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Red Hat Bets on Open Hybrid Cloud

Calling cloud computing one of the biggest revolutions in information technology history, Red Hat's Paul Cormier on Wednesday signaled the company's intention to focus its efforts on it-specifically hybrid cloud.

[Related: Open Source a $1 Billion Business, But Just Beginning]

"CIOs and IT managers, they have one of the most critical decisions to make right now," Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president and president of products and technologies, told a packed auditorium during his Wednesday morning keynote at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012. "It could be the most critical decision they make in this decade."

That decision, he said, is how to move to the cloud.

CIOs Have Three Options for Leveraging Cloud

Cormier outlined three options that CIOs have to leverage cloud for their business:

1. Throw out your legacy infrastructure and start from scratch. The drawbacks, of course, are easy to spot: not all apps will fit this model and there's a huge cost to boot.

2. Add a cloud silo. This, Cormier said, is what VMware wants you to do. "It's frankly all VMware can do and that's why they want you to do it," he said. "It's even more lock-in with less control. It's lock-in by the new generation of vendors.

3. Build an open hybrid cloud. "We think it's really the only way to go," Cormier said. "You utilize all your existing resources in building your cloud. It's not just capacity from Red Hat or VMware or Microsoft, but we take advantage of capacity from whatever you're running. And it's on your terms. You have complete control of your infrastructure both technologically and economically."

The idea, Cormier said, is to create a single, consistent application environment that spans on-premise, virtual, private cloud and public cloud deployments.

"Consistent storage and the ability to manage pieces across that infrastructure is key," he said. "Only two companies can make this a reality today: Microsoft and Red Hat. We're the open source choice for that transition. They're the legacy proprietary choice. You choose."

An Easy On-Ramp to Open Hybrid Cloud

Red Hat plans to leverage its full portfolio of products to bring this vision of an easy on-ramp to open hybrid cloud computing to bear: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat Storage, JBoss Enterprise Middleware, Red Hat CloudForms and Red Hat OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

Cormier unveiled four products and services based on that portfolio: OpenShift Enterprise PaaS, Red Hat Hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Red Hat Cloud with Virtualization Bundle and Red Hat Storage.

Red Hat plans to attack the enterprise PaaS market from two directions: IT operations and DevOps. First, this summer, Red Hat will bring together Red Hat CloudForms, RHEL, Rehd Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enteprise Middleware to create a CloudShift ITOps PaaS designed to give enterprise developers the speed and agility of PaaS while also addressing the governance and operational requirements of enterprise IT. Later this year, Red Hat plans to expand with an OpenShift DevOps environment.

Cormier said the Red Hat Hybrid IaaS solution will be the industry's first open hybrid cloud solution for enterprises. It will include software for deploying and managing a hybrid cloud. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization will provide the virtualization management component, while CloudForms provides cloud management, governed self-service and systems management. RHEL will provide the guest operating system. Red Hat plans to include public cloud hours from leading providers in the future.

Red Hat Cloud with Virtualization Bundle is intended to help users who have not yet virtualized their infrastructure move to the cloud quickly by combining virtualization and cloud management into the same project cycle. It packages Red hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms.

"The market is 50 percent virtualized today," says Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO and president, worldwide engineering. "Ninety percent of that is on VMware, it's safe to say. Ten percent or less of RHEL is virtualized. Linux has just been so hyper-efficient on hardware already that customers have been able to get really effective use of their capital resources without virtualizing."

Now, with the agility and efficiency offered by cloud computing, the opportunity to help those RHEL users virtualize and move to the cloud at the same time is great, Stevens says.

The final piece of Red Hat's plan is Red Hat Storage, the company's scale-out, open source storage software for the management of unstructured data using industry-standard x86 servers across on-premise, cloud or hybrid environments.

Red Hat Storage Server 2.0 is immediately available. Red Hat plans to make the OpenShift Enterprise PaaS ITOps solution, Hybrid IaaS solution and Cloud with Virtualization bundle available this summer. The OpenShift Enteprise PaaS DevOps solution is expected later this year.

Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at [email protected]


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