PaaS In, SaaS out

Red Hat outlines OpenShift vision, PaaS to surpass SaaS by 2014

Chris Mayer

Red Hat revealed the roadmap for their PaaS OpenShift, detailing some innovative plans to garner more enterprise plaudits. Find more within…

This afternoon, in a specially organised webcast, Red Hat laid out the blueprint going forward with cloud application PaaS, OpenShift - with the standout announcement being the embrace of different management methodologies.

Red Hat recognises that to attract the untapped enterprises that they need to adopt a full-scale approach to suit a variety of working methods. The plan going forward therefore is to extend OpenShift PaaS to allow enterprises to use both DevOps (a DIY developer-centric systeml) and ITOps, which the less-savvy enterprises use to maintain control for IT operations.

Crucially they will still offer the traditional choices of publically hosted and on-premise in this multi-pronged approach, and claim that there will be no compromises in terms of working environments – so that means that every option will offer the same environment tools etc. In a nutshell, this advancement on the core technology stack will give OpenShift operational flexibility and efficiency like no other.

Analysts are predicting big things for the PaaS market, after making initial ground in the last year or so. Jay Lyman, senior analyst for 451 Research predicts that the enterprise market will be worth more than $3bn by 2015, due to the blending of application development and deployment methods ie DevOps. Yet it’s still early days for the space, with a variety of vendors trying to carve their own niche and lay down a strong path.

Lyman also predicted that PaaS would surpass SaaS by 2014, a bold prediction but not out of the realms of possibility.

Lyman spoke further of OpenShift’s roadmaps saying:

That’s why it is critical that the underlying components and supported pieces of PaaS are open, flexible and available the way customers and developers want them, which is typically in the cloud, on-premises or both. Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS benefits from its depth of enterprise Java support for the application lifecycle and Java EE6. This is key for enterprises looking to scale, automate and treat software as services, not only for new applications and development, but also for their large, legacy investment, infrastructure and process around existing applications.

Since Red Hat introduced OpenShift back in May 2011, the landscape has shapeshifted somewhat, incorporating the next-generation of tools, frameworks and languages as the PaaS market has evolved. OpenShift has advantages over others already – it became the first PaaS to support Java EE 6, giving it longevity, and just last month gave the code that powers it back to the community in OpenShift Origin.

It’s a fierce market at the moment, with all foraging for vital links to important technologies that are making waves (continuous integration for example). They all realise that to combat the real-world operational problems that are occurring, that the PaaS needs to be armour-plated to deal with any given situation.

“With the growth of the cloud market, developers have embraced PaaS due to the agility, speed and flexibility these platforms offer. Of the many PaaS offerings available, we haven’t seen any yet address the full needs of the enterprise,” said Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager, Cloud Business Unit at Red Hat. “However someone wants to build and manage their applications, they should be able to. With the PaaS roadmap and strategy we are outlining today, we’re paving the way for enterprises to use a Red Hat-powered open cloud application platform to build and run their applications, however best fits their business needs.”

The enterprise roadmap details how OpenShift delivers a secure, scalable, multi-tenant and most importantly proven platform by mentioning some of Red Hat’s core enterprise technologies. These include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Storage, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and OpenShift’s integrated programming languages, frameworks and developer tools 

With close ties to the entire Red Hat/JBoss experience through middleware, OpenShift may just have thrown the gauntlet down when it comes to a fully-hybrid PaaS.

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