Red Hat has long supported OpenStack cloud software... in theory. In practice though the Linux giant wouldn't commit to OpenStack until now.
On August 13, Red Hat, announced the immediate availability of the preview release of Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution. This test release is based on the Essex version of popular open source OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud framework.
Red Hat claims that “With this, Red Hat delivers the next step in its plans for the industry’s only enterprise-ready OpenStack distribution with Red Hat’s award-winning commercial support, certified ecosystem of hardware and application vendors and leadership in delivering trusted open source clouds for organizations worldwide requiring enterprise-grade solutions and support.” This would come as a surprise both to Canonical and Hewlett-Packard, which had long committed to OpenStack for their cloud offerings.
According to Red Hat's cloud team, though, Red Hat has been a strong OpenStack supporter just as long as some better known OpenStack proponents: “Red Hat was actively involved in the project even before the foundation announcement; we are the #3 contributor to the current 'Essex' release. This surprised some commentators given that it exceeded the contributions of vendors who had been louder about their alignment with the project. However, Red Hat's relatively quiet involvement was fully in keeping with our focus on actual code contributions through upstream communities. With the formation of the OpenStack Foundation and its open governance policies, these contributions have only accelerated.”
Red Hat sees OpenStack being used for building private and public IaaS clouds that complements Red Hat's existing portfolio of open source cloud solutions. which includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Storage and Red Hat OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
The Linux power seems to have made this move because of customer demand. In the company's press release, Red Hat states that it “has been working with an early group of customers who have been strong advocates for a commercial release of OpenStack from Red Hat, and who have been instrumental in providing the feedback and testing required to bring this preview release to completion. The company now seeks to work with a wider group of customers to further develop Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution and its usage with other Red Hat products. In addition, Red Hat is working closely with key partners such as Rackspace to provide fully managed Red Hat OpenStack-powered clouds in the future.”
In a statement, Brian Stevens, Red Hat's CTO and vice president, Worldwide Engineering, said “Our current productization efforts are focused around hardening an integrated solution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack to deliver an enterprise-ready solution that enables enterprises worldwide to realize infrastructure clouds. We invite OpenStack enthusiasts and enterprises interested in the technology to download our preview and provide feedback to help us accelerate the delivery of a stable OpenStack enterprise platform for the industry.”
The unsupported public preview version of Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution, which is based on RHEL 6, is available for download now. A fully supported release for Red Hat customers, which will be based on OpenStack Folsom, the next version of OpenStack, is expected to be delivered in 2013.
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