Red Hat Aims to Manage More Clouds With CloudForms 3

RedHat delivered the latest version of its CloudForms technology, which is designed to help organizations manage multiple clouds.

Red Hat

At the VMworld event in August, Red Hat had the audacity to demonstrate a rival's product to VMware for multi-cloud management. At the time, Red Hat named the product CloudForms version 2.1. This week, Red Hat is pulling CloudForms 2.1 out of preview and rebranding it as CloudForms 3.0.

"Given the number of new features in this release of CloudForms, we decided to version it as 3.0 rather than 2.1," Bryan Che, senior director and general manager, Cloud Business Unit, Red Hat, told eWEEK.

All the bits from Red Hat's ManageIQ acquisition are now in CloudForms 3.0, Che explained. Red Hat acquired ManageIQ in January for $104 million in a bid to improve cloud management capabilities.

Red Hat has been building CloudForms as its cloud management platform since mid-2011. The latest release enables an event-capture capability that correlates information about system events and can drive policy enforcement.

CloudForms 3.0 also now integrates with the Red Hat Open Stack Platform, though it isn't yet taking full advantage of all the features that are available in the most recent OpenStack Havana release.

"CloudForms includes an orchestration and workflow engine that can be used to automate provisioning activities," Che explained. "Today, you can leverage this set of capabilities to write automation scripts against a variety of provisioning tools."

In the OpenStack Havana release, one of the major additions is the Heat orchestration module. Heat is not yet a supported technology for Red Hat, although the company is a big investor in and proponent of Heat within the OpenStack community, Che said.

"As OpenStack Heat matures as a technology and when we include it as a supported feature within the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, we will target including out-of-the-box automation scripts and capabilities to leverage Heat within CloudForms," Che said.

As was the case with the CloudForms 2.1 preview, Red Hat's OpenStack support is limited to its own distribution. Other vendors, including SUSE and Ubuntu, have their own OpenStack distributions that will not be managed by CloudForms, but that is likely to change in the future.

"We have not yet certified that other vendors' distributions of OpenStack are compatible with CloudForms," Che said. "However, we do expect over time to be able to certify additional OpenStack-based clouds."

Red Hat has a number of items in the works. At the top of the list is making all the code open-source, Che said. He also pointed to an effort to extend CloudForms to integrate with other Red Hat offerings such as Red Hat Storage as well as with Red Hat identity management and security tools to provide additional multi-tenancy and security capabilities.

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.