The venerable Linux provider will launch a new cloud application-building platform May 3 at its users' conference, Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, in Boston.
Red Hat, whose enterprise Linux operating system and middleware runs
a lot of the world's enterprise IT systems, nonetheless has stood on
the sidelines for several years while the cloud infrastructure folks
have been churning out loads of new software.
The reason for this is clear: Up to now, the venerable Linux vendor
hasn't had a cloud-specific tool or platform offering, although it already has many of the components needed to do this.
This all changes next month when Red Hat unveils a new cloud application-building platform at its users' conference, Red Hat Summit and JBoss World
, in Boston.
The move that filled the last gap in the Cary, N.C.-based company's
catalog was acquiring a small cloud-building tools maker named Makara
last November. As a result, Red Hat expects to move immediately from
the sidelines and into the game as a key player in the open-source
Apps That Can Scale Up and Down as Needed
With Makara now in-house, Red Hat has the IP that enables developers to
deploy J2EE applications to the cloud that can scale up or down as
demand warrants. The Makara toolset is now an integral part of Red
Hat's Cloud Foundations strategy.
"What we're working on at Red Hat is the confluence of open source and
platform as a service," Isaac Roth, former CEO of Makara and now a Red
Hat executive, told eWEEK. "On the day of the acquisition, we made our
price point free, so that was good--we got a lot more usage as a
result. Now we have a few thousand developers using Makara.com
These developers are building cloud applications on RH Linux, J2EE and
PHP using the Makara tools. Details about the new package will be
announced May 3 at the conference.
"We've changed our focus slightly at Red Hat: We're now focused on
building the best platform as a service (PAAS) for developers that
build on open source," Roth told eWEEK.
"Red Hat's core of efficiency is developers that build on open source,
so we take the open-source projects that are out there and contribute
heavily to them, and wrap operational support and certifications
packaging around them to create commercial offerings.
"So this is an approach for developers who want to build on open source
and like the innovation that comes from open-source platforms: to use
the latest frameworks, the latest middleware and the latest pieces
being put in because people are contributing them."
Makara was a standard startup, with proprietary software based on free
and open-source software, at the time of the acquisition, Roth said.
It's been his job during the last five months to bring the
cloud-connecting piece to the Red Hat catalog, which already has the
operating system, the middleware (JBoss) and the services to comprise
the cloud stack.
"Red Hat now has all the ingredients (for a full-fledged cloud
platform)," Roth said. "We are based on the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual
Machine), and we have JBoss for the middleware.
What Other Cloud Stack Providers Lack
"For example, VMware has no operating system; Citrix has no operating
system or no middleware; Microsoft has all the pieces--they're
positioned well but they have had no play at all in
platform as a service."
Applications deployed in data centers aren't designed to auto-scale,
and applications are usually over-provisioned to account for peak loads
or reactively provisioned when capacity problems occur, Roth said.
"Makara enables applications to automatically scale down and up, so the
consumption of resources happens in an on-demand fashion," Roth said.
"That's the kind of control we bring to the table.
"When we come out with our offering, it will put Red Hat on the (cloud)
map, and in a pretty good position with the cloud and open-source