Red Hat is acquiring Inktank, a provider of scale-out, open source storage systems for approximately $175 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.
What makes this acquisition even more interesting is that Red Hat competitor Canonical invested $1 million through a convertible note in the start-up back in 2012. Shuttleworth’s money helped the start-up grow big enough to become a target for Red Hat.
Bad news for Canonical?
Does this make Mark upset as Benjamin Kerensa, a Mozilla evangelist, says on Google+? I think not for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that Red Hat is the world’s number one Open Source company which is also the #1 contributor to many open source projects so this acquisition won’t lock Canonical out of the company that they once funded.
Allan Bell, an Ubuntu developer opines that Canonical may have actually made a lot of money via this investment as it was a convertible bond. He says, “He invested $1m in a convertible note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible_bond must have given him a fairly substantial holding in 2012, it was certainly newsworthy http://www.inktank.com/news-events/new/shuttleworth-invests-1-million-in-ceph-storage-startup-inktank/ and now it has been sold for $175m. I think he made a lot of money on this in less than 2 years.”
Mark has not reacted to this acquisition yet.
Inktank will bring a lot of value to Red Hat as it “delivers world class object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds, including many early adopters of OpenStack clouds. Combined with Red Hat’s existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, the addition of Inktank positions Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.” says Red Hat in a statement.
Founded in 2012, Inktank’s main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Ceph was developed by Inktank’s founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments.
Inktank’s primary goal has been to help customers scale their storage to the exabyte-level and beyond in a cost-effective way. Inktank has provided customers with expertise, processes, tools and support with their enterprise subscription and service offerings. Inktank’s customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.