Red Hat: PaaS or IaaS, everything's about CONTAINERS now

New private cloud offerings go all-in for Docker and Kubernetes


Red Hat Summit Docker wasn't the only firm blabbing away about containers this week. On Wednesday, top Linux vendor Red Hat unveiled two new offerings at its Red Hat Summit conference in Boston, and both had containers at their cores.

The first of these was OpenShift Enterprise 3, the latest version of Shadowman's locally deployable platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering for building private clouds.

The new iteration builds on previous versions but bakes in support for Docker containers and the Kubernetes container orchestration software, which aims to let even small enterprises run their networks like Google does its own.

"As a leading contributor to both the Docker and Kubernetes open source projects, Red Hat is not just adopting these technologies but actively building them upstream in the community," the Linux maker said in a canned release.

It had also better hope that OpenShift's having found container religion makes it more attractive to customers. Although most companies report they are considering some sort of cloud move, PaaS offerings haven't historically proven as popular as the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) approach. Who knows, maybe the container fever that's sweeping the industry at the moment might change all that?

Ashesh Badani, Red Hat's VP and general manager of OpenShift, seems to think so. “This release of OpenShift Enterprise 3 employs open source containers and orchestration practices to change the developer experience and move the platform in the direction of what customers are asking for – a flexible platform for a microservices architecture," he said in a statement.

As with previous versions of Red Hat's PaaS, this third edition piles layers of tools on top of this foundation, including its source-to-container build technology that can pull source code from a Git repository and deliver a Docker containerized final product.

Also included are various middleware services from Red Hat's JBoss line, including its version of the Tomcat application server and the JBoss A-MQ message queue.

OpenShift Enterprise 3 is generally available now, with pricing based on CPU sockets and core pairs. A public cloud based on the software, which will be called OpenShift Dedicated, is also available as a private preview, with general availability to be announced later.

Irradiating the enterprise

Also at Red Hat Summit, Shadowman announced Atomic Enterprise Platform, a new, container-happy IaaS offering that provides customers with the same infrastructure that underpins OpenShift Enterprise 3 platform.

That means it provides the same Linux OS, Docker container engines, and Kubernetes management and orchestration layers as OpenShift Enterprise but leaves out the middleware, databases, language runtimes, DevOps tools, and other PaaS features.

As for the OS, it's up to customers whether they want to base their cloud on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or its stripped-down, containers-and-nothing-else derivative, Red Hat Atomic Host.

Atomic Enterprise Platform's name may be a big hint that Atomic Host is preferred, though. Red Hat says the platform is especially geared toward scale-out clustered environments that host applications based on microservices running across multiple containers.

For now, Atomic Enterprise Platform is only available in an early access program that's only open to current Red Hat customers and partners. No timeline for general availability was given. If you think you qualify, you can apply for access here. ®

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