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Amidst the palpable energy all around me, I was fortunate to have great interactions with customers and partners at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon last week. There was significant interest and tremendous optimism around the future of OpenStack in the enterprise. From a Red Hat perspective, it was graduation day for RDO, the associated community distro of OpenStack, topped off by Brian Stevens, Red Hat’s CTO, keynoting at the event. From an enterprise-ready product perspective, our efforts now enter the Early Adopter stage and we're equally excited about the nearly thirty partners - including Cisco, Intel and Mirantis - joining our OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network.

How the infrastructure fabric gets created and managed to accommodate the brave new world of cloud-aware applications is the game that is currently unfolding across the industry. Simply using traditional virtualization and adding a bit of automation to get to a private cloud is not the end destination if you're looking for an open architecture and freedom from closed/proprietary pressures that leave you caught on the proverbial software license treadmill.

OpenStack offers organizations the possibility to get to an IaaS implementation in a much more cost-effective way. But while OpenStack is maturing fast, traditional applications aren't quite suited for this fabric of the future (yet). In this situation, it has been interesting to watch even proprietary vendors work to message around integration with OpenStack and trying to tie their brands to the open source cloud project.

However, I submit that closed + open = closed.

With KVM as the foundation for the new wave of cloud infrastructure, I posit that there is an open way to get to a private cloud that can straddle both traditional virtualization/management and the promise of OpenStack:

  • Step 1: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is the best performing, cost-effective option for workloads on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and derivatives of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. CloudForms 2.0, infused with the technologies we acquired from ManageIQ (which we plan to open source), provides the essentials of private cloud management, including orchestration, automation, chargeback, etc. And, if your organization hasn’t gone to vCloud, CloudForms can also help manage vSphere environments. CloudForms is open. For most organizations, the investment required  is a fraction of what they would otherwise invest in software licenses, and it is backed by Red Hat’s award-winning Global Support. Take this combination for spin in your lab.
  • Step 2: Add Red Hat OpenStack, our enterprise-hardened OpenStack distro with bug fixes, back ports, and a predictable lifecycle, so that you can explore the possibility offered by OpenStack. Reach out to the Red Hat associate you work with to find out more about our Early Adopter Program.

I urge you to ask yourselves: are you going to bet on an open future, or do you want to be confused by "closed + open = open" arguments? Simply put, a “proprietary virtualization solution plus an OpenStack distribution" does not equate to an open architecture and future.

The possibility of managing a cloud infrastructure in an open manner and helping to stitch the private cloud to the public cloud is Red Hat's vision of an Open Hybrid Cloud. For me it’s clear – the promise of OpenStack is best delivered via true open source solutions, and we’d like to tell you more about how Red Hat is delivering "open + open = open" solution for private cloud infrastructure.

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