Red Hat Unwraps OpenShift Enterprise At Amazon Event

Red Hat broadens its open source cloud development platform, which increasingly competes with VMware's Spring and Cloud Foundry.
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Red Hat announced Tuesday it is broadening its cloud development platform to include better managed developer workflows and automated provisioning of an application for a cloud deployment.

The announcement was made at Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, which gets underway Tuesday. Re:Invent is a user event to discuss best practices in making use of Amazon EC2 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).

Red Hat said at Re:Invent that its open source developer platform, OpenShift Enterprise is now generally available. The platform, first revealed in May 2011, can be used either online in the cloud or installed in an enterprise data center.

Red Hat is a participant at AWS Re:Invent because the online option is staged as a hosted service by Red Hat in the Amazon EC2 cloud. OpenShift Enterprise is a multi-language development environment comprised of Red Hat-integrated components. It's attractive to enterprise developers because it supports the use of Java Enterprise Edition, something that VMware's Spring Framework stops short of doing. It also supports Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP and Node.js, or JavaScript for servers.

OpenShift Enterprise automates the provisioning and systems management of a new application and its related parts in a way that makes it easier to deploy to a cloud environment. It also allows development and operations staff to work more closely together on new applications.

With the deployment additions, OpenShift Enterprise "can transform a Linux administrator into a cloud administrator," claimed Ashesh Badani, general manager of Red Hat's cloud business unit, in an interview.

[ Want to learn more about Red Hat's cloud development platform, based on open source code? See Red Hat Shifts Into Gear With OpenShift. ]

After developers work with such core Red Hat products as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its JBoss Application Server and related middleware, it became crucial that they be able to deploy resulting applications into compatible environments as smoothly as possible, said Badani.

In fact, enterprises that rely on open source code are faced with the task of juggling updates and additions to components as they try to keep different pieces compatible with each other. "It is actually incredibly difficult to manage and sustain" all the components of a development platform, which is why Red Hat decided to produce one, said Badani.

Red Hat charges based on the number of server cores used with OpenShift Enterprise. Pricing begins at an annual subscription of $5,550 for two cores, a Red Hat spokeswoman said.

Developers may use any Eclipse-based tools on the platform, as well as Red Hat's JBoss Developer Studio tools. New applications or new services for existing applications can be developed and speedily deployed in the cloud, using OpenShift. It uses a hardened version of RHEL, one that meets the National Security Agency's SE Linux standard, or security-enhanced Linux, which imposes mandatory access controls.

"Leverage what you've got; go into the cloud-based world," summed up Badani.

Red Hat competes with VMware to produce a platform for Java developers. VMware acquired the Spring Framework and offers it as open source code on Cloud Foundry. Spring is known as a lightweight Java development environment, one that sidesteps some of the complexities of Java Enterprise Edition.

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