Red Hat wants to be OpenStack's big dog

You know Red Hat best as the leading business Linux company. You may not know that Red Hat also wants to become the top OpenStack cloud business.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Everyone knows that Red Hat is Linux's top dog. What you might not know is that Red Hat also wants to be the OpenStack cloud alpha dog. After the company's November 5 OpenStack Summit  announcements in Hong Kong, everyone will know.


First, Red Hat took the next steps in its hybrid OpenStack Platform plans. This was the release of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OpenStack Platform 4.0 beta.

The RHEL OpenStack Platform 4.0 beta includes the latest OpenStack release, OpenStack Havana, and the beta release of RHEL 6.5. It also includes the following new features for improved deployment and manageability of cloud computing implementations.

  • Full support for Foreman, a Puppet-based life-cycle management tool for physical and virtual servers that simplifies the addition of both physical and virtual compute nodes to an OpenStack deployment, aiding the deployment of RHEL OpenStack Platform on hardware.
  • Full support for OpenStack Orchestration (Heat) and OpenStack Networking (Neutron), and a technology preview of Ceilometer. OpenStack Heat offers an orchestration engine to launch application stacks, while Neutron (previously Quantum) delivers "networking-as-a-service" between interface devices such as vNICs. Ceilometer provides OpenStack resource instrumentation which can help support service monitoring and billing systems in the acquisition of customer usage data.
  • Integration with Red Hat CloudForms 3.0. CloudForms 3.0, also announced today, now provides a single, unified management interface for an open hybrid cloud incorporating datacenter virtualization and RHEL OpenStack Platform capacity.
  • Enhanced integration with Red Hat Storage Server 2.1, providing storage services for OpenStack Object Storage (Swift), OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) and OpenStack Image Service (Glance), offering a robust and scalable storage solution for use with RHEL OpenStack Platform.

Red Hat also announced plans to ease the deployment of its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). The Raleigh, NC-based company will now make OpenShift available for user deployment on OpenStack via the OpenStack Heat orchestration program.

The company also released a new version of its cloud management program, Red Hat CloudForms 3.0. This adds enterprise-grade cloud management capabilities not only for RHEL OpenStack, but enhanced management capabilities for Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMware vSphere, and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as well.

Last but not least, Red Hat also expanded its Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network. These partnerships, the company said, "connect both business and technical resources to third-party technology companies who are aligning with Red Hat’s OpenStack product offerings. Since the launch of the program in April 2013, hundreds of software, plug-ins, and hardware systems have been added to the list of certified and supported OpenStack commercial solutions." Partners who recently achieved new product certifications include Brocade, Huawei, Mellanox, Midokura, NEC, NetApp, SolidFire, Stratus Technologies, and Unisys.

Red Hat added that the Partner Network's associated Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack Certification has expanded beyond OpenStack Compute (Nova), OpenStack Networking (Neutron), and OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) to include certification protocols for advanced networking services (Neutron extensions), OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) and OpenStack Image Storage (Glance). In short, Red Hat is trying to provide a one-stop service station for customers needing certified OpenStack applications and services.

As Kenneth Ross, Brocade's director of Product Management, said, "The Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network provides a broad pool of certified and supported solutions from partners advancing OpenStack for enterprise customers."

So if you want your cloud to be running OpenStack, you should look into Red Hat's offerings. Both technically and with its business partnerships, Red Hat is striving to be the leader of the OpenStack dog pack.

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