The third enterprise release of the open source software company’s OpenStack offering, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, is officially available.
As its name suggests, the solution offers an enterprise-class cloud platform built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Because it’s co-engineered and integrated with Red Hat's OpenStack technologies it promises IT organizations agility and scale without compromising availability, security or performance.
“We see momentum behind OpenStack as a private cloud platform of choice from enterprise customers and service providers alike,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of Virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat. With its latest iteration, the company has won the support of Cisco, Dell and Intel.
What’s New in Version 5?
New features include a three-year support lifecycle backed by Red Hat’s Global Support Services team and certified OpenStack partner ecosystem. With version 5, Red Hat is also offering support for integration with VMware infrastructure, which spans virtualization, management, networking and storage.
New server groups in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform set the stage for workloads to be spread broadly across the OpenStack cloud. The intended result: better resiliency of distributed applications, lower communications latency and stronger complex applications performance.
Red Hat also improved support for virtual machines, including accommodating new cryptographic security requirements from the United States and the United Kingdom. For example, using the paravirtualized random number generator device added in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the company said cryptographic routines in guest applications can access better quality encryption and experience improved performance.
A new modular plugin architecture for Neutron works to make it easier to add networking technologies to OpenStack deployments. Red Hat said the new architecture offers a path for customers with heterogeneous networking environments who want to use a mix of networking solutions in their OpenStack environments. Finally, the new version will offer an OpenStack data processing service called Sahara as a technology preview so IT admins can provision Hadoop clusters on OpenStack faster and manage them more easily.
Advantage Red Hat?
We caught up with Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on how important this release is given the momentum building behind OpenStack. He told is it’s “fairly important.”
“Open Stack is still in early days so far as customer adoption and market penetration goes, so it would be a mistake to make too big a deal about Red Hat's commercial opportunities,” King said. “But the company's reputation in open source makes it a natural player here, and its decision to include three years of support with its solution could go some ways toward legitimizing OpenStack for mainline businesses.”
As Kings sees it, there are an awful lot of companies with a lot at stake here, so who will be left standing after the initial melee remains to be seen. That said, Red Hat’s move to partner with VMware could significantly contribute to its push.
“Despite the best efforts of formidable adversaries, including Microsoft and Citrix, VMware remains the platinum standard for enterprise-class x86 virtualization,” King said. “Red Hat and VMware have obviously worked together in the past but this extension of their relationship should pay off for both companies.”