Red Hat Advances Efforts to Manage All Clouds

Red Hat announces an OpenStack partnership with NetApp as well as a community initiative centered around its ManageIQ cloud management technology.

ATLANTA—Red Hat is advancing its cloud efforts today with an open-source community endeavor to manage cloud deployments and collaboration with storage vendor NetApp for the OpenStack cloud platform.

Red Hat is collaborating with NetApp on a new reference implementation of OpenStack. The reference architecture will combine Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 (which is based on the recent OpenStack Icehouse release) and NetApp storage, Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat, explained to eWEEK. The reference architecture does not add new software bits to OpenStack, he added.

"The NetApp collaboration with Red Hat is focused on integrating NetApp storage with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5," Balakrishnan said. "It is Red Hat's goal to create new business and revenue opportunities for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform through collaboration with NetApp."

Going a step beyond just collaboration on an OpenStack reference architecture, Red Hat and NetApp are also collaborating on a potential new OpenStack project called Manila.

"Manila is an OpenStack project that provides an API for the management of shared filesystems with support for multiple protocols and back-end implementations," Balakrishnan explained. "The goal of the Manila project is to do for shared filesystem storage what Cinder has done for block storage."

At this stage, Manila is not yet included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, although Red Hat and NetApp are collaborating to accelerate inclusion of Manila in the upstream OpenStack project.

Red Hat has OpenStack collaborations with other vendors as well, including Dell. The Red Hat-Dell collaboration, Balakrishnan said, is focused on enabling Dell to be the first OEM for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform by offering a Dell-Red Hat integrated solution that initially includes Dell PowerEdge R720 servers, a Dell 1GB Networking S55 Switch and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.


Looking at the broader cloud landscape beyond just OpenStack, Red Hat today announced a new community initiative centered around its ManageIQ cloud management technology. Red Hat acquired ManageIQ for $104 million in 2012.

The ManageIQ technology is proprietary, though Red Hat has pledged to make it open-source. As part of making it open-source, the new ManageIQ community will help organize and develop the project. Red Hat already has a number of partners that are founding members of the ManageIQ community, including AutoTrader Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chef and CiRBA.

"Some of them have already produced high-quality integrations that demonstrate the power of the ManageIQ platform," Joe Fitzgerald, general manager of cloud management at Red Hat, told eWEEK.

The plan, according to Fitzgerald, is to have a full open-source project release, including source code and builds, in a few weeks. By seeding ManageIQ as a community project, Fitzgerald said that the goal is to create a community that has a wide variety of participating organizations, from end users to ISVs to OEMs and more.

From a commercial perspective, Red Hat has its CloudForms technology, which had a 3.0 release in November 2013. ManageIQ is the upstream open-source cloud management platform project, while CloudForms is the commercially supported product from Red Hat that is based on ManageIQ, according to Fitzgerald.

"What differentiates ManageIQ from CloudForms is that Red Hat certifies and supports CloudForms and has additional, certified content for specific use cases," he said."CloudForms is also distributed as a virtual appliance built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux with all of the performance, security, scalability and resiliency necessary for enterprises and service providers."

While ManageIQ and CloudForms are intended to be used to manage OpenStack cloud deployments, Fitzgerald emphasized that ManageIQ is about more than OpenStack. It's about managing resources in a hybrid cloud world.

"OpenStack is a wonderful cloud platform, but many OpenStack deployments are side-by-side with services running in AWS, vSphere, RHEV, Hyper-V, MSSC, and a variety of other cloud and virtualization platforms," Fitzgerald said. "ManageIQ allows admins and operators to abstract away from the specific tooling and focus on managing applications and services, regardless of platform and tooling."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.