Red Hat got its start as a platform vendor for the Linux operating system, and over the years the platform has evolved to include virtualization and cloud infrastructure. Leading the products and technology group at Red Hat, as the company has evolved into a broader infrastructure vendor, is Paul Cormier, who has been at Red Hat since 2001.
In a video interview with eWEEK, Cormier, who currently serves as president, Products and Technologies, as well as executive vice president at Red Hat, details how he sees the Red Hat platform moving forward, with container technology at the forefront.
In Cormier's view, the new IT infrastructure is all about physical, virtual, private and public cloud technologies. From a product perspective to address cloud infrastructure specifically, the company has the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) bundle that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) virtualization, OpenStack and the ability to install and manage the whole stack.
While traditional hypervisors, specifically KVM, still have a place in enterprise infrastructure, Cormier is very bullish on virtualization containers. Docker container support is built into the recent Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 release. Cormier noted that the same Red Hat Enterprise Linux container can be run on a bare-metal server, virtual machine or in an OpenStack cloud. Additionally, as part of Red Hat's OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology, applications can be be built and deployed with containers.
"Containers are the vehicle to get applications to the cloud," Cormier said.
As an operating system vendor, there is a particular benefit to supporting containers. Cormier explained that containers are an operating system technology, and that's why they are so powerful.
"Containers are going to change the world," Cormier said.
From a go-to-market strategy, Red Hat partners with Docker Inc., the lead commercial sponsor of the open-source Docker project for the upstream development of Docker containers. One of Docker Inc.'s main commercial efforts is the Docker Hub, which provides public and private repositories for Docker-ready applications. Cormier noted that Red Hat will have its own repository for Docker-ready applications.
Cormier explained that a container is part of the Linux operating system user space. He added that mixing and matching the operating system user space across different Linux vendors is not something that is typically done.
"We will have a developers kit for our ISV partners and developers," Cormier said. "A container is really specific to the OS."
Overall, continuing to evolve and expand container technology is a primary goal for Cormier and Red Hat in the months ahead.
"For the foreseeable future, it's about making containers more accessible to application developers and more integrated across all of our products," Cormier said.
Watch the full interview with Paul Cormier below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.