Red Hat Goes All-In on OpenStack

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Red Hat on Wednesday announced the general availability of Red Hat Cloud Suite and OpenStack Platform 8.

The offerings provide a complete, integrated hybrid cloud stack with a container application platform (OpenShift), massively scalable infrastructure (OpenStack Platform 8) and unified management tools (Red Hat CloudForms), the company said.

They are available individually or in a single solution with Red Hat Cloud Suite.

"Increased business demands for faster time to market are putting a lot of pressure on IT organizations," said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of OpenStack at Red Hat. "This often creates friction between the development and operations teams, especially when the development and test environments are siloed from the production infrastructure."

Red Hat Cloud Suite "enhances agility and eliminates this friction through a seamless and consistent environment between the application delivery and operations teams," he told LinuxInsider. "This environment can also be extended into the public cloud."

"Both offerings deliver cloud attributes like self-service, elastic scaling, and automation of service provisioning and deployment," Balakrishnan said. These capabilities "enable enterprises to eliminate wait times and [enable] complex coordination across different IT functions for individual projects or changes."

Red Hat OpenStack Platform "brings in agility at the infrastructure layer by enabling self-service provision of resources as well, supporting scaling on demand for bare-metal and virtual machine-based workloads," he added.

Cloud Suite "builds on that platform and adds agility from a development-to-production perspective by enabling adoption of DevOps methodology with OpenShift Enterprise, delivering container management and PaaS for both cloud-native applications architected in microservices as well as existing applications and services operated as immutable containers," Balakrishnan said.

OpenStack Platform 8 is the latest version of Red Hat's highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service platform based on the OpenStack community Liberty release.

It now natively includes automated upgrades and updates, infrastructure and workload management, software-defined storage, and new critical tech preview features to improve network virtualization functions, Red Hat said.

New Cloud Suite features include infrastructure monitoring with risk management and analytics, proactive collection of infrastructure analytics, and integrated application development and portability.

"Some of the main improvements and enhancements are a tighter integration of Red Hat's OpenStack IaaS, OpenShift PaaS, CloudForms cloud management and Satellite systems management software, so customers can add and combine them as necessary on their cloud journey," observed Jay Lyman, a research manager at 451 Research.

Red Hat's top-down adoption of these components "corresponds with support for net new, cloud-native applications as well as the migrations or modernizations of existing applications," he told LinuxInsider.

There's been "a steady rise in interest in and use of OpenStack, including production uses," Lyman added.

Among other things, the OpenStack User Survey, conducted by the OpenStack Foundation and published earlier this month, found that users were aligning around OpenStack as its APIs have become the standard for enterprise IaaS. Container technology continued to be a major interest among the OpenStack community.

While OpenStack "can still be difficult to implement," Lyman said, its "extensibility and the ability of its IaaS to support developers and initiatives including DevOps, big data, containers, mobility and IoT is helping further drive it in the market."

Red Hat is "considered the best hardware-independent enterprise Linux platform," noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

It plays best with companies using generic hardware or those that pit hardware vendors against each other, so "they often have one of the lowest costs associated with their solutions," he told LinuxInsider. However, that "requires the customer take up more of the responsibility, so there's some trade-off."

Cisco, IBM, Oracle and even Intel have OpenStack plays, but "Red Hat Cloud Suite is the only cloud suite available 100 percent under an open source license and delivers a complete solution for building and managing a private cloud as well as developing cloud-native applications," Red Hat's Balakrishnan pointed out.

Cisco's OpenStack offerings "are built on Red Hat OpenStack Platform," he said. Intel and Red Hat have "joint engineering focus on upstream contributions to OpenStack [and] three-way partnerships with Dell, Cisco, Lenovo and others. IBM doesn't offer a standalone OpenStack distribution," and Red Hat is ahead of Oracle.

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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