Throwing their hat in the ring

Red Hat go commercial with cloud platform OpenShift

Chris Mayer

Following two years of beta testing, Red Hat decide to roll out premium support for their public cloud platform.

Red Hat has taken the plunge today, finally rolling out commercial options for their two-year old cloud platform OpenShift.

The open source solutions company claim that, since the developer preview arrived in 2011, more than one million applications have been created on OpenShift Online. Red Hat explained in a press release that customers had demanded “a supported enterprise-class public PaaS offering’ and that now was the right time to fully push the full project commercially.

With OpenShift, users can build, launch and host applications either publically or privately through OpenShift Enterprise. Red Hat has spent two years testing the water with OpenShift in attempting to generate a strong community behind the project, as any fledgling cloud platform should.

To appeal to as many developers as possible, the PaaS has been polyglot from the start, supporting Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js and Perl. OpenShift also supports multiple database types, including MySQL, MongoDB and PostgreSQL. Plenty of effort has gone into acquiring partners along the way too, with the likes of 10gen, Codenvy, Blazemeter and New Relic all backing the platform.

Last May, Red Hat released the entire codebase behind the platform, in OpenShift Origin.  Ashesh Badani, Red Hat’s general manager for the service told IDG’s Joab Jackson, that OpenShift picks up approximately 1,500 new users a week.

Pricing for OpenShift’s Silver tier begins at $20 per month, and is available in North America from today. The lowest price gets users three “gears”, Red Hat’s term for application containers. Europe will have to wait an extra week to uses the premium services on offer, including technical support, auto scaling, custom SSLs and extra storage.

By going public with the platform, the Linux company will go toe-to-toe with Engine Yard, Heroku, Microsoft and Google. Interestingly, the other long in-beta platform Cloud Foundry looks set to reveal a paid model imminently too.

With solid community and commercial backing and a polylgot approach under their belt, Red Hat are in the right position to push their way into a crowded market.
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