Red Hat Says It Will Be Unprejudiced and Open with OpenStack Support

by Ostatic Staff - May. 15, 2014

Red Hat made a slew of OpenStack-related announcements at this week's OpenStack Summit conference in Atlanta, but the company is also drawing buzz following reports in the press that claimed that the company shows favoritism in the support it offers to users of various distributions of OpenStack.  Specifically, the reports claimed that Red Hat will refuse to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux if a customer uses a distribution of the cloud hosting software from another company.

Now, Paul Cormier, Red Hat president for products and technologies, has officially rejected these claims in a blog post. He notes the following:

"To be clear, users are free to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux with any OpenStack offering, and there is no requirement to use our OpenStack technologies to get a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription. That’s what open source enables, and it’s not a new way of business for us. As a matter of fact, in traditional virtualization environments we certify performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on offerings from our largest competitors, Microsoft and VMware. They have engineering teams and a quality assurance process that we feel comfortable with. Together, we work with them to offer an enterprise-class experience for customers. We also work closely with major cloud providers like Amazon and Google to certify Red Hat Enterprise Linux. These relationships – and our massive network of certified partners – bring customers broad choice on the full spectrum from bare metal to cloud. That is the value of open source."

It's also clear though, that Cormier strongly encourages users to choose the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. He writes:

"OpenStack and Linux go hand-in-hand, and they are deeply intertwined. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and our OpenStack offerings are developed, built, integrated, and supported together to create Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. This requires tight feature and fix alignment between the Kernel, the hypervisor, and OpenStack services. We have run into this in actual customer support situations many times."

Red Hat is tying its future to cloud computing and the OpenStack platform, so it's to be expected that it would like to exert some control over which flavors of OpenStack users are putting on top of its Linux platform. Nevertheless, we've made the point before that support will be the big differentiator as enterprises increasingly deploy OpenStack.

Enterprises will favor a platform-level solution when it's clear that they'll get completely reliable support. History shows that, and Red Hat is going to have to make its support available to organizations that favor its Linux platform, but don't necessarily favor its OpenStack offerings.