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With interest in the open-source OpenStack cloud management framework starting to gain momentum, IT vendors are looking to bolster the amount of IT services skills they have in house.

With that goal in mind Red Hat has acquired eNovance, a provider of OpenStack integration services that has created IT automation software that can implement a base level of OpenStack functionality in about a week.

While interest in OpenStack as an alternative to proprietary management frameworks from VMware and Microsoft is high, the complexity of the OpenStack environment has limited adoption. With the acquisition of eNovance, the company is looking to provide channel partners with access to both OpenStack expertise and core technologies that should reduce the overhead associated with deploying OpenStack, said Arun Oberoi, executive vice president for global sales and services for Red Hat.

Even though Red Hat is acquiring an IT service provider, Red Hat itself does not intend to become a service provider, Oberoi said. “Red Hat is not a service company; it’s a product company,” Oberoi said. “Our goal is to drive OpenStack adoption faster.”

Because demand for OpenStack is growing rapidly, Red Hat felt the need to acquire eNovence to bolster its services organization, Oberoi said. The primary mission of that services organization, he said, is to support Red Hat channel partners at a time when OpenStack expertise is in short supply.

The significance of OpenStack goes well beyond the management framework itself, said Raphael Ferreira, co-founder and CEO of eNovance. “OpenStack not only changes the way we manage infrastructure,” hesaid. “It changes the way we deploy applications.”

While a fair amount of doubt remains about just how broadly OpenStack with be adopted, given the significant amount of infighting across the vendors that support OpenStack, Red Hat is clearly committed to the open-source management framework. That doesn’t mean that proprietary frameworks from vendors such as VMware won’t dominate the category for several years to come. But it does means that when it comes to next-generation IT management, the number of options available to IT service providers has never been greater.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.