Red Hat is warning businesses that an open cloud approach is the only way to avoid lock-in, claiming that only the OpenStack platform will deliver interoperability between clouds operated by different service providers.
At a roundtable event in London, Red Hat executives outlined their vision for the open cloud and how it can deliver on the hybrid cloud vision where organisations will be free to run workloads on-premise or in the public cloud, as best meets their needs.
Red Hat is enthusiastically backing OpenStack for its cloud offerings, including those for enterprise customers building a private cloud and those aimed at service providers seeking to deliver public cloud services.
"OpenStack is an open framework under which we can realise the dream. We've become part of a flourishing community that is developing these standards around cloud governance, because we realise that no single company is going to get us there," said Red Hat chief technology officer, Brian Stevens.
With Red Hat one of the leading enterprise Linux distributors, OpenStack is an obvious fit for its existing strategy. The firm is following a similar approach to that of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in carefully testing and certifying its build of OpenStack before releasing it to customers as a fully supported product.
Called Red Hat OpenStack, this will be based on the latest Grizzly version of the OpenStack code and follow it by three months, according to Stevens, meaning it is set for general availability in early July.
Meanwhile, Red Hat unveiled this month a parallel community-supported distribution of OpenStack called RDO. This freely available distribution will act as an incubator for upcoming technologies in OpenStack, in the same way that the Fedora Linux build does for technologies destined to be included in RHEL.
Stevens said that Red Hat is seeing as much interest in adopting OpenStack at the service provider level as among its enterprise customers.
"It's almost impossible to meet a telco now who doesn't have an OpenStack strategy," he claimed.
Providers of public cloud services thus seem to be coalescing around OpenStack, save for Amazon and Microsoft who have their own proprietary platforms, plus a small number that are operating VMware-based services.
According to Red Hat, standardising on OpenStack at the enterprise and service provider end will make it much easier to link up the private and public cloud infrastructure to deliver a hybrid cloud strategy.
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