​Red Hat invites all to work on its OpenShift PaaS cloud

Red Hat's OpenShift Commons invites open-source programmers and users to work on its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service cloud.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

The newly minted Cloud Foundry Foundation would like you to believe that the open-source war for the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) has been won and that it's the winner. Red Hat with its OpenShift PaaS begs to differ.

To help advance OpenShift, Red Hat announced OpenShift Commons, a new open-source community initiative for its PaaS. According to Red Hat, OpenShift Commons extends beyond companies with active OpenShift deployments and embraces other open-source technology communities, organizations and ecosystem partners.

That said, like the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the OpenShift Commons includes many major cloud companies such as Cisco, Dell, and Docker. OpenShift, like all open-source PaaS programs, incorporates several best-of-breed open-source technologies.

This software stack starts with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Layered on top of that is Docker and Project Atomic and Google Kubernetes for containers. OpenShift Commons is more than just a way to share code with OpenShift Origin, OpenShift's open-source upstream. It's also meant to share best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in today's continuous delivery and agile software environments. At this time, there is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

Why is Red Hat doing this?

In a corporate quote, Ashesh Badani, Red Hat's vice president and general manager of OpenShift, said "What we heard from customers, partners, and these communities is that they wanted a truly open community where all of these groups can intersect and help drive the future of PaaS innovation, and Red Hat is proud to facilitate development of a community to foster this broad industry collaboration."

Will it work? Red Hat and its partners certainly hope so. PaaS is a technology that's half-baked. Companies and developers still have a lot of work ahead of them, in groups such as OpenShift Commons and the Cloud Foundry Foundation, before PaaS becomes a mainstay of corporate computing.

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