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Red Hat Addresses OpenStack Support Flap

Red Hat leaders deny allegations, made in a Wall Street Journal report, that the company would refuse to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux on non-Red Hat versions of OpenStack.

that "It is too confusing for our customers" for the company to be offering multiple OpenStack distributions and supporting RHEL on all of them.

Alex Freedland, Mirantis co-founder and chairman, and Boris Renski, Mirantis chief marketing officer, put the issue a little differently in email responses sent to InformationWeek Wednesday. "It is true that Red Hat won't support RHEL on any OpenStack distribution, other than their own," wrote Renski. "But they haven't explicitly refused to do so. They just are not doing it right now. We have an ongoing conversation with them about it and they haven't formally shut the door on us," he said.

RedHat is still considering supporting RHEL guests on top of Mirantis OpenStack, "not an easy task, but we are looking forward to cooperating closely with RH on this," wrote Freedland.

But other observers summed up Red Hat's position with a less charitable outlook for the future. Technology news site GigaOm.com said Wednesday: "Red Hat seems to have ripped a page out of Oracle's playbook," referring to Oracle's refusal to support its database system running in virtual machines other than Oracle's.

Red Hat's Cormier attempted to head off such conclusions in his Wednesday blog. "Red Hat believes the entire cloud should be open with no lock-in to proprietary code. Period. No exceptions." Competitors are using "scare tactics to spread FUD about 'closed open source,'" he said.

But Cormier & Co. are likely to remain under the microscope of suspicion a little longer. It's early for OpenStack implementations. As the number of implementers grows, Red Hat may be forced to support some of them to keep thousands of RHEL customers happy. Not all of them are going to automatically opt for the Red Hat OpenStack cloud and will want to keep their options open as they seek to run RHEL workloads.

Find out how a government program is putting cloud computing on the fast track to better security. Also in the Cloud Security issue of InformationWeek Government: Defense CIO Teri Takai on why FedRAMP helps everyone.