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After six months as part of the Red Hat organization, Marc Fleury, the head of the JBoss division of Red Hat, is looking for an investment for his development team.

In an interview with eWEEK at the JBoss World Berlin conference, Fleury, who founded the JBoss company and sold it to Red Hat in April 2006, said he is hoping for a “significant investment” for the JBoss development team so the group can do things like hire more of the best and brightest engineers so the company can innovate more rapidly.

“It’s been a little bit too quiet for my tastes,” Fleury said of the six-month period since his company was acquired.

“We’ve been working on the integration with Red Hat. Sales has been integrated; R&D hasn’t been impacted. We’re trying to grow this operation.”

Moreover, “I’ll say that I went to Red Hat to get an investment in the JBoss R&D division to grow it quickly,” Fleury said.

“That still really hasn’t happened. That’s a bit of a point of frustration for me personally. But that’s going to happen because now we have to grow our stack and we have to grow it fast in the light of the competition at the Linux level.”

Fleury said Red Hat is beginning to see so much competition in its space because competitors “want to slow down our momentum in middleware.”

Click here to read more about Red Hat’s JBoss acquisition.

But what is needed is an acceleration of the company’s push into middleware, he said.

When asked whether the operating system engineers or the middleware engineers were leading the charge, or “wagging the dog” within Red Hat, Fleury waxed eloquent: “I have no power. This is not my company. I have sold my company. So me personally, I am not wagging the dog. But I’m irrelevant in this equation.

“The important thing is that the developers are continuing their work unencumbered. And I hope it continues this way. Because when all is said and done, Red Hat management is really about OS [operating system] and not about middleware. And I would hate for them to get in their own way with respect to development.”

And while the JBoss sales, support and marketing organizations received the benefit of Red Hat investment, “the R&D really hasn’t benefited from a huge investment, which I was hoping for and was the main reason I went to Red Hat,” Fleury said.

Fleury said his first concern is the JBoss core developers and the overall development community, thus the frustration, he said.

However, he said the pragmatist in him knows he has to look at the bigger picture.

“The flip side of that is they [Red Hat] really haven’t gotten in the way…” he said.

So for the JBoss research and development group, the move under Red Hat’s umbrella “is not the huge positive I was hoping for; it’s not the negative that it could be if they really got in the way,” Fleury said.

“Right now it’s neutral. I think an investment is what’s needed, and we’re still waiting for that.”

Meanwhile, Fleury commented on Novell chief executive Ron Hovsepian’s response to Microsoft’s claims that Linux violates Microsoft patents.

“It makes him look really bad,” Fleury said of Hovsepian’s open letter to the open-source community. “What did he expect? What was he thinking?”

To read more about friction between Fleury and Microsoft, click here.

Fleury said Novell could have avoided this situation by not making a deal with Microsoft in the first place.

Indeed, Fleury said Red Hat approached Novell and asked them to stand with them.

“He went to them,” Fleury said. “Ron went to Microsoft after the [JBoss-Red Hat] deal was signed.”

Yet, before that, Fleury said he and some of the Red Hat technical staff “sat in Ron’s office extending an olive branch saying don’t drop support of JBoss, we’ll support you. We in fact talked about the patents… And what does he do? He huffs and puffs and runs to Redmond. And then Redmond does what Redmond does, and now he cries foul? I mean, you should have thought of that before.”

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