Red Hat OpenStack distribution near final release

Red Hat Inc. says it is months away from delivering a commercial version of its OpenStack distribution for making and managing cloud infrastructure.

Radhesh Balakrishnan, the company’s general manager of virtualization said Monday that Red Hat OpenStack for enterprises could be released in July.

It was part of a package of announcements made during a Webcast to show Red Hat is among the leaders levereaging the open source work on OpenStack.

Developers around the world are working to polish OpenStack, an open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds. Several test versions have been released, but Red Hat admits it is not mature yet.

Red Hat’s new efforts to accelerate that maturuity include

–the release of what the company calls RDO, a packaging of OpenStack for RedHat’s Fedora Linux, a free version of the operating system used by developers. Features in Fedora often make it to Red Hat Linux;

— the creation of an early adopter program for the beta version of Red Hat OpenStack. “We want to engage north of 100 customers worldwide around Red Hat OpenStack,” Balakrishnan said;

— the creation of the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network to show enterprises there’s an ecosystem of hardware, software and developers supporting Red Hat OpenStack. Activities will include certification of third party software that integrates with Red Hat Open Stack. Some 30 companies have already signed up including Cisco Systems Inc., Intel Corp., VMware, EMC, BigSwitch Networks and Brocade Communications Systems.

Having a partner network will help create “peace of mind” among enterprise customers, Balakrishnan said.

Red Hat has been working closely with the OpenStack Foundation on the platform’s code.

“OpenStack is still maturing very rapidly, but its still not ready for broad-based enterprise adoption yet,” Balakrishnan. Among the gaps in the Red Hat OpenStack preview that has been released earlier this year are installation, configuration and management systems. Red Hat hopes the partner network will help fill in these holes.

 “We see huge opportunity, but we’ve got to be careful about the use cases and the set of customers that can adopt it today,” he added.

That’s why Red Hat will have a small number of organizations, nominated by its sales staff, be early adopters.

It’s also a recognition that a successful OpenStack implementation needs the support of enterprise IT staff, he said.

Red Hat has a number of platforms which is wants to tie together in a three-layer system: At the base, OpenStack running inside Red Hat Linux; OpenShift Enterprise, which delivers platform-as-a-service for hosting application stacks; and CloudForms, for automated resource management to deal with things like chargebacks.

Red Hat’s announcement came on the first day of the OpenStack Design Summit in Portland, Ore., where a number of vendors made announcements.

–Juniper Networks said it has become a gold member of the OpenStack Foundation. Juniper and Cloudscaling also announced a partnership – Juniper’s virtual network control technology will be integrated into Cloudscaling’s Open Cloud System.

Cloudscaling said this will help allow traditional data center networking shift towards open, any-to-any fabrics where Layer-3 network services are moved closer to cloud-enabled application workloads;

–Canonical, which makes an OpenStack distribution called Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure, said its platform now includes plugins for VMware’s vSphere and Nicira NVP as part of a partnership with VMware;

–Hewlett-Packard Co. released CloudSystem 7.2, a private cloud solution that now integrates OpenStack technology. It also announced HP Cloud Messaging, a service to help developers build more fault-tolerant applications by trading information between apps using OpenStack’s Marconi API;
 –Hortonworks, which  makes a data management platform for the open source Hadoop framework for managing large data sets across server clusters, said it is teaming with Red Hat and systems integrator Mirantis to work together on Project Savanna to deliver Hadoop on OpenStack. This will help move Hadoop workloads between public and private clouds 

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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