Red Hat targets interoperability with cloud updates

Red Hat has bulked out its cloud strategy with a trio of announcements around interoperability, standardisation and a new platform-as-a-service offering

Red Hat has outlined the interoperability strategy for its Cloud Foundations stack, submitted its Deltacloud application programming interface to a standardisation body, and announced a new platform-as-a-service offering.

On Wednesday, the company announced it will update its Cloud Foundations package to prevent vendor lock-in, foster interoperability and use its just-announced platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering to make it easier for companies to deploy applications across multiple cloud estates.

"If you can migrate your computational power anywhere you want but your data is tied to a particular cloud, you are still stuck there," Red Hat cloud chief Scott Crenshaw said in a statement. "At Red Hat, we aim to offer customers the tools they need for the cloud combined with real portability and choice."

Unveiled in June, Cloud Foundations provides companies keen on the private cloud with a bundle containing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat Network Satellite, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV), JBoss Enterprise Middleware and Red Hat Enterprise MRG Grid.

Red Hat also announced on Wednesday that it has submitted the application programming interface (API) specification for its Apache Deltacloud to the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), in the hope of making it a common, standard API and thus increasing interoperability. Deltacloud was launched in September 2009, with the goal of providing a single API that could allow applications, tools and scripts to work across many different clouds.

Alongside Deltacloud and the Cloud Foundations announcement, the company also announced plans to offer a platform-as-a-service product. PaaS aims to boost portability, by making it easier to shift applications between physical and virtualised servers and public and private clouds. Red Hat's PaaS offering will use JBoss Enterprise Middleware to achieve this interoperability and portability, Red Hat said.

"The key message of this initiative is openness: obviously open source by default provides a significant degree of openness. The work with Apache Deltacloud emphasises the openness of Red Hat's efforts and much of the emphasis in Cloud Foundations is on portability — another aspect of openness," Yefim Natis, a Gartner vice president told ZDNet UK in an email conversation on Thursday.

However, Natis believes "the announcement of Red Hat PaaS is heavy on language but relatively modest on new software".

"Simply re-aligning existing products (RHEL, RHEV, JBoss Family) and adding minimal additional support technology (Cloud Engine) will not transform Red Hat into a leading innovator," Natis said.

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