Red Hat Launches OpenShift Platform as a Service

Red Hat launches OpenShift, a new Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) offering that supports development in Java, Ruby, PHP, Python and more.

Red Hat announced a new platform-as-a-service environment, known as OpenShift, which provides support for a variety of programming languages and frameworks, including Java, Ruby, PHP, Python and more.

Announced at the Red Hat Summit 2011 in Boston, OpenShift is a PAAS for developers who build on open source and offers more choice in languages, frameworks and clouds for developers to build, test, run and manage their applications. The technology builds on Red Hat's JBoss expertise and delivers features including CDI (Contexts and Dependency Injection), and plans support for Java EE 6, extending the capabilities of PAAS to richer and more demanding applications.

During a May 4 press conference announcing the new cloud solutions, Isaac Roth, a PAAS master at Red Hat, said OpenShift is designed to end the lock-in of PAAS, allowing users to choose the cloud provider upon which their application will run. OpenShift will be delivered as an online service, at Red Hat introduced OpenShift as a developer preview with general availability coming at a later date, the company said.

"This is PAAS 2.0," Roth said. "It's open choice of frameworks. It's open choice of clouds - it's not our cloud, it's the cloud you want. And it's open choice of middleware. Open, open, open."

"Cloud computing is starting to change the way open-source developers are writing and delivering applications," said Judith Hurwitz, president and CEO at Hurwitz and Associates, in a statement. "Therefore the market for platform-as-a-service is beginning to expand at a rapid pace. Red Hat's OpenShift helps developers by providing access to a variety of development and deployment options."

Roth said Red Hat OpenShift delivers greater flexibility than other PAAS offerings by supporting more development frameworks for Java, Python, PHP and Ruby, including Spring, Seam, Weld, CDI, Rails, Rack, Symfony, Zend Framework, Twisted, Django and Java EE. It also includes both SQL and NoSQL data stores and a distributed file system, he said. By building on the Deltacloud cloud interoperability standard, OpenShift is designed to allow developers to run their applications on any supported Red Hat Certified Public Cloud Provider, he added.

"Developers turn to open source for innovation and choice," said Brian Stevens, vice president of engineering and chief technology officer at Red Hat, in a statement. "With OpenShift, we deliver the first platform-as-a-Service that meets those needs. By providing the broadest platform and choice of languages, frameworks and supported cloud providers, OpenShift gives developers the cloud destination they've been dreaming of."

Moreover, Red Hat officials noted that one of the strengths of OpenShift is that it brings the Red Hat and JBoss ecosystems to PAAS, giving developers access to the company's middleware services. For example, OpenShift launches with support for MongoDB and other services certified to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

In addition to services designed for the needs of new cloud developers, OpenShift is the first PAAS with Red Hat's enterprise-class JBoss services, such as transactions, business rules, transactions and messaging, providing the an easy on-ramp to the cloud for enterprise developers, said Matt Hicks, a cloud operations guru at Red Hat. By building on Red Hat's experience and ecosystem in operating systems, virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware, OpenShift meets the needs of both new cloud developers and enterprises, the company said.

OpenShift will come in three editions - a free Express edition and Flex and Power editions. The Express and Flex editions are available as developer previews, the Power edition will come soon, Red Hat said.

Meanwhile, Red Hat also announced the OpenShift Partner Program. "We're launching today with a full partner ecosystem," Roth said.

"Red Hat OpenShift enables developers to focus on building applications, and dramatically reduces the upfront costs of deploying and scaling these new applications," said Roger Bodamer, executive vice president of products and technology at 10gen, maker of MongoDB, in a statement. "The MongoDB NoSQL database is well- matched to the scalability and agility that developers demand in the cloud, and by supporting MongoDB in OpenShift, Red Hat has delivered that in an enterprise-ready open source platform."

"We're thrilled to be the first mobile development platform to be part of OpenShift," said Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator, maker of the Titanium mobile development platform, in a statement. "Our integrated solution will enable developers to build and manage their mobile applications on Red Hat-certified clouds."

"With the OpenShift platform, Red Hat has created a uniquely attractive PAAS offering that pairs choice with unified simplicity," said James Phillips, co-founder at Couchbase, in a statement. "Couch and Memcached are two of the most prevalent open source data management technologies on the web, and Couchbase is excited to deliver them as OpenShift cartridges, joining other leading open source technologies,"

"EnterpriseDB is proud to be part of Red Hat's OpenShift platform, and is pleased to provide the open source developer with an enterprise-class, Oracle-compatible cloud database built and maintained through the proven open source development model," said Ed Boyajin, CEO at EnterpriseDB, in a statement.

"We are excited to be part of the Red Hat OpenShift ecosystem, and enable PHP developers to get more benefits from the Zend PHP Cloud Platform through the Red Hat OpenShift platform," said Andi Gutmans, CEO and co-founder at Zend Technologies, in a statement.