Polyglot future

Red Hat’s OpenShift outlines plans, partners with Zend for PHP flexibility

Chris Mayer

With PaaS vendors jostling, Red Hat offer their vision for OpenShift

The platform-as-a-service market has been heating up over the past couple of months as vendors finally begin to understand the importance of this burgeoning area

Companies that once seemed wary of putting all their chips on the table with cloud platforms, such as Salesforce with Heroku, are now preaching a polyglot future for PaaS. Gartner too predict a bright future for PaaS, estimating that the sector will be worth $1.2bn by the year’s end.

As the big vendors come to town, what of the old guard? Red Hat’s OpenShift arrived in August 2011, and despite undergoing several makeovers in that time, it has established a steady community backing. Reasons for that include May’s open sourcing of the cloud platform in OpenShift Origin and the team’s intentions to bolster relations to other projects, particularly 10gen’s NoSQL datastore MongoDB. In PaaS, it’s often about how many strings you can add to your bow.

Now, the OpenShift team have announced a tentative roadmap for 2013 and beyond, in a state of play blogpost. According to Red Hat’s Juan Noceda, a self-service Web Console and Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s “High-Density App Allocation Technology” will be donated to OpenShift Origin project within the next few months.

Additional features are slated for before the end of 2012 including support for trendy native Websockets and native support for Java Web and JEE containers. Currently only the linked JBoss AS is native, so it’s welcoming to see others. Crucially for customers, the public (OpenShift Online Service) and private (OpenShift Enterprise) GA launches are expected in 2012 as well, with Red Hat looking to jump sooner rather than later.

Also announced this week is a partnership with PHP company Zend, which could be an important step towards OpenShift becoming an everyman cloud. An increasing number of PaaS vendors recognise the benefits of offering a broad language pallette, and by adding PHP debugging, monitoring and application performance capabilities, OpenShift could become a viable choice for its community.

Noceda asserts OpenShift’s polyglot intentions, indicating that in 2013, additional languages and frameworks will arrive, as prioritised by the voting community. As it should be within any large developer collective, the community get the casting vote and drive the agenda. By the looks of it, we could see Memcached and Redis appear, or perhaps native support to the Play! framework.

Whatever arrives in 2013, OpenShift are going the right way about creating an impressive arsenal of support to their cloud platform, that should get equal backing in the community and within the enterprise.

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