Red Hat Takes Next Steps In OpenStack Cloud Strategy

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 21, 2012

Red Hat is moving ahead with its OpenStack-centric cloud computing plans. The company has been steadily working on an enterprise-class version of the OpenStack platform. It will arrive in a fully supported version early next year, but you can already get a preview edition, based on the "Essex" OpenStack release. And now, Red Hat has announced the availability of its new OpenStack Technical Preview based on "Folsom."

While there are many companies developing cloud strategies around OpenStack, lots of people think that Red Hat could do for OpenStack what it did for Linux.  If the company offers an airtight OpenStack distribution and supports it as robustly as it has supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), it could become a leader in the cloud. Red Hat discusses its plans exactly that way:

"We've previously written about the process Red Hat follows to turn a community project, such as OpenStack, into a product for our commercial customers. In a nutshell, this means bringing the same systematic engineering and release processes to OpenStack that Red Hat has for products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat CloudForms and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Stability, robustness and certifications are key components of enterprise releases. The challenge—one that Red Hat has years of experience meeting—is to achieve the stability and robustness that enterprises need without sacrificing the speed of upstream innovation."

And, Red Hat also provides some interesting background on OpenStack's Folsom version:

"The Folsom release represents substantial and continued advancements, thanks in part to the continuing growth of the OpenStack community. By OpenStack's count, Folsom saw a 65 percent increase in contributors over its previous release. A post on Bitergia dives further into the contributor numbers. Their analysis shows that hundreds of individuals from 49 companies contributed code across Folsom's seven core projects. (This analysis shows that developers affiliated with Red Hat were the #2 contributor group overall; Rackspace is the top contributor group.) As a result of these developer contributions, the OpenStack Folsom release included 185 new features."

Red Hat is a Platinum member of The OpenStack Foundation, and although the company trails some others, such as HP and Rackspace, in delivering and supporting OpenStack platforms. It will probably only be a few months before Red Hat's OpenStack plans are fully up and running. And, it sounds like the company is aiming to deliver the kind of end-to-end enterprise solution that it has provided with its Linux platform.