Open source software provider Red Hat announced on Wednesday that it has hit $1.13 billion in total revenue in 2011, according to its fourth quarter and fiscal year results.
This news comes two months after it was revealed that Red Hat has been quietly contributing to OpenStack.
The total revenue was up 25 percent over last year, according to Red Hat, and the total revenue for the quarter was $297 million, an increase of 21 percent from Q4 2010.
While some have hailed this news as a win for open source, and the validation of open source communities, Brian Proffitt at ITWorld says the fact that Red Hat is open source is a moot point. Red Hat succeeded because it has “strong products, good service, and excellent value,” he says. Nonetheless, Red Hat is the first open source company and the first Linux vendor to surpass $1 billion in revenue over a 12 month period.
Web hosts may support Red Hat through its operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux for private cloud architectures, which currently has more than 500 users, according to a report by Cloud Tweaks. Cloud providers like Amazon EC2 support Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat also offers certifications for web hosting providers running systems based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Of course this is just one Red Hat product, but Linux in general has a lot of support from the web hosting industry. It is estimated that the collective investment in Linux surpasses $10 billion dollars. A report on Linux.com says that Red Hat benefits from “a network effect centered around innovation. Since Linux has grown, so have the benefits Red Hat receives.”
“Red Hat is the first pure-play, open source company, and one of only a select few software companies, to have achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone,” Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO said in a statement. “The open source technologies which we provide are being selected by more customers every day as they re-architect the infrastructure of their data centers for greater efficiency, agility and cloud enablement.”
Talk back: Are you surprised that Red Hat has hit the $1 billion revenue mark? Do you think this news validates open source? Let us know in the comments.