberley began her career at IBM in sales and management.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University – Long Beach and executive certificates from Wellesley and Wharton School of Business.


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