Red Hat Offers Hybrid Cloud Packages, Draws Competitive Comparisons With VMware

Red Hat is bundling a number of its core technologies into Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) packages that the vendor is targeting toward customers looking for easier ways to build hybrid private-public cloud IT systems.

Red Hat positioned the new offerings as a less-costly alternative to VMware's vSphere virtualization software that's often used as the foundation for private clouds.

Red Hat, which is holding its annual customer summit in Boston this week, also unveiled a new release of its data storage server software.

[Related: Red Hat Expands Cloud, Big Data Capabilities With JBoss Release ]

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"We need to make it simple for our customers to get to the cloud," said Paul Cormier, Red Hat executive vice president and president of products and technologies, in a keynote speech Wednesday. "The main goal for our customers is to achieve open hybrid clouds."

Businesses developing cloud systems today often face the challenge of incorporating their existing computing networks and linking them to public cloud systems such as those offered by Amazon and Rackspace.

Red Hat is positioning its open-source software products, including JBoss Enterprise Middleware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, as a better foundation for developing hybrid cloud systems.

"CIOs have a critical decision to make -- how to get to the cloud," Cormier said. Open source, he said, "is really the only practical way for enterprises to realize the benefits of the cloud. Open source is driving the next major inflection point in the industry."

Red Hat debuted the OpenShift PaaS product last year as a hosted product. But Cormier said customers wanted an on-premise edition that allowed for more IT department control.

The new OpenShift Enterprise PaaS Solution is built on OpenShift and includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, the Red Hat CloudForms cloud management toolset and JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

The ITOps version of OpenShift Enterprise PaaS Solution, available today, is geared toward IT management, while a DevOps version, slated for availability later this year, will focus on IT development environments.

Also unveiled was Red Hat Hybrid IaaS Solution, a package of software that Cormier said simplifies the task of deploying and managing a hybrid cloud system. That bundle includes Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Linux and Red Hat CloudForms.

NEXT: Red Hat Unveils Virtualization, Competitive With VMware

And Red Hat Debuted a virtualization software package based on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms that the company said speeds up cloud adoption by combining virtualization and cloud management into one project cycle.

During several sessions at the Red Hat Summit, presenters compared the capabilities of Red Hat's new offerings to VMware's vSphere 5, saying the Red Hat software provided virtualization and cloud management capabilities at a lower cost than vSphere's virtualization-only technology.

Red Hat also launched Red Hat Storage Server 2.0, the vendor's open-source software for managing the storage of structured and unstructured data. Red Hat acquired the data storage technology in October when it bought Gluster, and 2.0 is the first release under Red Hat's management.

The 2.0 release supports Common Internet File System (CIFS), Network File System (NFS), HTTP and OpenStack Swift file access protocols. It also offers geo-replication capabilities and is compatible with more than 50 dual-socket x86-based servers.

While release 2.0 is available now, Red Hat is offering a technology preview of Red Hat Storage Server's support for "big data" infrastructure through compatibility with Apache Hadoop. Also in technology preview is a management console for the product.