Just after announcing an expanded cloud Relevant Products/Services partner program that includes Microsoft Relevant Products/Services and Windows Azure, Dell is making yet another strategic cloud move. The server maker is partnering with Red Hat to co-engineer enterprise Relevant Products/Services-grade OpenStack private cloud solutions.

The partnership makes Dell the first company to OEM Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The co-engineered solution will be built on Dell infrastructure Relevant Products/Services and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform -- and delivered by a Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice within Dell Cloud Services.

Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president of Enterprise Solutions at Dell, took the occasion to point out the company’s long-time advocacy and participation in the open source and OpenStack communities and its role in pushing the charter of an open alternative to proprietary, enterprise computing systems.

“Our agreement to co-engineer OpenStack solutions with Red Hat takes our commitment a step further in helping customers obtain and deploy Relevant Products/Services OpenStack solutions for an enterprise-grade, private cloud infrastructure to meet their evolving business Relevant Products/Services needs,” Haas said. “We will extend our work with Red Hat to apply our combined experience in commercializing open source for the benefit of our mutual customers as well as the open-source community on its development of networking, storage and compute capabilities."

The Road Map

Dell and Red Hat have partnered for more than 14 years. Now, the companies are beefing up their longstanding collaboration and commitment to help businesses embrace open source-based cloud computing models. With this development, the companies said customers will not only benefit from the co-engineered solutions, but also Dell and Red Hat’s combined cloud resources.

Dell and Red Hat will jointly contribute code to the OpenStack community and collaborate on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4, currently in beta, which integrates OpenStack Havana, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.

Dell also plans to work closely with Red Hat on several future projects including OpenStack Networking to enable software-defined networking and networking-as-a-service between interface devices such as virtual Relevant Products/Services network Relevant Products/Services interface cards, and OpenStack Telemetry to provide OpenStack resource instrumentation to help support service monitoring and customer Relevant Products/Services billing systems.

Paul Cormier, president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat, said the partnership marks a significant milestone for both companies and customers.

“Just as we successfully collaborated with Dell to establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an enterprise industry standard, we're now extending our collaboration to help establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as the standard for open private cloud in the enterprise,” Cormier said. “Dell and Red Hat are committed to jointly developing and delivering enterprise-grade OpenStack offerings to help customers pursue private cloud today, and advanced computing models in the future."

OpenStack Momentum

We turned to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on the new partnership. He told us it’s clear that the momentum across the IT industry is moving very strongly in OpenStack’s favor.

“These latest announcements from Dell and Red Hat and Oracle may be signs that there’s finally a cross-industry move toward OpenStack as a de facto standard for cloud development. Most of the major vendors are on board now and it’s hard to think of somebody who is not doing an OpenStack development of some kind of another,” he said.

“I do think the Dell partnership with Red Hat is significant. The company obviously has deep roots with Microsoft but Red Hat is a very formidable competitor of Microsoft’s in the enterprise. As Dell falls into being more and more of an enterprise class vendor, this deal could help them capture business and success.”