Here come the cavalry

OpenStack Ascension – Red Hat and Intel both make their moves

Chris Mayer

It didn’t take long for other OpenStack players to deal their hand, offering up their own IaaS solution. Red Hat make a preview available whilst Intel head to China

After Rackspace’s recent deployment of a large-scale OpenStack public cloud, the hugely popular infrastructure-as-a-service, other members of the foundation have made their moves.

Just today, open source giant Red Hat laid down their marker by announcing that their framework based on OpenStack is available in preview form immediately. Keeping in tune with their recent cloud manoeuvres, their solution claims to support private, public and hybrid clouds, meaning that flexibility is at the heart.

Red Hat’s early gambit is hardly a surprise – they have been playing a key part in the recent OpenStack Essex release and in general making good noises about the project. In fact, at the recent OpenStack Summit back in April, Red Hat were revealed to be the third most active contributor to the project, and consequently earned Platinum Member status when plans surfaced of OpenStack’s big move.

Factor in other Red Hat products, especially its extensive middleware division and you’ve certainly got a compelling enterprise-grade offer. With this move, it is hoped that Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution will slot in nicely with other cloud-centric products such as Enterprise Linux, CloudForms, and its Platform-as-a-Service, OpenShift. 

Red Hat’s CTO and Vice President of Worldwide Engineering Brian Stevens said he was proud of the early move, stating:

“Through our expanding involvement with OpenStack, we’ve seen a thriving community develop and are excited in reaching this milestone along the way to delivering an enterprise-class product based on this open cloud technology. Our current productization efforts are focused around hardening an integrated solution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack to deliver an enterprise-ready solution that enables enterprises worldwide to realize infrastructure clouds. We invite OpenStack enthusiasts and enterprises interested in the technology to download our preview and provide feedback to help us accelerate the delivery of a stable OpenStack enterprise platform for the industry.”

Although it is far from the finished article, Red Hat is once again looking for wider feedback on their distribution, after testing it with some of the more vocal members of the OpenStack community. Those who sign up for the distribution can provide feedback to Red Hat’s OpenStack team and collaborate to iron out any potential issues.

OpenStack and Red Hat make good bedfellows – both wanting to keep IaaS clouds open sourced, open to different control models and open to other tools. A fully supported release is expected in 2013, but for now the unsupported public preview will have to suffice for testing out Red Hat’s flavour of OpenStack. You can be certain that Red Hat’s continued support is bound to keep OpenStack relevant for some time.


In other OpenStack news, fellow contributor Intel revealed their partnership with some of China’s brightest cloud-focused companies to form the China Open Source Cloud League (COSCL).

The alliance aims to facilitate development of OpenStack within the growing domestic cloud market. Intel, alongside Chinese web platform vendor Sina, Linux company CS2C and Shanghai’s Jiao Tong university will form the venture.

China is an untapped market for cloud computing, that many multinational companies have targetted as a must-have region for deploying their products. Yet with the 150 OpenStack members, China’s cloud computing opportunity has remained a bit of an enigma.

With its lack of archaic infrastructure in favour of new cutting-edge technology, it also proves to be the ideal testing ground for innovation in the sector. By forming an faction reasonably early, Intel might have jumped before anyone else in the OpenStack community had chance to think through strategy.

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