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Red Hat folds ManageIQ purchase into cloud control stack

Red Hat views the recent ManageIQ acquisition as a key element in its hybrid cloud strategy

Bulking up on tools for managing hybrid clouds, Red Hat plans to fold the software it acquired last month in the ManageIQ purchase into its own CloudForms software.

The combined package will offer a more comprehensive set of management software needed to run virtual applications across public and internal clouds, according to Red Hat.

"We're integrating the operational management capabilities of ManageIQ to the existing capabilities of CloudForms," said Bryan Che, general manager of Red Hat's cloud business unit, in a webcast. Red Hat hopes the combination will provide a "compelling offering to our customers as they [make] the transition to open hybrid clouds."

Red Hat acquired ManageIQ for US$104 million in December, adding ManageIQ's software to a growing stable of products for running cloud deployments on premise, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and a distribution of OpenStack to be released later this year.

Red Hat's CloudForms offers the ability to define cloud application blueprints, so applications -- which often involve a number of different supporting technologies such as databases -- can be run on either public or private clouds with little or no additional configuration.

There is very little overlap between the functionalities of Red Hat's CloudForms and ManageIQ's suite of software, Che said. ManageIQ offers virtual machine management capabilities including discovery of resources, chargeback accounting for billing purposes, policy-based management, automation, and integration with traditional IT management tools, such as incident management systems and configuration management databases (CMDBs).

Organizations are increasingly moving toward hybrid cloud deployments, in which some operations are run on public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, while others are kept in-house, perhaps as a part of an internal private cloud, said Mary Johnston Turner, IDC research vice president covering enterprise systems management, during the webcast. Further complicating operations are the use of multiple, often incompatible, cloud services and virtual machines.

As a result of running these increasingly complex cloud environments, organizations will require tools to manage all their cloud deployments from a single view. IDC expects that organizations will buy more than $3.6 billion a year in cloud management software by 2016.

Red Hat is not alone in offering its customers software to manage workloads across public and private clouds in a hybrid approach. Hewlett-Packard designed its Converged Cloud architecture, which is also based on OpenStack, so that a single set of software can manage both in-house and HP cloud services. Microsoft has also been equipping its System Center IT management software to manage Microsoft Azure cloud services.

During the Red Hat webcast, IT architect consult Chris Russell explained how the global finance services company he works for, but did not name, has been using the ManageIQ software. The company initially used ManageIQ for capacity planning, so that different virtual systems could work alongside one another smoothly on a single set of servers. The company had been using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution and was investigating ways of using RHEV and OpenStack, along with ManageIQ, to set up a private cloud service.

Like with its other software products, Red Hat plans to release as open source the code of the ManageIQ software. Che declined to say when the first version of the ManageIQ-embellished CloudForms would be released.

Oracle also made a cloud product announcement Tuesday, launching version 3.2 of its Oracle VM virtualization management package, which now can recognize Sparc-based servers and offers the full range of its controls by way of the command line interface.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is [email protected]


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