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InfoQ Homepage News Red Hat Adds Commercial Public Cloud Offering to OpenShift PaaS

Red Hat Adds Commercial Public Cloud Offering to OpenShift PaaS

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Red Hat OpenShift, the open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), introduced a new cloud-hosted commercial edition called OpenShift Online. This gives Red Hat both a private and public edition of OpenShift and fits into Red Hat’s broader strategy of delivering a top-down application stack for the modern enterprise data center.

In a blog post, the OpenShift team announced that it was taking OpenShift Online out of extended preview and offering a supported, production-quality edition. They are retaining a free usage tier, but now introducing a paid “silver plan” that permits more resource-intensive applications, more storage, Red Hat support, SSL for custom domains, and more. Red Hat is also dropping the cost of each small and medium “gear” – or scale unit – by 20% and the overall monthly platform fee was cut in half. The API for extending OpenShift with new software packages has also changed.

With this release, we are also delivering the next generation of our cartridge API to help isolate the cartridges from the core platform. You can now develop and contribute cartridges without any special permissions or approvals required. We believe this separation is the most important evolution of the system to date. Whether you are a partnerproviding exciting new capabilities on OpenShift or a user that needs customized functionality for your application, the new cartridge API unlocks this potential.

What exactly is OpenShift? It’s a cloud application platform that can run in the public cloud (via OpenShift Online)or private cloud (via OpenShift Enterprise). Both OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise use the same open source codebase called OpenShift Origin. Applications – written in Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, Perl, or Node.js – are deployed through a Git-powered workflow to a set of “cartridges” the run the various portions of the application stack. These cartridges get deployed to one or more “gears” which are the runtime containers for the application. Applications may scale horizontally to multiple gears or use one of two gear sizes to offer more capacity to an individual gear. OpenShift supports a variety of database technologies and includes platform capabilities such as auto scaling, remote access through SSH, Jenkins support for continuous integration, and more.

According to Red Hat, developers have embraced this platform and created over one million applications during the past two years, with two thousand applications added daily. A number of partners have already jumped on board to support the new cartridge API. A Red Hat press release called out specific partners who provide integrated services for building and monitoring OpenShift applications.

Several members of the OpenShift Partner Program have already integrated their solutions with OpenShift using the new cartridge API specification, including 10gen, Codenvy, Correlsense, EnterpriseDB,, MongoLab, New Relic, OC Systems, and Zend.

Since its initial launch in May 2011, the OpenShift Partner Program has evolved to offer developers a comprehensive ecosystem of partners that offer a selection of solutions that are complementary to OpenShift.

OpenShift got a boost last week when PayPal revealed that it uses OpenShift as part of its private cloud. During the GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco, PayPal’s Vice President of Engineering Ryan Granard described their on-premises cloud usage.

How is PayPal going about this? It’s been running Red Hat’s OpenShift on-premise PaaS to build out products such as PayPal Here — the company’s answer to Square — as well as a developer sandbox.

With that tool, Granard said, a developer chooses a product to work on “and in minutes, we have you up and running in a fully connected container” with infrastructure resources immediately allocated.

Developers don’t need to worry about whether those resources are being managed in a VMware tools or with OpenStack, both of which PayPal is using internally, Granard said.

How does OpenShift fit into Red Hat’s overall strategy? In an interview with ReadWrite Red Hat Executive VP Paul Cormier and made a few comments about their plans.

Our next 10 years will be spent building out other essential infrastructure for the enterprise, while continuing to improve RHEL. A significant part of this involves our hybrid cloud initiative.

The infrastructure we're building has several components. OpenStack is one cog in the wheel, as is Linux. I see OpenShift, another piece, as how you "cloudify" middleware, something we get asked to do all the time as enterprises want us to move more JBoss services to the cloud.

The third pivotal moment is OpenShift, starting with OpenShift Online. We did this purely for the developer. Atypically for Red Hat, we didn't even have a business model for it when we introduced it. We just knew we needed it for our developer community. Later, customers started asking us for an enterprise version.

I don't think people appreciate just how much of a fundamental change OpenShift is for Red Hat: it has introduced a new business model for us.

Comparisons with Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry PaaS are inevitable. Both are open source, support similar runtimes and services, and are pushing aggressively into the private PaaS arena. Besides some architectural differences, these platforms will also likely differ on both pricing model and deployment approach. Red Hat typically makes money by offering service subscriptions (versus software licensing) and that’s the plan for the OpenShift Enterprise product. Pivotal has yet to release pricing for Cloud Foundry. Red Hat is embracing OpenStack and is in a unique position to provide a single supported software stack that covers PaaS, cloud platform, and operating system.

For more details on OpenShift, view their product website and source code on GitHub.

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Community comments

  • Too complicated !!

    by Patrick Chirac,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I think it's super complicated to use OpenShift. Do they only target big companies? I'm using and I think it is much easier!

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