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Interview: Defining a true open architecture

Nurdianah Md Nur | Nov. 4, 2013
With all the hype around OpenStack, it is no surprise that vendors are trying to tie their products to the open source project. However, adding a proprietary solution to OpenStack will only negate its open nature. So what does it mean to have a truly open architecture?

Q: The cloud models available today are the hybrid, public, and private cloud. Is there a one best model for all organisations? Are the challenges the same for all three models?
RB: "It depends' is the best answer when it comes to picking public or private cloud approach. Organisations optimising for control and ability to meet security, privacy and compliance requirements either specific to their vertical or geography tend to favour private cloud. On the other hand, economics of public cloud can be compelling if control is less of an issue. All things considered, hybrid cloud wherein you can mix and match private and public cloud, we believe, will be the most pragmatic choice for enterprises. In line with this and given our open approach, our value proposition to organizations is an Open Hybrid Cloud.

Q: In terms of security, virtualisation streamlines provisioning and processes such as patching, but it may add complications as you might have to patch the virtual machine manager layer. What are your thoughts on this?
RB: While traditional virtualisation is more dynamic than the bare metal architectures of the previous generation data centre, it is still very static compared to true cloud infrastructures. Cloud management platforms allow the decoupling of the security policy layer and the infrastructure layer, which adds much more flexibility in deployment and upgrading of the architecture.

It is also important to have the integration of the cloud management layer, infrastructure layer, virtual instances, and the applications inside of them to provide multiple layers of security that work synergistically to provide comprehensive, multi-level security. Solutions like Red Hat OpenShift which provision cloud-enabled applications inside of Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances, and Red Hat CloudForms which can manage the security of multiple infrastructures including VMware, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and Amazon, can provide a total view on application and infrastructure security.

Q: What is Red Hat's vision for OpenStack?
RB: Red Hat is a big supporter of OpenStack, which enables companies to get control over costs and select the hardware. Red Hat's vision is to take OpenStack from a community project to enterprise-ready product that is backed by a broad partner ecosystem and support from Red Hat. In many ways, this is similar to what Red Hat did with the Linux project with the introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). 


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