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Red Hat begins offering free OpenShift to startups

With the OpenShift Startup Program, startups will have access to Red Hat's hosted cloud environment, which includes development, testing, quality assurance and production hosting.
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Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Senior Writer on
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Red Hat is looking to lure startups to its web of services with a new program that gives budding businesses free access to OpenShift Online, Red Hat's public cloud app development platform.

With the OpenShift Startup Program, startups will have access to Red Hat's hosted cloud environment, which includes development, testing, quality assurance and production hosting, but with no upfront costs and more flexibility. 

Red Hat says there is no program lock-in, as startups will be free to move their services on-premises or to other private clouds as their business grows.

Eligible startups must be focused on developing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based products, and also privately held. A select few participants can also score some networking opportunities, with Red Hat promising introductions to prospective clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 customers.  

Ashesh Badani, VP and GM of OpenShift at Red Hat, highlighted the program’s ability to alleviate the typical server infrastructure pain points experienced by fast moving startups.

"We want to make it easy for startups to benefit from the cloud, just as we do with our enterprise customers," Badani said in a statement. "That's why we created the OpenShift Startup Program - to support software startups and increase their chance of success by providing them with an application hosting infrastructure at a reasonable cost."

But Red Hat is not the only enterprise cloud player gunning for startup loyalty. PayPal, Google and Salesforce have all made recent moves to entice startups to their respesctive platforms, figuring that once a startup sets up shop within its ecosystem, they are less likely to migrate toward a competitor. 

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