​Red Hat unveils its full-stack Cloud Suite for Applications

From next month, early access starts to Red Hat's Cloud Suite for Applications, built from its existing offerings to form what it calls a complete open-source cloud stack.

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Middleware technology VP Rob Cardwell: Full cloud stack built on top of existing Red Hat technologies. Image: Red Hat
Red Hat today takes the wraps off its Cloud Suite for Applications, which the open-source enterprise software firm is describing as a full cloud stack, from infrastructure through to application platform, along with management capabilities.

The company has announced June 1 as the start of an early-access scheme for the suite, which comprises Red Hat's OpenShift platform-as-a-service offering, its Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform infrastructure-as-a-service product, and the Red Hat CloudForms hybrid cloud-management framework.

"We believe it's the first fully open-source, full stack of cloud offerings built on top of essentially all existing Red Hat technologies - so we're not inventing any new technologies. But what's new is we're combining them and integrating them for a full cloud stack," Red Hat middleware technology vice president Rob Cardwell said.

"Each of these components is actually going to go through a very significant GA release, starting next month with OpenShift - that's why what we're announcing it as early access, because we'll see this solution evolve over the next few months."

Red Hat's goal is to get the Cloud Suite for Applications to general availability within six months.

Firms have already been integrating Red Hat's cloud services but Red Hat Cloud Suite should offer them greatly flexibility, the company said, as opposed to the current situation where they have to decide on a type of infrastructure and service model, which is then less easily adjusted.

"From the infrastructure person's perspective, it essentially gives them the capability to extend that cloud capability all the way through to the app-dev layer and supporting multiple languages for the apps - Java, PHP, Ruby," Cardwell said.

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"It gives that operations person the chance to manage and deploy applications all the way through the dev-test production cycle. From the developer PaaS layer, it gives more flexible and more scalable infrastructure capabilities coupled with a pretty large system of certified hardware partners for that infrastructure."

The addition of CloudForms improves the manageability of the OpenStack infrastructure at the infrastructure and at the tenant level, Cardwell said. The OpenShift layering on top essentially provides built-in integrated and tested application development for accelerating app delivery.

"From the OpenShift perspective, you get Heat [OpenStack template language] templates within OpenStack that allow you to deploy OpenShift at scale. Then what CloudForms provides from the OpenShift perspective is management functionality that gives you visibility all the way down to the physical hardware, including things like chargeback or showback," Cardwell said.

In terms of competition, he conceded that Microsoft already offers a full cloud stack, from virtualisation through to the PaaS layer, albeit a proprietary one.

"This will compete at different levels with the virtualisation vendors that are out there, with the OpenStack distribution vendors, and then other PaaS offerings like Cloud Foundry. Each of the components is going to compete at a different level but, other than Microsoft, we think we're the first and the only out there with a full set of capabilities in an open-source manner," he said.

According to Cardwell, Red Hat Cloud Suite for Applications will change people's perceptions of the company, which he said is often thought about only in terms of infrastructure.

"What's important here is that Red Hat with this offering makes it clear to our customers that we can provide this full set of capabilities. Given the success of our Red Hat Enterprise Linux offering, making sure that these other capabilities are well known to our customers is an important point," he said.

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