Red Hat makes OpenShift cloud platform open source

By publishing the platform-as-a-service code as open source, Red Hat hopes to encourage community development of the young cloud platform, and has outlined ways the PaaS could be bolted on top of OpenStack to help this

Red Hat has revealed the underpinnings of its OpenShift platform-as-a-service by publishing its code as open source, hoping to entice developers to work with the technology.

Red Hat

Red Hat has made its OpenShift platform-as-a-service open source. Image credit: Red Hat

The software maker posted the OpenShift Origin code on Monday for free download under the Apache Licence v2. OpenShift, which automates many of the infrastructure administration elements involved in creating a scalable web app, was released as a beta a year ago, but the planned commercial version of the platform has yet to materialise.

Red Hat said it hopes the release of the PaaS code will underline its commitment to its open-source community.

"For the cloud to remain open and vibrant, implementations should be truly open, not only in licence, but in governance," the company's cloud-computing team wrote in a blog post. "The cloud in general, and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and PaaS implementations specifically, should not be vehicles that promote vendor lock-in, nor should they be under the control or 'guidance' of vendors."

OpenShift Origin lets developers execute their own version of the OpenShift PaaS on their own infrastructure, rather than using Red Hat's version, which is serviced, supported and hosted by the company. This means they can run it behind a firewall, tweak it to work with their own applications and middleware, or even add to the code and tweak their own PaaS, according to Red Hat.

The company also gave details on how OpenShift Origin could be deployed to work on top of OpenStack, an open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform.

"We expect that as people build public, hybrid and private PaaS systems using OpenShift Origin, they will want to run them on OpenStack IaaS systems," Mark Atwood, a PaaS evangelist at Red Hat, wrote in a blog post. "These OpenStack systems may be operated by cloud providers, in internet-facing private datacentres, or even inside an intranet for enterprise private applications."

However, for Red Hat to make the most of its technology, more work should be done on integrating OpenShift with CloudForms, an IaaS management platform, and the Deltacloud API for cloud interoperability, according to William Fellows, a principal analyst at the 451 Group.

In March, Red Hat became the world's first billion-dollar open-source company, after its yearly revenue climbed to $1.13bn (£711m). OpenShift's PaaS competition includes Microsoft's Windows Azure, the Google App Engine, VMware's CloudFoundry, and Heroku.

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