Red Hat aims to make the cloud easier

Red Hat Inc. has honed its strategy for the OpenStack cloud management platform, bundling a number of its offerings to make it easier for enterprises to build hybrid clouds.

The company said this week at its annual Red Hat Summit conference that it will shortly issue two stacks of products to give organizations a leg up on cloud:

— Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack platform, which can be sued for advanced cloud users to build an OpenStack-based cloud;

–Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, aimed at organizations that want to shift from their virtualized data centres to OpenStack clouds.

“Customers have been looking for a leader to step forward and address the enterprise requirements for OpenStack, including stability, a broad partner ecosystem, a predictable lifecycle, and world-class support,” said Paul Cormier, president of the company’s products and technologies division.

The company also said it is integrating Red Hat Storage and its OpenStack distribution to make it easier for organizations to deploy OpenStack with unified storage services.

Red Hat Storage can run storage and compute services on the same physical or virtual server to further reduce the cost of OpenStack infrastructure, the company said.

It believes the platform’s open software-defined storage capabilities that run exclusively in user space will be a key enabler for future OpenStack storage innovation like File-as-a-Service and Hadoop running on OpenStack.

RHEL OpenStack Platform is a single subscription product that includes RHEL Server with Red Hat OpenStack.

Buying the bundle means organizations are assured that each OpenStack release running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been certified, the company said. There’s also an ecosystem of partenrs for compute, storage, networking and software.

Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure adds two more pieces to that Platform:  Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), data centre virtualization solution for Linux and Windows; and RedHat CloudForms, an open hybrid cloud management solution that lets organizations deploy cloud services across RHEV, VMware, vSphere and other hypervisors.

CloudForms not only incudes advanced monitoring and orchestration but also enables self-service and chargebacks.

The two solutions will be available for purchase next month.

Zeus Kerravala, principal of ZK Research, said in an interview the two solutions should be considered stacks rather than bundles. “The more a vendor can do from an integration perspective the better.”

“As we move further down this path of cloud and virtual  infrastructure, the orchestration of all these elements becomes more important. The big data centre vendors like VMware and Cisco have laid their cards on the table and Red hat doing the same. Not everyone wants to live in a VMware world, and if you don’t Red Hat’s a great alternative.”

He would like to see Red Hat also support CloudStack, a competing approach for managing cloud services, because a number of service providers and larger enterprises are backing it.
Red Hat also said it has opened a new Certified Solution Marketplace where customers can find solutions that have been approved for use with RH OpenStack or other products in the company’s hybrid cloud portfolio. There are already 500 products in the marketplace from companies such as Cisco Systems Inc., IBM,  Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc.
For partners the company also announced Red Hat OpenStack Certification, a brand that identifies third party solutions that have been approved for its OpenStack platforms. Partners can use a certification test suite to certify either with a single service of OpenStack such as block storage, object storage or networking.
Separately, Red Hat also said it has entered into an engineering collaboration with Hortonworks, which contributes to Apache Hadoop, to work on a broad file system ecosystem for Hadoop. They also said that Hortonworks’ Data Platform has been integrated with Red Hat Storage so Hadoop can be directly run on a POSIX-compliant storage node.


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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