Red Hat claims it is the No. 3 backer of OpenStack (in terms of code contribution) and a Platinum members of the 180-plus member OpenStack organization but it still won't say when it plans to ship an OpenStack distribution.
Is it hedging its bets? Is the company saying OpenStack is not ready yet?
Seems like yes to both.
At its annual summit, the Linux company said OpenStack is a "work in progress" and offered up that there is some overlap of functionality with the company sponsored oVirt next generation virtualization platform/open management framework and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) platforms.
But execs clearly nixed any notion that there's overlap with the company's brand new CloudForms hybrid cloud platform.
So how should customers pick what's right for them?
"oVirt is for data center virtualization ... things that require more high availability and to migrate applications from one node to another or for an application with specific hardware needs," answered Red Hat cloud exec Perry Myers to a packed room at the summit Thursday.
"We see RHEV on one end with data center virtualization and OpenStack on the other end with public clouds... and then there's a middle cloudier area," Myers said. "But also RHEV is shipping now and OpenStack is not yet."
The exec said OpenStack is not competitive with CloudForms.
"We see [CloudForms] as complementary to both. RHEV and OpenStack create clouds and CloudForms creates hybrid clouds that sit on top of those," Myers said.
So how should enterprises proceed?
As he said, RHEV 3.0, which was made available earlier this year, is here now and OpenStack is not.
So, that means customers could deploy RHEV ... or deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 and deploy OpenStack on top of that, Myers told hundreds of attendees packed into the modest room at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
"OpenStack is still somewhat immature and rapidly evolving," Myers said, noting customers can deploy OpenStack on RHEL 6.3 in experimental fashion but it won't be production ready until the company does hardware certification and can offer global support.
When will that be?
"At the next level [is] providing support for OpenStack," Myers said. "We are committed to providing it but we're not offering a roadmap for a supportable OpenStack product [but] using RHEL and KVM as an underlying OS [for OpenStack] is a good combination. "
Earlier, Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens seemed to hint during his keynote at what some others claim -- that the OpenStack project is not yet totally neutral.
"Within the next few months, [there will be] an official foundation formed [that is] neutrally governed and not just about what is the API but we now have to build clouds on the exact same open source technology and consistency in API and behavior," Stevens said during his keynote.
The next release of OpenStack, dubbed 'Folsom," is due in October. During a recent meeting on plans for that release, Rackspace execs said it would be the last OpenStack summit organized by Rackspace.
In the interim, Red Hat is working on a number of technologies for possible contibution to next generation OpenStack including "Heat," similar to cloud formations and cloud watch from Amazon as well as a Gluster UFO or SWIFT interface for Gluster storage and Gluster Storage and Replication.
Red Hat is also working on a Filesystem-as-a-Service (FaaS), installation and provisoning tools, OpenShift on OpenStack and "Quantum" (networking-as-a-service module in Folsom] generalization for oVirt.