Red Hat Lays out OpenStack Strategy

Michael Vizard

As a set of technologies that can unify the management of both public and private cloud, OpenStack holds great promise. Hoping to leverage that promise, Red Hat this week at the OpenStack Summit conference outlined its plans for leveraging OpenStack to not only unify the management of its existing servers, but also instances of Red Hat running Hadoop.

Also this week, Red Hat pledged to integrate Red CloudForms, the company’s existing cloud management platform, with the ManageIQ management software that Red Hat acquired late last year. In addition, Red Hat plans to integrate CloudForms with OpenShift Enterprise, the company’s existing server management platform via a common OpenStack implementation, which Red Hat also plans to share with other vendors via a new OpenStack partner network. At the moment, the company is looking for about 100 IT organizations to participate in an OpenStack early adopter program.

One of the more strategic OpenStack applications that Red Hat is pursuing involves Project Savannah, a partnership with Hortonworks, a distributor of Hadoop, and Mirantis, a systems integrator that specializes in OpenStack cloud management software, to build an open source application for managing Hadoop clusters.

From an IT perspective, one of the most difficult things to manage is a Hadoop cluster, which given all the data involved, can wind up consisting of hundreds, if not thousands, of servers.

According to Greg Kleinman, senior director for strategy and storage at Red Hat, managing Hadoop clusters as a private cloud is really “the killer application for OpenStack.” As a framework for provisioning large numbers of servers, OpenStack provides the foundation for the Project Savannah management application.

Project Savannah is an attempt to unify three of the largest open source communities in the form of Linux, OpenStack and Hadoop at a time when many IT organizations have adopted an “open source first” mantra. The challenge right now is that OpenStack needs further refinement to be deployed in the enterprise, while Hadoop at the moment lacks a framework for automating the management of servers.

Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel says Project Savannah, which the three companies have pledged to be able to demonstrate working with open source APIs at the Hadoop Summit in June, will leverage an OpenStack implementation that Mirantis has developed to create an elastic service architecture for dynamically scaling out Hadoop servers.

Clearly, Red Hat views OpenStack as a critical piece of unifying management software that not only unifies its own management framework, but will eventually more tightly couple Red Hat environments to the rest of the enterprise.



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