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Red Hat bashes Microsoft, VMware while pitching new cloud software

Jon Brodkin, Network World | May 4, 2011
Microsoft and VMware are the enemies of interoperability, and only open source software can prevent cloud lock-in.

Supported cloud providers include Amazon, IBM and NTT Communications. Red Hat and VMware virtualization are each supported.

CloudForms is in beta and will be generally available by the end of 2011.

Red Hat also unveiled OpenShift, an online-only platform-as-a-service offering that lets developers build and host applications on Red Hat infrastructure. The service, a competitor to Windows Azure, builds upon Red Hat's Makara acquisition, expanding it with JBoss tools and other Red Hat software, and supporting Ruby, Rails, Python, Java, PHP, MySQL and more. Red Hat claimed OpenShift "redefines the PaaS market by providing a new level of choice in languages, frameworks and clouds for developers to build, test, run and manage their applications."

OpenShift is going into beta today and currently runs on top of Amazon EC2. When asked whether the service was affected by last month's Amazon outage, Cormier said, "Not really. Not really." But Red Hat will add more cloud providers on the back end so customers can have their choice of clouds beyond Amazon, he said. Red Hat is also supporting the Deltacloud API to let customers run applications on multiple cloud services.

The Amazon outage puts a spotlight on the need for more stable enterprise cloud technologies. Red Hat's not the only one working on this problem, Bozman said, also mentioning VMware and IBM. Public clouds are good for basic file storage and application development, but may not meet the mission-critical standards of many organizations.

"When you start applying an enterprise IT sensibility, security is important, SLAs are important, and availability is important," Bozman said.

Red Hat focused on enabling cloud computing at its Summit event both last year and this year, and it will take several years to get it right, Bozman said. Red Hat won't have the market to itself, but the company's focus on Linux is an advantage, Bozman said.

"Linux runs on every architecture," she said. "It runs on ARM, it runs on RISC, it runs on Itanium, it runs on mainframes. For developers, particularly in cloud, this is going to be important, that Linux runs on everything."

One goal is to let developers write applications in their programming language of choice without necessarily worrying about what infrastructure is underneath. But one vendor alone isn't going to provide all the interoperability needed, Bozman said. Openness has to exist at multiple layers, including operating systems, middleware and APIs.

Enterprise customers "have Linux, they have Windows, they have mainframes, they have Unix servers," she said. "The question is, how can they bring this together with cloud computing and break down the silos?"

 

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