Red Hat bids to become a hybrid cloud power

Red Hat pushes interoperability with multiple cloud platforms with the latest release of CloudForms 3.1, its hybrid cloud management platform.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Make no mistake about it, Red Hat is a Linux power that wants to be a force in the clouds as well. The announcement that Red Hat CloudForms 3.1, its open hybrid cloud management solution, will be available in September 2014 on the opening day of VMworld underlines its cloud intentions.

Red Hat CloudForms
Red Hat CloudForms

If you've been watching Red Hat closely, this won't come as any surprise. Back in 2011, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst predicted that Red Hat's biggest competitor would be VMware.

So, while VMware is talking up integrating its programs with OpenStack, Red Hat would like us to remember that Red Hat plans on dominating the OpenStack cloud market but is also willing to provide the tools you need to manage a variety of clouds. 

Red Hat CloudForms 3.1 is part of that plan. While this cloud management program is designed to help administrators run private, public and hybrid clouds on a variety of cloud and virtualization stacks, its main focus is on OpenStack. In addition to OpenStack, CloudForms 3.1 can also be used to jointly manage Amazon Web Services, VMware, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization environments, and, its newest platform, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager private clouds, as well.

This isn't just a set of new features added to old software. CloudForms 3.1 will be the first release of the program that's based on  the newly open-sourced ManageIQ. Red Hat acquired ManageIQ in December 2012, but it's only now ready for business deployment.

Specifically, CloudForms 3.1 adds new capabilities for the following cloud platforms:

Amazon Web Services: Enhancements include support for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) as well as service catalog integration for Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Storage (S3) and Relational Database Service (RDS)

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager: Added as a new CloudForms-managed platform, with support for discovery, analysis, reporting and operations.

OpenStack: Enhancements include agent-free discovery and analysis of OpenStack Image Service (Glance) images; inventory and reporting for OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) and OpenStack Object Store (Swift); integration with OpenStack Identity (Keystone) for service discovery and multi-tenancy; enhanced event and alert handling with RabbitMQ and QPID support; and capture of additional performance metrics from OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer),

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV ): Support for provisioning enhancements and support for Cloud-init for guest setup and configuration. CloudForms now leverages Cloud-init through RHEV to let administrators automatically install packages, start services, or manage the deployed instance configuration after boot, before the user accesses it.

VMware vSphere:  Improved  performance, increased security and optimized network access to configuration information.

CloudForms 3.1 is also better integrated with Red Hat's open hybrid cloud portfolio and cloud products, including:

  • Increased security ships as a virtual appliance based on SELinux, along with integration supporting federated single sign-on through Red Hat Identity Management. 
  • Interoperability with OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) by Red Hat brokers and nodes to advertise services in CloudForms service catalogs.

The new Cloudforms also comes with an improved interface, enhanced work-flow execution, and a comprehensive set of Representational state transfer application programming interfaces (REST APIs) to enable support for integration into other systems management tools and processes.

CloudForms 3.1 will be available for Red Hat customers in September 2014.

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