Red Hat Offers Complete Cloud Package, Commercial OpenStack Release

Red Hat will offer a complete cloud platform package starting next month, incorporating the vendor's Linux operating system, virtualization technology and hybrid cloud management tools.

The new Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure package will compete directly with VMware's vCloud Suite, further ratcheting up the competition between the two software vendors. Red Hat already offers its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization software that goes head-to-head with VMware's flagship vSphere virtualization product.

Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure will incorporate Red Hat Enterprise OpenStack Platform, the vendor's long-awaited commercial release of the OpenStack open-source cloud infrastructure software.

[Related: Red Hat CEO: We've Entered A New Era Of Collaborative Innovation ]

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Red Hat's OpenStack and cloud infrastructure offerings will both be generally available in July.

"Open source [technology] has really gone mainstream and driven the innovation of the cloud technologies that you see today," said Paul Cormier, Red Hat president of products and technologies, in a press conference Wednesday at the Red Hat Summit conference in Boston. "We're now taking that to the next level."

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform combines the vendor's distribution of the Linux operating system with its distribution of OpenStack. The platform will be sold as a single subscription offering. With the platform, Red Hat customers and partners can develop and deploy OpenStack for production purposes, allowing them to focus on adding value through services, applications and customizations.

Cormier said the pairing of Linux and OpenStack mirrors what's happening in the marketplace. "OpenStack and Linux are starting to intertwine together in terms of features that are dependent on each other," he said.

The OpenStack package will make it possible to run applications in a consistent fashion across on-premise systems, virtual machines and cloud platforms, Cormier said.

The new Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure package allows businesses and solution providers to build and manage an infrastructure-as-a-service private cloud. Also sold as a single-subscription bundle, the software package includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat OpenStack and Red Hat CloudForms -- the latter a hybrid cloud management system that incorporates technology Red Hat acquired when it bought ManageIQ in December.

With the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure package IT executives can better manage cloud environments with the package's IT process orchestration, governance and compliance, metering and chargeback, monitoring and alerting capabilities.

NEXT: Red Hat Enlists Partner Support For New Cloud Platform Initiative

Red Hat has started a program, the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network, to get companies in its partner ecosystem on board with the new products.

Wednesday the company listed a number of major IT vendors that support the OpenStack and Cloud Infrastructure products, including Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, NetApp and Symantec. As for channel partners, Red Hat said it's working with "a small set of pilot solution provider and systems integrator partners in select geographies" to develop and sell solutions built around the offerings.

One partner that's already on board is Mountain View, Calif.-based Mirantis, a systems integrator that works with OpenStack. Red Hat and Mirantis will work together to tailor Mirantis' Fuel toolset for deploying Red Hat OpenStack and jointly provide implementation and integration services to customers.

"The combination of Red Hat and Mirantis working together with customers to optimize OpenStack should substantially increase the speed of adoption, success, and overall confidence of companies in using the Red Hat OpenStack distribution and Mirantis' services and tools," said Adrian Ionel, Mirantis president and CEO, in a statement.

Several partners at the Red Hat Summit also voiced approval of Red Hat's moves.

"We definitely see some opportunity for custom develop projects," said Pierre Duncan, an account executive with Vizuri, a Chantilly, Va.-based Red Hat partner. Vizuri has already been working with Red Hat's OpenStack team to bring the product to market, he said, speaking on the floor of the show's exhibition area.

Mainline Information Systems is seeing increased customer interest in cloud computing in general. Red Hat's products in the maturing Linux market "just plays into what the cloud market is calling for," said Ryan Hagen, Mainline's program manager for cloud computing, who was also manning a booth at the show. But he said cloud computing remains in the early adoption stages among customers and he'd like to see the market for private cloud products and services "take off a little faster."

Red Hat will offer partners OpenStack certification, and this week it launched a Red Hat Certified Solution Marketplace where customers can find applications developed by partners that run with Red Hat's cloud software portfolio.

Red Hat also unveiled a new release of its virtualization software. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2 supports the latest Intel and AMD processors, allows virtual machine images to be moved from one storage domain to another without service disruptions, and offers enhancements in storage management, network management and power management

"We think this makes us pretty competitive with [VMware's] vSphere," Red Hat's Cormier said.