In other words, by showing the confidence to work with competing platforms, Whitehurst is holding true to the very nature of an open environment. As he puts, Red Hat embraces the idea of "being a good steward" to the customer. He called it his duty. This is because as cloud platforms evolve he understands that management solutions like CloudForms is needed to ease the burden of cloud management experience.
The era of one vendor dominating enterprises by locking them in to a single platform is over. Gone will be the antiquated process of implementing cloud strategies and infrastructure builds that often take CIOs and enterprises hostage.
In a response to VMware's market position and prowess as a cloud company, Whitehurst explained that having a cluster of virtualized servers does not qualify as a legitimate cloud platform. In other words, OpenStack's relationship to the cloud and server virtualization are not the same thing.
That VMware is now developing its own OpenStack suite shows that company can no longer risk being excluded to a phenomenon the industry is beginning to embrace. Enterprises are showing by their capital spending that OpenStack is a legitimate alternative to what VMware currently offers.
In OpenStack, Whitehurst does not see a scenario where Red Hat won't emerge as a leader both in cloud development and infrastructure framework. His vision is to allow enterprises the freedom and flexibility needed to execute mission critical tasks.
Though still in the early stages, OpenStack, unlike Linux a decade ago, will emerge beyond just a niche platform. With total revenue for cloud growing at almost 10% annually ($41 billion in 2013), investors will have a tough decision to make.
Today, many companies are already proclaiming themselves OpenStack experts, Red Hat included. Whitehurst believes his company has an added advantage given its long history of open source expertise. Do you want to bet against him?
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
TheStreet Ratings team rates RED HAT INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate RED HAT INC (RHT) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. You can view the full analysis from the report here: RHT Ratings Report