Red Hat is looking to streamline application development and deployment through the use of Linux Containers and a lightweight version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in an effort to build applications that can be portable across cloud, virtual and physical environments.
At the Red Hat Summit event in San Francisco, the firm detailed a number of threads it is pulling together to drive its vision for DevOps, built around its Linux Container technology, including that from the Docker project, and its OpenShift application-hosting platform.
Red Hat general manager for Cloud and OpenShift Ashesh Badani told V3: "As we're seeing with clouds, more and more folks are realising the value of being able to have portability across the different dimensions they run their applications in, whether physical, virtual, private cloud or public cloud or some conglomeration of all that through hybrid cloud."
Red Hat's solution to this is to use Container technology, such as that in the Linux kernel or from the Docker project, coupled with a stripped-down version of its upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 operating system, which is optimised as a Container-host platform.
"While folks find value in virtualisation, in many cases people find it is overkill for what they want to do. With Linux Containers, you don't have to spin up a full OS instance for every application," Badani explained.
This version of RHEL 7, codenamed Project Atomic, provides the core parts of the platform and allows for "atomic" updates for easy maintenance. A key feature retained is the Security Enhanced Linux (SE Linux) capabilities to securely isolate the Containers.
Red Hat is collaborating with Docker to make sure that its Container technology works with Project Atomic, and that any changes are fed back into the relevant open-source projects, Badani said.
The firm also announced GearD, an OpenShift Origin project to enable Container applications to be portable across environments, including private cloud and public cloud. This includes integration with GitHub to ensure that any changes made are kept in sync, and providing support for applications that may span multiple Containers across more than one host, and specifying the connections between these.
"If you are building a multi-tier application that needs a database with a web server in front and a load balancer, all of that has to be orchestrated, and that's what we're doing in GearD," Badani said.
Red Hat is introducing what it calls a "high-touch" beta programme over the next few months for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host and the Docker Container technology, but has not set a date for general availability.
"RHEL 7 is under beta right now and we don't have a GA date for regulatory reasons, but it won't be too far in the future, and we'll be introducing Atomic as part of the RHEL 7 GA," Badani said.
GearD is likely to have a longer gestation period, as Red Hat wants to get feedback from testers before drawing up a roadmap for introduction of the technology.
Meanwhile, Red Hat also announced OpenShift Marketplace, a one-stop shop to help customers to find and trial applications running on its OpenShift cloud platform. Red Hat partners such as BlazeMeter, ClearDB, Iron.io, and MongoLab have already agreed to add their solutions to the OpenShift Marketplace, the firm said.
The OpenShift Marketplace is due to launch in all availability regions of the OpenShift Online platform as a service (PaaS) in the coming weeks.
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