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Guest Article: Open and in Control

Damien Wong | Sept. 27, 2012
Openness in the cloud is not just a narrow description of a capability, but an overarching philosophy that spans a variety of dimensions.

The final approach brings the broadest set of IT assets under a hybrid cloud management framework. Supporting these capabilities requires a cloud management product that can span multiple virtualisation platforms, a variety of public cloud providers based on a variety of underlying technologies, and even physical servers.

Why Open is Better

 An open cloud makes possible this type of hybrid architecture.

Openness in the cloud is not just a narrow description of a capability, but an overarching philosophy that spans a variety of dimensions. An open cloud includes the following characteristics:

  • open source
  • a viable and independent community
  • based on open standards
  • freedom to use intellectual property
  • deployable on the infrastructure of your choice
  • an open and extensible application programming interface (API)
  • portability of applications and their runtime environments enabled across clouds

Only an open cloud can deliver on the full value and promise of cloud computing. It brings the efficiency, agility, and cost benefits of cloud to more of your IT infrastructure to more applications and more users.

An open cloud leverages your existing IT investments in hardware, software, and training-allowing you to build a cloud in an evolutionary way while reducing costs and risks. It lets you select the best technologies for your users, now and in the future, and prevents one vendor from controlling access to the greatest innovation, the lowest costs, and the best economic model.

Red Hat delivers these capabilities through CloudForms, open hybrid cloud management software that can manage heterogeneous IT resources, both on-premise and in public clouds. CloudForms performs a variety of tasks, including:

  • Creating pools of resources (clouds), from heterogeneous infrastructures that can include virtualised systems using a mix of hypervisors, virtualisation management software, and infrastructure from the public cloud running a variety of technology stacks. Hybrid is commonly used to refer to cloud management that spans both dedicated (whether on-premise or hosted) resources and those shared with other organisations (multi-tenant) within a public cloud provider.
  • Allowing administrators to use an application blueprint to define services and associated policies, and to make these services available in a catalogue. These services are then deployed to a resource pool in the form of images that include applications, operating system, and associated supporting software.
  • Providing users and developers with self-service access to services through a Web interface. These services' accessibility and deployment, such as a mobile development environment, is controlled by the policies set by the administrator when the service is initially defined.
  • Managing services through their lifecycle by monitoring running instances, updating services based on policies, and a variety of other functions.

All of these capabilities are important because they allow IT to collectively offer all of the agility and benefits of a cloud, while still retaining the control of workloads that they need.


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