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FAQ: Red Hat to acquire CoreOS

Q. What is being announced?

On Jan. 30, 2018, Red Hat announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CoreOS, Inc. The acquisition is subject to certain customary closing conditions.

Q. What is CoreOS?

CoreOS is a software company that provides solutions including:

  • Tectonic – an automated and hybrid enterprise Kubernetes platform

  • Container Linux – a lightweight Linux distribution that provides automated updates and is optimized for running containers

  • Quay – an enterprise-ready container registry

CoreOS’s stated mission is “to improve the security and reliability of the Internet” by enabling “companies to run their applications securely and reliably in any environment.”

Q. How many people are employed by CoreOS and where are they located?

CoreOS has approximately 130 employees worldwide and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York and Berlin.

Q. What does CoreOS bring to Red Hat?

We believe Red Hat and CoreOS are a natural fit due to our respective open source business models and emphasis on enabling customers to build and deploy applications across the hybrid cloud. CoreOS can expand Red Hat’s technology leadership in containers and Kubernetes and enhance core platform capabilities in OpenShift, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat’s integrated container portfolio. Bringing CoreOS’s technologies to the Red Hat portfolio can help us further automate and extend operational management capabilities for OpenShift administrators and drive greater ease of use for end users building and managing applications on our platform. CoreOS also shares Red Hat’s focus on improving security and enabling application portability across the hybrid cloud. We plan to share more specifics for our plans for CoreOS’s integration into the Red Hat portfolio, including OpenShift, in the coming months.

Q. How do CoreOS’s products complement Red Hat’s commercial offerings?

CoreOS’s offerings complement Red Hat’s container solutions in a number of ways:

  • Tectonic and its investment in the Kubernetes project that it is based on are complementary to Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat’s own investments in Kubernetes. CoreOS can further extend Red Hat’s leadership and influence in the Kubernetes upstream community and also bring new enhancements to Red Hat OpenShift around automated operations and management.

  • Container Linux and its investment in container-optimized Linux and automated “over the air” software updates are complementary to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host and Red Hat’s integrated container runtime and platform management capabilities. Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s content, the foundation of our application ecosystem will remain our only Linux offering. Whereas, some of the delivery mechanisms pioneered by Container Linux will be reviewed by a joint integration team and reconciled with Atomic.

  • Quay brings expanded registry capabilities that can both enhance OpenShift’s integrated registry component and the Red Hat Container Catalog and be used as a standalone component.

Q. Who uses CoreOS’s offerings today?

CoreOS has customers across different regions and industry verticals. Its solutions are used by companies such as Ticketmaster, Campaign Monitor, Concur, eBay, Salesforce, and more.

Q. How involved is CoreOS in upstream open source communities?

Both Red Hat and CoreOS have been part of the Kubernetes community since Google launched the project in mid-2014. Red Hat standardized on Kubernetes for OpenShift, Red Hat’s enterprise-grade Kubernetes container application platform, which launched in 2015. While Google and Red Hat are the top two overall corporate contributors to Kubernetes, CoreOS is also a major contributor, contributing core components like etcd, the distributed key value store for Kubernetes, and leading multiple Kubernetes Special Interest Groups (SIGs). CoreOS also contributes to other Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects such as Prometheus and rkt and is part of the the CNCF governance board with Red Hat. CoreOS and Red Hat are also founding members of the Open Container Initiative (OCI) and helped drive the OCI container runtime and image format 1.0 specifications. CoreOS also created rkt, an application container engine, donated to the CNCF, that helped influence the current OCI standard.

Q. What are Red Hat’s plans with respect to CoreOS’s existing commercial offerings?

CoreOS’s existing commercial products are complementary to existing Red Hat solutions as described earlier. Our specific plans and timeline around integrating products and migrating customers to any combined offerings will be determined over the coming months.

Q. Does Red Hat plan to open source all of CoreOS’s technology?

Most of CoreOS’s offerings are already open source today. Red Hat has long shown its commitment to open-sourcing the technology it acquires when it is not open source, and we have no reason to expect a change in this approach. Our specific plans and timeline will be determined over the coming months.

Q. Does Red Hat plan to continue to foster the CoreOS developer community?

Yes. Red Hat has a long history of successfully guiding open source communities for the benefit of all members. CoreOS contributes to Kubernetes and leads multiple other communities and community members can feel confident that Red Hat will continue to foster CoreOS’s vibrant ecosystem. As we open source any other technologies in the future, we plan to support those communities as well.

Q. I’m a CoreOS customer – what does this deal mean for me? Who do I call for support?

CoreOS will continue to honor subscriptions and provide service and support as required through and following the closing of the acquisition. We believe that CoreOS customers will benefit from industry-leading container and Kubernetes solutions, a broad portfolio of enterprise open source software, world-class support and an extended partner network.

Customers should continue to contact CoreOS support via https://coreos.com/support/ and as that changes in the future, they will be notified ahead of time.

Q. What does this mean for existing CoreOS partners?

CoreOS and Red Hat share a deep commitment to their partners and the belief that partners are vital to our success. Red Hat looks forward to the opportunity to collaborate with CoreOS’s partners.

Q. Where can I get more information?

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