Red Hat sets out platform for IaaS clouds

The company has given details on its upcoming CloudForms management and automation platform for infrastructure-as-a-service clouds, designed to span private and public clouds

Red Hat has plans to release a management platform for private and hybrid public clouds that melds its cloud technology with infrastructure from public cloud providers.

CloudForms, due to launch in the second half of 2011, was announced at the Red Hat Summit in Boston on Wednesday. It is a service management platform for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds and is designed to ease the creation of hybrid clouds.

The platform helps companies build and manage cloud infrastructure, as well as migrate and manage cloud-mounted applications, Brian Che, Red Hat's product manager for cloud, told journalists at a press conference.

With CloudForms, applications can be managed on physical, virtual and public clouds across Red Hat's KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and VMware's ESX hypervisors. As it is the second stage in Red Hat's Cloud Foundations family of packaged tools for the cloud, it pushes the Linux company's cloud strategy a step further.

According to a Red Hat architectural overview document (PDF), CloudForms has three main components: application lifecycle management, compute resource management and infrastructure services.

The application lifecycle management tool allows virtual instances to be managed according to build templates. The compute resource management component uses Red Hat's Deltacloud API to allow CloudForms to communicate between Red Hat private clouds and multiple public cloud services. The infrastructure services tool takes care of the basic underlying hardware communication.

At the launch, Red Hat said the platform will work with services from Red Hat cloud partners such as Amazon Web Services, IBM and NTT Communications.

Pricing was not disclosed. The platform is available in beta on the Red Hat CloudForms microsite and is expected to be fully available as a paid version in the second half of 2011.

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