In the cloud world of the future, some companies will want public cloud resources while others will want private clouds on their own premises, says Ashesh Badani, general manager of Red Hat's cloud business unit. That's why Red Hat has a cloud strategy that incorporates both public and private platform as a service (PaaS) clouds, and it has big plans for those products this year.
One of the first steps towards advancing the strategy is the release of the 1.1 version of Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise, a private PaaS that the company launched in November that's now in its second iteration, complete with an expanded GUI, bug fixes and improved security controls.
On the public PaaS side, Red Hat has OpenShift Online, currently in developer preview, but expected to be launched into general availability within six months, Badani says. Both OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise are backed up by OpenShift Origin, the company's open source developer community where users can get technical resources, support and bolt-on features that can be used in OpenShift. The strategy reflects the hybrid world that Red Hat officials expect will be predominant in the cloud moving forward.
"Many enterprises have made huge investments in their infrastructure," Badani says, they're not just looking to give up those resources and commit fully to a public PaaS. At the same time, there may be security, governance and risk concerns that make enterprise IT managers more comfortable using a private cloud, he says. "In many cases public cloud is very appropriate," for the scale and flexibility it allows, he adds. "In many other cases, a private approach will be more appropriate." Red Hat is aiming to serve both.
2013 will be a big year for these products. The road map calls for continued development of both the public and private PaaS offering, with advanced administrative controls and monitoring and the ability to more easily integrate existing applications into OpenShift, Badani says. Another area Red Hat will work on is integrating OpenShift with OpenStack, the open source cloud management platform that Red Hat is a major contributor to. Red Hat is working on its down distribution of OpenStack as well, which Badani says could be released in the coming months.
Even as Red Hat looks to beef up its PaaS offerings, and specifically its integrations with OpenStack, there are a variety of other PaaS options on the market, and within the OpenStack community. VMware joined OpenStack last year and its open source PaaS, named Cloud Foundry is already being integrated into the offerings of some OpenStack-member companies, such as Piston Cloud Computing. Salesforce.com's Heroku and Force.com are PaaS offering, and there are a variety of pure-play PaaS companies as well, such as CloudBees and Apprenda.
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