Red Hat Backs OpenStack For Cloud Attack On VMware

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Red Hat has delivered a commercial version of OpenStack and is ready to take on VMware

Red Hat has produced a fully-supported OpenStack distribution so customers can deliver open-source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds, at its Red Hat Summit in Boston this week.

The open source firm has been a member and supporter of OpenStack for some time, but with this announcement, its OpenStack distribution graduates from a “community release” similar to its Fedora Linux distribution, to a fully supported offering, comparable to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OS. The company wants to position OpenStack as a future cloud platform analogous to Linux, and is building it into a whole set of announcements and programmes.

OpenStack Logo

Building on OpenStack

“We see OpenStack as the next Linux,” said Karl Stevens, public cloud solutions architect at Red Hat. “Red Hat has the credibility and experience to bring that about. ”

The OpenStack Foundation produces open source code for an infrastructure-as-a-service stack. IBM, VMware, Dell and others have supported it and offered OpenStack distributions, but those with proprietary offerings have held back somewhat, Stevens believes. Dell withdrew its OpenStack offering in favour of VMware last month.

VMware argues it can support OpenStack perfectly well alongside its own vSphere product, with CTO Joe Baguley recently telling TechWeekEurope  “vSphere versus OpenStack is the wrong question entirely.”

Alongside its supported OpenStack release, Red Hat has announced Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, a layered approach, which uses the CloudForms front end, which Red Hat acquired with cloud management firm ManageIQ, on top of the existing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV).

As the new stack on the block, OpenStack isn’t yet fully integrated with Cloudforms or RHEV, Stevens admitted, but when that comes, it should help those enterprise who already have virtualised servers, to move on to a full IaaS cloud, said Stevens (and it even works with vSphere or with Amazon EC2 workloads, he promised).

For the channel, and developers, Red Hat has a new partner network, but so far the name “Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network” isn’t rolling too easily off the tongue, so stand by for a slicker name and maybe even an acronym, Stevens said. This network is intended to provide an ecosystem around the new stack.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation got an upgrade too, with one particularly significant addition – the ability to move live virtual machines about. “Storage live migration” will let users teleport the image of a live virtual machine from one domain on one storage device to another domain on another storage device, while keeping it online.

“Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation continues to grow,” said Stevens. “It’s on a level to compete effectively with vSphere.”

Higher up the stack, for those wanting to operate platform-as-a-service clouds, Red Hat turned OpenShift into a commercially-supported offering yesterday.

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