Red Hat Nudges Its OpenStack Release Closer To Finish Line

Red Hat announced the program at the OpenStack Summit, being held this week in Portland, Ore. It's based on the OpenStack Folsom release, which debuted last September and added networking (code named Quantum) and block storage (code named Cinder) components to the mix. The preview version of Red Hat OpenStack was based on the older Essex release.

Red Hat also unveiled a community-supported OpenStack distribution called RDO, which runs on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and its derivative offerings and is now available for download. The idea behind RDO is to let OpenStack newbies interact and trade tips on how best to approach what can be a complex deployment process, thereby building a community of knowledge sharing.

[Related: Rackspace Cozies Up To Service Providers For OpenStack Clouds ]

In addition to the core OpenStack technologies, RDO includes components for cloud application orchestration (code named Heat) and resource monitoring and management (code named Ceilometer), both of which are currently under development. Red Hat has also developed its own installation tool, called PackStack, for deploying RDO.

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In a press release, Red Hat describes RDO as a "pure upstream OpenStack experience with the latest stable release from, packaged, integrated and easy to deploy on Red Hat platforms."

Dave Rice, co-founder and CTO of TrueCloud, a Tempe, Ariz.-based cloud service provider, expects Red Hat's 90-day free evaluation to lure more OpenStack cloud customers. He also sees the open versus proprietary cloud becoming a non-issue in the years ahead.

"In the next three to five years, these questions about [open vs. proprietary] infrastructure will disappear. I see this evolving the way electricity evolved: Initially, every factory had a power plant, and they had to be concerned with electrical engineering. Now no one cares [because] electricity just works."

Red Hat first revealed plans for a commercial OpenStack product for enterprise last August and said it would make a Folsom-based commercial OpenStack product available in early 2013. Red Hat is now aiming to release it by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the OpenStack "Grizzly" release arrived earlier this month, bringing with it support for VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors. Red Hat says it's now the top code contributor to Grizzly and will support it in its commercial OpenStack release.

Red Hat also unveiled its OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network, which aims to recruit hardware, software and services partners to adopt Red Hat's cloud infrastructure offerings.

Earlier this month, Red Hat tapped Radhesh Balakrishnan, a 13-year Microsoft veteran who joined in December, to lead its OpenStack and global virtualization infrastructure businesses.