Cloud.com (see previous CloudAve coverage), the open source cloud provider for enterprise and service providers, last week announced that they are supporting RedHat Enterprise Linux 6. This will allow enterprises and service providers to immediately take advantage of the new features available in the newly released RHEL 6 and extend it into cloud using their existing Cloud.com management tools.
RedHat And Cloud
After ignoring cloud computing for a while, RedHat suddenly woke up to the reality of the cloud based world and saw Canonical positioning Ubuntu Enterprise Linux as a perfect solution for the cloud based world. They moved in swiftly to “cloudify” their offerings as an open standards based open source cloud solutions with emphasis on interoperability and application portability. Two key aspects of RedHat’s approach to cloud compared to others including VMware are
- Interoperability and application portability. Others offer similar features but RedHat is putting emphasis on Open Source and Open Standards. The idea is to provide a consistent platform to run the workloads across existing datacenters, private clouds and public clouds
- More importantly, the openness part of their philosophy emphasizes on lack of any performance penalty while running third party tools
RedHat has a two pronged cloud strategy, one targeting the IaaS layer and the other on the PaaS layer. Purists will definitely criticize RedHat strategy as more of a cloud washing of their existing offerings. However, my world view on cloud computing includes private and hybrid clouds in the short term with most of the workloads shifting to public clouds in the long term. With this world view, I see RedHat’s strategy as a right one for the current landscape and they want to do all the heavy-lifting underneath the platform layer for both the private and the public clouds.
Their IaaS strategy revolves around Cloud Foundations, a mixture of product and services that will help their customers jumpstart both their private and public cloud strategies. They have wide range of tools including RHEL at the OS layer, KVM at the virtualization layer, Necessary tools to automate the conversion from one virtualization to another, tools to schedule workload across many different public clouds, etc.. With RedHat cloud foundations, their customers can
- Set up private cloud using any virtualization solution
- Deploy and manage workloads across existing datacenters, private clouds and different public clouds
- A multi-cloud management interface (using their Deltacloud tool) which will allow seamless management across many different clouds instead of using a different management console for each virtualization solution and cloud provider
- Greatly enhanced scalability (RHEL 6 takes this even further with up to 2X improvement in network rates, 2X to 5X improvement in multiuser filesystem workloads and reduction of I/O overhead significantly in comparison to bare metal
- Get consulting services from certified professionals
On the PaaS side, they are tapping their JBoss enterprise middleware claiming that they are offering an open choice for PaaS to run on either private clouds or one of the public cloud providers. This is also part of their Cloud Foundations offerings, served as a portfolio that will promote consistency between enterprise applications and the cloud. In my opinion, this is more cloud washing than any realistic PaaS solution. We will have to wait and see how this evolves into a serious PaaS offering in the future.
Recently, RedHat announced the release of RedHat Enterprise Linux 6, their latest iteration of popular Linux distribution targeted towards enterprise customers. Their main emphasis with RHEL 6 revolves around
- Greater scalability
- The integrated KVM virtualization offers better datacenter operational flexibility
- Higher levels of reliability due to better optimization for hardware, enhanced resilience and isolation of hardware failures. Integrated hardware based check-summing offering better data integrity is another feature of RHEL 6 aimed towards higher reliability for commodity hardware
- Opensource, interoperability and other open mantra
Cloud.com supports RHEL 6
Cloud.com worked closely with RedHat to support RHEL 6 as soon as it was made available to enterprise customers. This is part of Cloud.com’s strategy supporting a wide range of enterprise operating environments and virtualization technologies. Through this partnership, Cloud.com will be testing and certifying Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 as both a supported platform for the CloudStack management server as well as a fully supported guest within a public or private CloudStack deployment. This means that IT administrators can bridge their physical and cloud deployments with the same IT management tools, increasing efficiency, reliability and interoperability in the datacenter. At the same time, users will have access to the same robust ecosystem of partners and developers that they use in their existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments as they make the transition to the cloud.
I am still betting on Canonical to get the cloud right because RedHat have their hands tied in the existing datacenter infrastructure, much like the dilemma faced by Microsoft but at a smaller scale. However, RedHat can leverage their existing market position to become the defacto Linux leader in the cloud landscape. It depends on how much they are serious about pushing a realistic cloud strategy without involving in cloud washing. It will be interesting to see how they tie up with providers like Cloud.com to push their offerings into the enterprise cloud market.
- Cloud.com Partners with Red Hat to Support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (eon.businesswire.com)
- Red Hat Releases RHEL 6 (linux.slashdot.org)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 improves scalability, virtualization (arstechnica.com)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 touted for cloud features, energy efficiency (linuxfordevices.com)
- RHEL 6: serious Linux built for growth (go.theregister.com)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: Why to Upgrade – Why to Hold Off (ostatic.com)