Red Hat OpenStack Distribution Released in Preview

Red Hat announced the availability of the preview release of its Red Hat OpenStack open-source cloud framework distribution.

Red Hat announced the release of a preview version of its OpenStack distribution for enterprises.

Red Hat's OpenStack distribution is based on the popular open-source OpenStack framework for building and managing private, public and hybrid infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds.

With this release, Red Hat delivers the next step in its plans for the industry's only enterprise-ready OpenStack distribution with Red Hat's commercial support, certified ecosystem of hardware and application vendors and track record of delivering trusted open-source clouds for organizations worldwide requiring enterprise-grade solutions and support, the company said.

"We've been involved with OpenStack for about a year and joined the OpenStack Foundation as a platinum member in April," Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO and vice president of worldwide engineering, told eWEEK in an interview. "This is the first step in our drive toward open hybrid clouds."

OpenStack is an open-source framework for building private and public IaaS clouds that complements Red Hat's portfolio of open-source cloud solutions. The core software projects provide compute, storage and networking management services, with a shared identity service and dashboard. Red Hat has long been contributing to OpenStack and has steadily increased its participation and contributions over time.

"As founders of OpenStack, Rackspace is excited to see Red Hat implementing the OpenStack technology in its product offerings and delivering those solutions to its customers," said Jim Curry, general manager of Rackspace Private Cloud Business, in a statement. "Red Hat is a pioneer in the open-source software space, and we look forward to working with them on our private cloud offerings and managed services in the very near future."

Indeed, at the OpenStack Summit 2012 in April, it was recognized that Red Hat is the third overall contributor to OpenStack. The OpenStack project has quickly developed into an open-source solution capable of providing organizations with performance, features and functionality for their private and public clouds.

The announcement of the forthcoming OpenStack Foundation accelerated this development, as well as highlighted the need for commercial supportability to accelerate enterprise adoption, Red Hat said. With this preview release of Red Hat's OpenStack distribution, Red Hat delivers on the next step in its commitment to provide a trusted enterprise distribution of OpenStack. Red Hat's OpenStack distribution will further extend and complement the company's open hybrid cloud portfolio, which today includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Storage and Red Hat OpenShift platform as a service (PaaS).

Stevens said the preview release of the Red Hat OpenStack distribution is based on the Essex version of the software, but it will support the upcoming "Folsom" release when it becomes available in September.

"Through our expanding involvement with OpenStack, we've seen a thriving community develop and are excited in reaching this milestone along the way to delivering an enterprise-class product based on this open cloud technology," Stevens said in a statement. "Our current productization efforts are focused around hardening an integrated solution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenStack to deliver an enterprise-ready solution that enables enterprises worldwide to realize infrastructure clouds. We invite OpenStack enthusiasts and enterprises interested in the technology to download our preview and provide feedback to help us accelerate the delivery of a stable OpenStack enterprise platform for the industry."

"As an early adopter of OpenStack and a key proponent of open source, Intel welcomes the leadership of Red Hat to help evolve this open-source project into a robust cloud operating system," said Billy Cox, director of Intel Cloud Strategy, in a statement. "Our long-standing collaboration with leading companies like Red Hat helps make enterprise Linux and open-source virtualization successful. Intel looks forward to working with the OpenStack community and Red Hat to help enterprises deploy open, trusted clouds."

Red Hat has been working with an early group of customers who have been strong advocates for a commercial release of OpenStack from Red Hat, and who have been instrumental in providing the feedback and testing required to bring this preview release to completion. The company now seeks to work with a wider group of customers to further develop Red Hat's OpenStack distribution and its usage with other Red Hat products. In addition, Red Hat is working closely with key partners such as Rackspace to provide fully managed Red Hat OpenStack-powered clouds in the future.

"Cisco believes strongly that deploying cloud platforms needs to be made easier, open and accessible," said Lew Tucker, CTO for cloud computing at Cisco, in a statement. "Just as Cisco collaborates with many partners within the OpenStack community, we see Red Hat's preview release of its enterprise-ready OpenStack distribution as an important step in this direction."

"Dell has made a commitment to the OpenStack project as both a sponsor and an adopter of OpenStack cloud solutions, and our collaboration with Red Hat and the solutions that IT enables is an important piece of that commitment," said John Igoe, executive director of open-source cloud and big data solutions at Dell, in a statement. "As the data center moves to the cloud, open source software and standards-based hardware are essential to migrate IT operations to the cloud. By combining OpenStack's enterprise-leading cloud software solution with Dell PowerEdge C servers and Dell software, including Crowbar, enterprise-leading cloud servers customers can accelerate and embrace movement to the cloud."

Customers who sign up for Red Hat's OpenStack distribution will be able to provide feedback to Red Hat's OpenStack team and collaborate with each other through community tools provided through the preview program.

The unsupported public preview version of Red Hat's OpenStack distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is available for download here. A fully supported release for Red Hat customers is expected to be delivered in 2013.