OpenStack, the cloud's community darling, desperately needs leadership, and Red Hat seems the ideal leader. But OpenStack isn't the only needy party here. As good as Red Hat's growth has been over the last decade, it pales in comparison to that of VMware, a later entrant that has grown much faster than Red Hat. And the open source leader still trails well behind Microsoft.
In short, Red Hat needs the OpenStack-based private cloud just as much as the OpenStack community needs Red Hat. But neither will be sufficient without factoring in Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the dominant public cloud deployment target for developers.