OpenShift and OpenStack: A Match Made in the Cloud

February 22, 2013

by Ashesh Badani, General Manager, Cloud Business Unit

If you've been following along, then you know that Red Hat's public Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, OpenShift Online, has been attracting thousands upon thousands of (insert favorite language/framework here e.g. Java, Ruby, Python, Node…) applications for over 18 months. And you also know that the latest iteration of Red Hat's on-premise PaaS, OpenShift Enterprise 1.1, went GA just last week. You are aware that OpenShift Origin is the upstream open source community for users and contributors. And you are gaining an understanding of the Red Hat open hybrid cloud strategy that spans private, public and hybrid environments.

If your head has been steeped in the clouds, you have also figured out that your PaaS offering is highly dependent on your Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) capabilities. Consider IaaS and PaaS to be the yin and yang of a truly comprehensive cloud infrastructure. To truly accomplish auto-scaling, fluid fault tolerance and seamless availability for your developers, you need to have confidence in your ability to provide virtual machine resources to your PaaS. The better you are at providing resources to your PaaS layer, the more powerful it will become.

While there are many capable public IaaS providers, we believe that OpenStack is going to become the dominant standard for private IaaS. And just like Red Hat Enterprise Linux has become the de facto standard for Linux distributions, we confidently predict that Red Hat OpenStack, which is currently available in a preview version, will eventually become the gold standard for OpenStack distributions. By combining the stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the capabilities of Red Hat OpenStack, we provide a powerful IaaS foundation on which you can build. Deploying OpenShift on this foundation gives you the capabilities of a leading enterprise PaaS on a fully scalable cloud infrastructure.

Our work has also started in the monitoring and provisioning space. You need to be able to tell when your PaaS layer needs more resources and in turn, you need to be able to spin up those resources. That involves monitoring points in OpenShift that are constantly evolving in the open to meet customer needs (e.g. http://bit.ly/XF0fQ3). But even with a solid monitoring solution, provisioning new instances is still a challenging space. To address this, Red Hat initiated the Heat project with the goal of making provisioning consistent across public and private IaaS offerings. We are constantly experimenting with better ways to make OpenShift deployments seamless via the Heat framework for a variety of deployment configurations (http://bit.ly/Wzr2Kj).

We expect the interactions from Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack to grow more capable as the year progresses. With a well-integrated foundation for your cloud infrastructure, you should gain seamless visibility – from the logical PaaS tier all the way to the physical infrastructure that supports it, thereby giving you the ability to cater your deployment to your needs.

OpenShift has many points of engagement (e.g. https://openshift.redhat.com/community/open-source) but a first recommendation to engage with the team would be to join the development mailing lists (https://lists.openshift.redhat.com/openshiftmm/listinfo/dev) and our Google+ community. Tell us about what you are trying to do and you'll have an active community of participants ready to help you accomplish it.

Heading to the OpenStack Design Summit in April? Come a day early and join Red Hat engineers and Origin community members at the OpenShift Origin Community Day, taking place on April 14. Here's your chance to take a deep-dive into Red Hat's OpenStack and OpenShift engineering efforts including hands-on labs on how to deploy OpenShift to OpenStack plus building your own cartridges. Register here.

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