Red Hat today announced that they are releasing the source code of their Openshift PaaS platform. Red Hat announced that Openshift is open source at the time of release but they didn’t release the source code till now. There are two reasons for this delay:
- Since Openshift came through Makara acquisition, it is important for them to make sure the code is legally sustainable as open source
- Red Hat wanted to make sure the platform is integrated very well before they could release the source code
However, this delay did cost them mindshare as VMware’s CloudFoundry (previous CloudAve coverage) has gained valuable traction among the developers in the last one year. As I always argue in this space and elsewhere, monopoly is bad irrespective of whether we are talking about proprietary software or open source software. In this context, having a competing open source PaaS solution to CloudFoundry is a good thing to happen for the market. Free market succeeds only when there is a strong competition and Redhat with its own muscle and open source credibility can offer a competing open source alternative to CloudFoundry.
The source code of Openshift is released under Apache 2 license with the name Openshift Origin. Just like Fedora project for RHEL, Openshift origin will serve as the upstream for Red Hat’s PaaS offering. Along with the hosted PaaS solutions, Red Hat is planning to monetize Openshift open source version by bringing it part of their subscription model and offering support solutions. However, their paid support model is only for Openshift running on top of RHEL platform. Though Openshift can run on any infrastructure platform, paid support services are not available for other platforms. Either way, I am excited because competition is always good and if the competition comes from another open source project, it makes the news doubly good.
It will also be interesting to see the kind of uptake in the OpenStack project. Red Hat is one of the Platinum sponsors for OpenStack community and it will help them if they work closely with the community to make Openshift run seamless on Openstack platform. It is also interesting that Piston Cloud announced today that they are building CPI for CloudFoundry on OpenStack.
Disclosure: Red Hat is one of the companies I am talking to with regards to sponsoring Deploycon 2012, a PaaS conference I am running.