Red Hat unveils hybrid Cloud, PaaS plans

It also announced the availability of Red Hat Storage Server 2.0

Red Hat is planning to roll out a number of product sets for building hybrid clouds over the next few months, the company said at the Red Hat Summit conference in Boston.

"This is a new era for Red Hat," said Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president of worldwide engineering, during a press conference. Years ago, customers were primarily Red Hat Linux customers, but now they're consuming a number of the vendor's products, he said. To this end, the new hybrid cloud announcements represent Red Hat's intention to integrate groups of products into single offerings with their own road maps, he said.

The OpenShift Enterprise PaaS offering will bundle Red Hat's CloudForms management framework along with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss middleware.

OpenShift was first launched last year as a public PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offering hosted by Red Hat. "What we heard from [early users] is that they love [OpenShift], but they want to consume it completely inside their data center," as well as in hybrid form, leading to the new on-premises option, Stevens said.

At first, the package will be aimed at IT operations workers, with tools for generating compute and storage containers, as well as cloud-environment templates, Stevens said.

But Red Hat is also planning to roll out a "DevOps" version of the product that better reflects a developer's workflow, he said. The vision is to give developers the ability "with one button-push" to "have their application packaged, tested, deployed and auto-scaled," Stevens said. "It puts the developer in control of the whole lifecycle."

Both will be fully compatible with the public version of OpenShift.

In addition, Red Hat is prepping a hybrid IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) product set that also gives customers the option of using prepaid compute hours from "major public clouds," presumably with Amazon Web Services among them. This offering includes Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, a self-service portal and other tooling.

Despite these plans, Red Hat remains committed as a contributor to the OpenStack IaaS project, which will be complementary to the products announced today, Stevens said.

A third product set announced bundles Red Hat virtualization with CloudForms. This offering will be priced at US$500 per guest host, which is less than the price of licensing VMware's vSphere product alone, Red Hat officials claimed during the press conference.

The PaaS and IaaS offerings are set for availability within a few months.

In a fourth announcement, Red Hat unveiled Red Hat Storage 2.0, which builds on its October 2011 acquisition of Gluster. It's available for deployment on-premises or in public and private clouds.

It offers advantages over other storage products thanks to its ability to easily integrate file and object storage into a single pool, Red Hat said.

The software runs on more than 50 types of dual-socket x86 servers, Red Hat said. Its cost is $0.29 to $0.30 per gigabyte, compared to about $1 per gigabyte for competing products, said Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager of storage, during the press conference.

Red Hat Storage Server 2.0 is available now, but customers can also take advantage of a pair of technology previews. One is compatibility with the Apache Hadoop framework for large-scale data processing. Red Hat is also prepping a new management console that's based on the open-source oVirt project.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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