Delivering OpenStack Innovation Through Collaboration: Red Hat and Cisco

November 6, 2013

By Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies, Red Hat

It is no secret that cloud computing as we know it would simply not exist without open source and the flexible efficiency of Linux. While cloud’s past and present are rooted in open source, so is it’s future. The cloud of the future requires the operating system, hypervisor, and the flexible scalability of cloud services such as OpenStack – which builds on the inherent strengths of open source – to come together as part of the next-generation operating platform to provide seamless, scalable and elastic cloud infrastructure.

But, new application demands for dynamic scale are resulting in proportional demands for dynamic infrastructure. These new cloud applications are elastic across the board, in terms of performance, security, connectivity and 24/7 availability. That means that compute, storage, and networking must provide coordinated agility, both virtual and physical, and this is why Red Hat is proud to partner with Cisco on their Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) initiative, announced today. Cisco’s ACI policy framework can be leveraged by OpenStack to intelligently automate and accelerate application deployment and operations across the cloud infrastructure, and Red Hat is the only vendor with certified solutions across the spectrum of required technologies to do this.

I’d like to offer perspective on why this work with Cisco represents a seminal moment not only for Red Hat, but also for OpenStack in the enterprise. Just as we did in the earliest days of enterprise Linux, we believe that OpenStack is a core element of the datacenter fabric of the future. Red Hat is “all in” on OpenStack. In June, we introduced our OpenStack-powered product offerings, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and we’re optimizing our portfolio of open hybrid cloud offerings to enable enterprise adoption of OpenStack. We’ve built the industry’s largest ecosystem in support of commercial OpenStack deployments, and we’re among the first to offer OpenStack training and certification programs to help build skills and knowledge.

Beyond what we’re doing to further enterprise adoption of OpenStack, Red Hat is also the leading contributor to the OpenStack project. While most of the companies contributing to OpenStack are involved in only one or two projects, Red Hat’s participation and innovation spans every core OpenStack project and many of the core incubating projects, including OpenStack Compute (Nova), OpenStack Orchestration (Heat), OpenStack Common Libraries (Oslo), OpenStack Integration Tests (Tempest), OpenStack on OpenStack (TripleO), Solum, and Tuskar. This is an excellent complement to Cisco, which is contributing ACI plug-ins for OpenStack Networking (Neutron).

The convergence of compute, network and storage enables the delivery of cloud computing with elastic scale and dynamic self-service provisioning capabilities. This combination, driven forward by Red Hat's dedicated and leading involvement in OpenStack, will enable enterprise customers to deploy infrastructure solutions which will enable their developers to rapidly innovate with increased agility. Service providers can now deploy the next-generation datacenter operating environment based on open solutions that are less expensive, and which run on lower cost commodity hardware. Enterprise customers want their datacenters to provide services like those from public cloud providers, and service providers want the benefits Linux has delivered to enterprise customers who gain greater ROI and lower overall TCO by having a broader choice of software and hardware vendors to meet their technology requirements, all without vendor lock-in because the infrastructure runs on open source software.

The promise of cloud computing is now a reality, and the technology landscape is evolving more rapidly than at any previous point in history. We believe that Red Hat and our open hybrid cloud portfolio are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the cloud computing paradigm shift. Red Hat is the only open source cloud computing software company with a product portfolio that spans Linux, OpenStack and virtualization, as well as open software-defined storage with Red Hat Storage plus cloud application development solutions including Red Hat JBoss Middleware and OpenShift, our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering. And with Red Hat CloudForms, our hybrid cloud management solution which now delivers enterprise-grade cloud management for OpenStack, we’re enabling cloud management through a single pane of glass. We believe this represents an unbeatable combination of technologies, all delivered via a service subscription model based on open source software that gives enterprises and service providers lower cost, higher value solutions with neither proprietary hardware nor software vendor lock-in.

The future is all about developers being able to quickly and easily build scalable cloud applications and then use simple policies to specify user needs for performance, security and reliability. Controllers should be able to translate those needs in to the underlying compute, network and storage topology, resources and services. Collaborating with Cisco on Application Centric Infrastructure, Red Hat is delivering a next-generation datacenter operating environment through Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Cisco ACI and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform enable users to deploy next-generation cloud technology to drive business agility and lower operational costs while gaining greater freedom. Together, Cisco and Red Hat are extending the Cisco ACI policy framework to OpenStack environments, enabling customers to build rich application driven network policies in their cloud environments to help meet demands for future cloud deployments. Specifically, the solution will be an integration between Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Cisco’s Application Infrastructure Policy Controller. The proposed solution will be jointly certified and supported by Red Hat.

The future is now, and we believe Red Hat is the defining technology company of the 21st century. We’re focused on delivering cloud innovation, and we’re pleased to collaborate with Cisco as part of this exciting and industry-moving advancement.

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