Red Hat to debut OpenShift PaaS solutions for on-premise enterprise use soon

As it prepares for battle against VMware on the cloud front, Red Hat announced today that it will launch later this year its fee-based PaaS service with support and will begin shipping this summer integrated PaaS solutions that enterprises can deploy on premise that give its developers freedom to innovate while allowing IT to manage how apps are developed and deployed
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

Red Hat today outlined how it will evolve its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service to better focus on the needs of the enterprise.

First, the Linux giant said it expected to launch its fee-based version of OpenShift with support later this year.

The developer preview has been available since May of 2011. Last month,  Red Hat announced an open source project -- OpenShift Origin --  to grow and evolve the core PaaS platform.

To date, the core focus has been on serving developers needs including the demand to quickly build and deploy applications in automated fashion. The next step, Red Hat said today, is to develop the platform to better serve enterprise needs.

As part of that, the Linux company will deliver a number of integrated solutions built on the company's software stack beginning this summer that will allow customers to deploy PaaS on premise and deploy it on a variety of cloud and virtualization providers.

These include:

a DevOps model for developers to deploy application on OpenShift.com, another Public PaaS or a private Paas with OpenShift on premise.

an ITOps model that allows IT administrators and operations specialists to extend the PaaS to developers while also maintaining control of applications and infrastructure via Red Hat's CloudForms offering.

An offline model that allows developers to self manage and run OpenShift on a laptop. The online OpenShift PaaS for developers is available today.

Red Hat was not prepared to offer specific availability or pricing on these solutions (which will include the Linux OS, JBoss Middleware and PaaS) but said the first deliverables are expected beginning this summer.

Red Hat also enlisted the help of analysts and service provider Accenture to identify the PaaS market opportunity and define what enterprises need.

Enterprise use of PaaS is still very limited but is expected to grow quickly, to a $3 billion [NOTE:correction] market by 2015, the 451Group research shows.

The first stage, DevOps, is the do-it-yourself brand of application development  and deployment largely being practiced today by developers on today's PaaS.

But the strong move to the cloud , fueled in part by the driving need for faster and flexible application development and deployment, as well as the need to innovate quicker and migrate existing .NET and Java and legacy applications to the cloud, will enable the PaaS market to overpace the Software-as-a-Service market in the next year, one 451 analyst said.

Enterprises want the rapid pace of innovation and change enabled by PaaS platforms. Accenture used a PaaS, or example, to deliver for its telecom clients an agile, flexible  reservation system for pre-ordering new iPhones in four weeks that was able to seamlessly handle demand that far exceeded the initial forecasts.

Accenture has worked with 52 of the Fortune 100 on developing cloud strategies. It's still early, but enterprises will catch on quick to the benefitsof PaaS once their cloud architectures are in place, said Adam Burden, global lead of Accenture's Cloud Applications and Platforms.

"Today a lot of demand is focused on defining  strategy.  Many enterprise customers are dipping their toe in the water,' said Burden. "We've seen with the largest enterrpises investment in constructing those platforms [but]the biggest inhibiitor has been general availability and supportable alternatives like those that will be in place in the near future."

"Having these PaaS architectures on premise is pretty new," Burden said. "But over the next yer we'll see tremendous uptake in building and deploying those offerings."

During a webcast, Red Hat VP Scott Crenshaw said OpenShift will compete head on with another relatively new open source Paas, VMware's Cloud Foundry, but will offer three key differentiators that will distinguish it from its rival -- a world class open source operating system that powers many of the world's biggest clouds, a rich appdev and middleware platform and built-in two tiered multi-tenancy support in its Linux distribution that will allow enterprises to run multiple application instances on a single VM securely.

"We're glad that VMware has decided on something in the open source space and is providing  relatively open platform for developers," Crenshaw said when asked about the competition. "We applaud them or joining us and leading the charge for an open PaaS but openShift and Cloud Foundry are competitive and developers have to choose," he said.

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