了解Red Hat是如何从开源软件构建数十亿美元业务的最佳方式是从IBM开始创始人鲍勃杨解释说2014年的All Things Open会议：
它没有灵丹妙药与客户保持联系，理解和思考机会在哪里是一项艰苦的工作What are other suppliers in the market not doing for those customers that you can do better for them? One of the great examples to give you an idea of what inspired us very early on, and by very early on we’re talking Mark Ewing and I doing not enough business to pay the rent on our apartments, but yet we were paying attention to [Lou Gerstner and] IBM…
Gerstner进入IBM并在三年内扭亏为盈这真是奇迹...... Gerstner的洞察力是他到处与一大批IBM客户交谈，发现客户实际上并不喜欢他的任何产品They were ok, but whenever he would sit down with any given customer there was always someone who did that product better than IBM did…He said, “So why are you buying from IBM?” The customers were saying “IBM is the only technology company with an office everywhere that we do business,” and as a result Gerstner understood that he wasn’t selling products he was selling a service.
He talked about that publicly, and so at Red Hat we go, “OK, we don’t have a product to sell because ours is open source and everyone can use our innovations as quickly as we can, so we’re not really selling a product, but Gerstner at IBM is telling us the customers don’t buy products, they buy services, things that make themselves more successful.” And so that was one of our early insights into what we were doing was this idea that we were actually in the services business, even back when we were selling shrink-wrapped boxes of Linux, we saw that as an interim step to getting us big enough that we could sign service contracts with real customers.
The great thing about a monopoly is that a company can do anything, because there is no competition; the bad thing is that when the monopoly is finished the company is still capable of doing anything at a mediocre level, but nothing at a high one because it has become fat and lazy换句话说，对于以前的垄断，“大”是唯一真正有区别的资产这是Gerstner关于制定IBM未来的关键见解......在Gerstner的愿景中，只有IBM有广度来提供解决方案而不是产品。
如果战略家是正确的，并且云确实成为所有这些互动的中心，它将导致两次革命 - 一次是计算，另一次是商业它会改变计算，因为它会将工作负载从PC和其他所谓的客户端设备转移到公司内部的大型企业系统和云 - 网络本身这将扭转使PC成为创新和投资中心的趋势 - 这对于那些在PC技术上发财的IT公司具有明显的影响。
IBM went on to spend over $5 billion marketing “e-business”, an investment Gerstner called “one of the finest jobs of brand positions I’ve seen in my career.” It worked because it was true: large enterprises, most of which had only ever interacted with customers indirectly through a long chain of wholesalers and distributors and retailers suddenly had the capability — the responsibility, even — of interacting with end users directly这可以像网站，电子商务或客户支持一样简单，更不用说能够实时利用价值链的所有其他部分技术挑战和业务可能性 - 问题集，如果你愿意 - 是巨大的，而Gerstner将IBM定位为可以解决这些新问题的公司。
It was an attractive proposition for nearly all non-tech companies: the challenge with the Internet in the 1990s was that the underlying technologies were so varied and quite immature; different problem spaces had different companies hawking products, many of them startups with no experience working with large enterprises, and even if they had better products no IT department wanted to manage and integrate a multitude of vendorsIBM, on the other hand, offered the proverbial “one throat to choke”; they promised to solve所有与这种新奇的互联网相关的问题，此外，IT部门对IBM很熟悉和熟悉。
The actual technologies underlying the Internet were open and commoditized, which meant IBM could form a point of integration and extract profits, which is exactly what happened: IBM’s revenue and growth increased steadily — often rapidly! — over the next decade, as the company managed everything from datacenters to internal networks to external websites to e-commerce operations to all the middleware that tied it together (made by IBM, naturally, which was where the company made most of its profits)IBM负责一切，慢慢锁定其客户，并再次变得肥胖和懒惰。
我一直是个局外人但那是我的工作我知道Sam Palmisano有机会与过去建立联系，这是我永远无法做到的His challenge will be to make them without going backward; to know that the centrifugal forces that drove IBM to be inward-looking and self-absorbed still lie powerful in the company.
帕米萨诺悲惨地失败了，没有比这更好的例子了他2010年的公告该公司的2015年路线图, which was centered around a promise of delivering $20/share in profit by 2015帕米萨诺当时说：
Amazon Web Services, meanwhile, had launched a full four years and two months before Palmisano’s declaration; it was the height of folly to not simply mock the idea of the cloud, but to commit to a profit number in the face of an existential threat that was predicated on spending absolutely massive amounts of money on infrastructure.1
The reality…is that the businesses IBM served — and the entire reason IBM had a market — didn’t buy customized technological solutions to make themselves feel good about themselves; they bought them because they helped them accomplish their business objectivesGerstner的关键洞察力是，许多公司遇到的问题只有IBM可以解决，而不是定制的解决方案是最终的全部 - 全部因此，随着普遍提供的云服务缓慢但肯定变得足够好，IBM不再垄断解决问题。
The company has spent the years since then claiming it is committed to catching up in the public cloud, but the truth is that Palmisano sealed the company’s cloud fate when he failed to invest a decade ago; indeed, one of the most important takeaways from the Red Hat acquisition is the admission that IBM’s public cloud efforts are effectively dead.
