Red Hat Delivers OpenShift Online PaaS, Expands Ecosystem

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-06-11

Red Hat Delivers OpenShift Online PaaS, Expands Ecosystem

Red Hat has announced the availability of OpenShift Online, its public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud offering, beginning June 11. The company also announced an expansion of its ecosystem for OpenShift.

Since its debut in developer preview in 2011, more than 1 million applications have been created on OpenShift Online. This new offering gives Red Hat a full family of open PaaS solutions: OpenShift Origin, the open source PaaS project; OpenShift Online, a commercial public PaaS offering; and OpenShift Enterprise, an on-premise private PaaS product. Red Hat announced OpenShift Online in conjunction with its Red Hat Summit, which runs June 11-14 in Boston.

OpenShift Online enables developers to quickly build, launch and host applications in the public cloud. The elastic, multi-language, PaaS architecture of OpenShift Online automates the provisioning, management and scaling of applications so developers can focus on writing the code. As a polyglot PaaS, OpenShift's support for multiple languages, including Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Perl, allows for a low barrier to entry, Red Hat said.

"As PaaS matures, enterprise developers want world-class support so they can focus less on system administration and more on coding," said Ashesh Badani, general manager of cloud and OpenShift at Red Hat, in a statement. "Our new OpenShift Online brings enterprise-grade services to public PaaS and gives Red Hat the industry's most complete PaaS portfolio."

OpenShift Online is based on the OpenShift Origin open-source project and leverages Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the SELinux subsystem for a secure, multi-tenant architecture. Users and ISV partners can also take advantage of third-party extensions or build their own through OpenShift's extensible, pluggable cartridge framework.

"We have been running our business on OpenShift Online for approximately one year and have been quite pleased with the experience and Red Hat's support," said Ruben Daniels, CEO and founder of Cloud9 IDE, in a statement. "OpenShift has worked extremely well as our back-end application infrastructure, and it has enabled us to scale up to support hundreds of thousands of end users. As a startup, OpenShift has been an ideal platform because it has allowed us to focus on our application and our customers, and not on infrastructure and operations."

For a monthly fee, developers subscribing to OpenShift Online's commercial offering, known as the Silver tier, will have access to technical support and additional platform resources from Red Hat. Developers using OpenShift Online can purchase the Silver level service tier with a credit card, paying on a month-by-month basis for access and capacity. This service tier also offers Red Hat technical support.

The Silver service tier for OpenShift Online by Red Hat will be available in North America beginning June 11 and in Europe the following week, with pricing starting as low as $20 per month.

Meanwhile, also at its Red Hat Summit, Red Hat announced the expansion of its OpenShift ecosystem by enabling partners to more easily integrate with the Red Hat platform. It announced a new cartridge specification for OpenShift that will enable tighter integration with the complementary partner technologies and products through Red Hat's OpenShift Partner Program. With the new cartridge specification, OpenShift developers can experience improved ease of use and reduced time to add partner offerings, enabling them to design and code applications without losing time on technology integration.

Red Hat Delivers OpenShift Online PaaS, Expands Ecosystem

Cartridges represent a way to plug key technologies and services into applications that are built on OpenShift. The cartridge infrastructure within OpenShift gives developers a self-service way to select the technologies that they need to successfully build and run applications, including middleware and databases. The cartridges provide an automated, self-service integration capability.

Available today in the latest release of OpenShift Online and coming soon to OpenShift Enterprise, the new cartridge API is designed to help better facilitate partner integration by allowing them to incorporate and offer more of their technology’s features with OpenShift. Several members of the OpenShift Partner Program have already integrated their solutions with OpenShift using the new cartridge API specification, including 10gen, Codenvy, Correlsense, EnterpriseDB,, MongoLab, New Relic, OC Systems, and Zend.

Since its initial launch in May 2011, the OpenShift Partner Program has evolved to offer developers a comprehensive ecosystem of partners that offer a selection of solutions that are complementary to OpenShift.

“OpenShift is about developer freedom,” Red Hat’s Badani said. “In addition to offering a broad choice of languages, frameworks and tools that give developers flexibility in building their applications, we want to make the OpenShift experience different from other PaaS offerings. Instead of spending time concerned with technology integration, with our new cartridge spec, developers can get back to what they love to do: building amazing apps.”

“Tighter integration and customization are just two of the many benefits of OpenShift’s new cartridge infrastructure,” said Tyler Jewell, CEO of Codenvy, in a statement. “Codenvy’s cloud IDE enables developers to code, build and test any kind of OpenShift project; deploy the finished project directly to OpenShift; integrate on-premise alongside OpenShift Enterprise; and develop customized OpenShift cartridges.”

“Applications in the cloud are all about speed, scale, and agile development,” said Bill Lapcevic, vice president of business development at New Relic, in a statement. “The use of OpenShift cartridges allows New Relic functionality to be added to OpenShift with a single click, without ever needing to worry about costly integration.”

Moreover, Zend, the PHP Company announced an expansion of Zend's existing collaboration with Red Hat and its OpenShift PaaS product family. A Red Hat ecosystem partner, Zend Server has been available on OpenShift Online, Red Hat's public cloud PaaS offering since Sept. 2012, and will also soon become available on OpenShift Enterprise, Zend officials said.

This extended collaboration means that clients who are developing PHP applications will be able to take advantage of the enterprise capabilities of Zend Server, along with the open hybrid cloud capabilities of OpenShift. An application can run on the Zend Server Application Platform on OpenShift Enterprise behind the firewall, and in the exact same environment on the OpenShift Online public cloud offering., Zend said.

"Red Hat has been thrilled to have Zend as part of the ecosystem for our public PaaS offering, OpenShift Online,” said Vijay Sarathy, director of the OpenShift Partner Ecosystem at Red Hat, in a statement. “We're also enthusiastic about our expanded collaboration with OpenShift Enterprise to offer private cloud capabilities for PHP. With Zend Server, our customers experience an enterprise-grade PHP solution. PHP has significant momentum among scripting languages, and our enhanced collaboration with Zend brings additional choice to OpenShift developers."

Rocket Fuel