Red Hat is OpenShifting into the cloud

Best known for its Linux distribution, Red Hat's introduction of OpenShift Enterprise 2 shows that the open-source giant has its eyes on the cloud.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Two years ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told me that by 2016, Red Hat's biggest rival would be VMware. Why VMware instead of Microsoft or Oracle, its traditional enemies? Whitehurst saw Red Hat's future not in operating systems but in the clouds as a Platform as a service (PaaS) vendor powered by KVM virtualizaton running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Now with the release of OpenShift Enterprise 2, the latest version of its private PaaS offering, we know Whitehurst wasn't kidding.


In a statement, Ashesh Badani, Red Hat's general manager of Cloud and OpenShift, said "PaaS represents the fastest growing segment of cloud computing, and Red Hat offers the industry’s only full suite of open-source PaaS solutions for both public and private PaaS. OpenShift Enterprise 2 extends this leadership and delivers what users want — an application-driven enterprise — by making PaaS even easier to consume."

In an interview, Badani added that Red Hat is not leaving Linux behind. While Red Hat is set on becoming a cloud power, Badani said, "A Linux administrator can easily use and work with OpenShift. Linux administrators can now become cloud administrators."

According to the company, OpenShift Enterprise 2 "provides an on-demand, elastic, scalable and fully configured application development, testing and hosting environment for application developers so they can focus on coding new application services with reduced operational burdens. It automates much of the provisioning and systems management of the application platform stack in a way that enables the IT operations team to more easily meet growing business demands for new application services. OpenShift Enterprise is built on a trusted stack of open source-based Red Hat technologies, including RHEL, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and OpenShift Origin, the open-source PaaS project that forms the foundation for all of Red Hat’s suite of OpenShift PaaS platforms."

OpenShift Enterprise 2 is designed so that its users can increase the efficiency and scalability of their IT service delivery, while driving faster development of new applications and business services and reducing the time-to-market of new services and applications. To do this, OpenShift Enterprise 2 adds several new features to make private PaaS easier to use and implement. These include:

Powerful datacenter infrastructure integration: This simplifies the deployment of OpenShift on OpenStack via OpenStack Orchestration (Heat) templates, enabling OpenShift’s plugin-based integration with external router and load balancer infrastructure, and providing a streamlined OpenShift Enterprise installer. 

Advanced administration console: This gives system administrators s a more streamlined PaaS experience, while giving them visibility into the applications, users and overall capacity of their PaaS platform.

Support for the latest programming languages: Red Hat claims that by giving developers access to a wide variety of popular programming languages, enabling them to push the limits of application creativity and innovation while meeting enterprise business requirements. As a polyglot PaaS, in addition to Java, Ruby, Python, PHP and Perl, OpenShift now offers Node.js for server-side JavaScript.

New collaboration capabilities: enabling developers to more easily share access to their applications for team-based development, bringing the benefits of community-powered innovation to the enterprise.

Sound interesting? OpenShift Enterprise 2 will become available on Dec. 11, 2013 to customers in North America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, and select Asia and Latin America regions, including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and some South-Eastern Asian countries.

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