With the proprietary enterprise software vendors all scrambling to co-opt cloud computing into a framework of their existing software and services, it should come as no surprise that vendors of open source technology are working hard to do the same.
For Linux giant Red Hat, the future of the cloud is one in which the technology is open and cloud-based applications can move freely between clouds and the enterprise. That's the vision that Red Hat executives laid out today as part of the company's Cloud Foundations strategy -- and the vision they're betting enterprise IT and developers will buy into.
Red Hat initially announced its Cloud Foundations effort in June; now, it's expanding the initiative and providing more detail on where it sees the technology heading. With Cloud Foundations, Red Hat is aiming to deliver infrastructure, technology, tools and services for cloud providers, enterprises and application developers.
"It's not about one piece of technology, it's a combination of technology that is integrated together as well as the ability to stand it up and install it for our customers," Paul Cormier, executive vice president and president of products and technologies at Red Hat, said during a webcast conference. "Cloud Foundations brings those technologies together to enable customer to take advantage of this powerful new architecture."
One of the key technologies Red Hat is relying on to power its Cloud Foundation is the Deltacloud project. With Deltacloud, the goal is to deliver an open source API for IT management across multiple clouds. The effort first began at Red Hat and has now moved to the Apache Foundation.
Red Hat is now also trying to expand Deltacloud to become an open standard for cloud management via the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF).
Building on top of the Deltacloud technology, Red Hat today also announced that it plans on deploying a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution for management, deployment and development of cloud applications. The general idea is to ensure that applications are portable, so that they can move across cloud and enterprise deployments.
The Red Hat PaaS technology will leverage Red Hat's JBoss middleware technologies, it said.
For developers, a key new Red Hat technology will be forthcoming that will enable the development of cloud-friendly applications. During the webcast, Bryan Che, head of product management for cloud computing at Red Hat, demoed an enhanced version of the JBoss Developer Studio that had been tailored for cloud application development and deployment.
"New capabilities ... are being developed for JBoss Developer Studio," Che said in response to a question from InternetNews.com. "You will start to see new these new plugins and other capabilities that we demonstrated today introduced to our customers through the standard product."
Che did not provide specifics on when the new version would be generally available.
Red Hat will also be leveraging its upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL) operating system as component of it cloud strategy. RHEL 6 is currently in development and Red Hat has not yet provided a release date for general availability.
"Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will provide quite a number of interesting capabilities," Che said. "We focused on enabling virtualization and cloud capabilities with this release."
One such feature is called cgroups (Control Groups) that will provide new policy capabilities for deploying multitenant clouds with quality-of-service levels.
He added that there will also be new security capabilities in the operating system.
"So as customers build complex clouds with multiple tenants on them, they can deal with security and quality of service as they never have before," Che added.
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