Red Hat Acquires CoreOS

Feb 06, 2018

One of the biggest contributors to the Kubernetes project has joined the Red Hat family.

Red Hat has acquired CoreOS, one of the most innovative players in the Kubernetes and container space, for $250 million. The acquisition was completed in January 2018, making it the first acquisition of Red Hat in 2018.

Red Hat and CoreOS are among the top contributors of the Kubernetes project. The developers of the two companies have already been working together, and now they will work under the same umbrella.

The flagship product of CoreOS is Tectonic, a fully upstream distribution of Kubernetes that automates operational tasks, enables platform portability, and supports multi-cluster management. Red Hat already has a container application platform called OpenShift that brings Docker and Kubernetes to enterprise customers for orchestration and management of containers.

Tectonics, along with other CoreOS open source projects, will strengthen Red Hat’s container technologies. More importantly, Red Hat now employs some of the brightest people in the Kubernetes world. CoreOS has been a very disruptive company in the distributed systems space. CoreOS introduced Container Linux, a Linux distribution designed for containerized workloads. Red Hat responded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host (RHEL Atomic Host), a variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (RHEL Server) designed and optimized to run Linux Containers. Now Red Hat has become the owner of Container Linux, just the way they own CentOS, an open source project that once competed with Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the server space.

CoreOS has been instrumental in the creation of container image and runtime specification. They came out with rkt, a competitor of Docker Engine to solve security-related concerns around Docker Engine. Docker later addressed these concerns by creating containerd and donating it to CNCF as an open source project. CoreOS also created etcd, a distributed key-value store for the most critical data of a distributed system.

Another widely used product from CoreOS is Clair, an open source project for the static analysis of vulnerabilities in application containers (currently including appc and Docker). All of these are fully open source projects that are used widely by the companies in the container space.

CoreOS joins the growing list of companies that Red Hat has acquired in the last couple of years to bring cloud native technologies to the company. In 2017, Red Hat acquired Codenvy, a provider of cloud-native development tools, and Permabit Technology Corporation, a provider of software for data deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning.

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