那么IBM收购Red Hat究竟是什么意思呢？如果有什么与Lou Gerstner有关的话呢？
Well first off, IBM hasn’t been doing very well for quite some time now: last year’s annual revenue was the lowest since 1997, part-way through Gerstner’s transformation; of course, as这张ZDNet文章来自这张图指出，1997年的790亿美元是今天的1200亿美元。
The company did finally return to growth earlier this year after 22 straight quarters of decline, only to decline again last quarter: IBM’s ancient mainframe business was up 2%, and its traditional services business, up 3%, but Technology Services and Cloud Platforms were flat, and Cognitive Solutions (i.eWatson）下跌了5％。
Meanwhile, the aformentioned commitment to the cloud has mostly been an accounting fiction derived from re-classifying existing businesses; the more pertinent number is the company’s capital expenditures, which in 2017 were $3.2 billion, down from 2016’s $3.6 billion.Charles Fitzgerald在Platformonomics上写道：
我们认为IBM的CAPEX正在慢慢落后，就像公司本身一样IBM has always spent a lot on CAPEX (as high as $7 billion a year in their more glorious past), from well before the cloud era, so we can’t assume the absolute magnitude of spend is going towards the cloud三大巨头均超过了2012/13年度IBM的CAPEX支出在抵制资本支出向上拉动时，我们从所有其他云供应商那里看到，IBM根本就没有玩超大规模的云游戏。
在2014年谷歌宣布Kubernetes，一个基于谷歌内部的开源容器集群管理器博格提供Google大规模基础设施的服务，使任何Google服务都可以即时访问所需的所有计算能力而无需担心细节中央规则是容器，其中我在2014年写过: engineers build on a standard interface that retains (nearly) full flexibility without needing to know anything about the underlying hardware or operating system (in this it’s an evolutionary step beyond virtual machines).
Kubernetes与Borg的不同之处在于它完全可移植：它在AWS上运行，在Azure上运行，在Google Cloud Platform上运行，在内部部署基础架构上运行，甚至可以在您的房子中运行More relevantly to this article, it is the perfect antidote to AWS’ ten year head-start in infrastructure-as-a-service: while Google has made great strides in its own infrastructure offerings, the potential impact of Kubernetes specifically and container-based development broadly is to make irrelevant which infrastructure provider you use难怪它是有史以来发展最快的开源项目之一：没有锁定。
This is exactly what IBM is counting on; the company wrote in它的新闻稿宣布了这笔交易：
This is the bet: while in the 1990s the complexity of the Internet made it difficult for businesses to go online, providing an opening for IBM to sell solutions, today IBM argues the reduction of cloud computing to three centralized providers makes businesses reluctant to commit to any one of themIBM认为它可以再次提供解决方案，与Red Hat合作构建可无缝连接私有数据中心和所有公共云的产品。
The best thing going for this strategy is its pragmatism: IBM gave up its potential to compete in the public cloud a decade ago, faked it for the last five years, and now is finally admitting its best option is to build on top of everyone else’s clouds然而，这就是策略的弱点：它似乎比潜在客户更适应IBM的需求After all, if an enterprise is concerned about lock-in, is IBM really a better option? And if the answer is that “Red Hat is open”, at what point do increasingly sophisticated businesses build it themselves?
The problem for IBM is that they are not building solutions for clueless IT departments bewildered by a dizzying array of open technologies: instead they are building on top of three cloud providers, one of which (Microsoft) is specializing in precisely the sort of hybrid solutions that IBM is targetingThe difference is that because Microsoft has actually spent the money on infrastructure their ability to extract money from the value chain is correspondingly higher; IBM has to pay rent:
Perhaps the bigger issue, though, goes back to Gerstner: before IBM could take advantage of the Internet, the company needed an overhaul of its culture; the extent to which the company will manage to leverage its acquisition of Red Hat will depend on a similar transformationUnfortunately, that seems unlikely; current CEO Ginni Rometty, who took over the company at the beginning of 2012, not only supported Palmisano’s disastrous Roadmap 2015, she actually undertook most of the cuts and financial engineering necessary to make it happen, before finally giving up in 2014Meanwhile the company’s most prominent marketing has been around Watson, the capabilities of which have been significantly oversold; it’s not a surprise sales are shrinking after令人失望的推出。
Gerstner知道转变很难：他称自己在互联网的到来“幸运”就他在IBM的任期而言但是，正如路易斯·巴斯德所说，“财富有利于准备好的思想。”Gerstner已经确定了一种策略并开始改变IBM的文化，以便在问题到来时，公司做好了准备Today IBM claims it has found a problem; it is an open question if the problem actually exists, but unfortunately there is even less evidence that IBM is truly ready to take advantage of it if it does.
- 这个脚注是重复的微软的垄断宿醉; Gerstner predicted the public cloud in the first appendix of his book, which was published in 2003, four years before AWS was launched:
Put all of this together—the emergence of large-scale computing grids, the development of autonomic technologies that will allow these systems to be more self-managing, and the proliferation of computing devices into the very fabric of life and business—and it suggests one more major development in the history of the IT industry这将改变IT公司将其产品推向市场的方式它将改变他们销售给谁以及客户认为其“供应商”。这种发展是一些人所谓的“效用”计算。
基本的想法是，企业很快就能获得与水或电力相同的信息技术They don’t now own a waterworks or power plant, and soon they’ll no longer have to buy, house, and maintain any aspect of a traditional computing environment: The processing, the storage, the applications, the systems management, and the security will all be provided over the Net as a service—on demand.
The value proposition to customers is compelling: fewer assets; converting fixed costs to variable costs; access to unlimited computing resources on an as-needed basis; and the chance to shed the headaches of technology cycles, upgrades, maintenance, integration, and management.
Also, in a post-September 11, 2001, world in which there’s much greater urgency about the security of information and systems, on-demand computing would provide access to an ultra-secure infrastructure and the ability to draw on systems that are dispersed— creating a new level of immunity from a natural disaster or an event that could wipe out a traditional, centralized data center[↩︎]