Category Archives: Red Hat

Microsoft Azure to become a Red Hat Enterprise Linux channel partner

redhat office logoA new Microsoft-Red Hat partnership could make hybrid cloud computing a lot easier and less binding, in a surprise move that sees Microsoft become a channel partner for an open source company.

The availability of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux-based systems on Microsoft Azure was the key component of a joint announcement on Wednesday. Microsoft will offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure.

The two vendors also announced plans to jointly tackle issues that commonly arise when enterprises, ISVs and developers try to build, install and manage applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds.

Under the terms of the partnership Red Hat systems will be available natively to Microsoft Azure customers and Microsoft Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider. In return, Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will also be able to bring their own virtual machine images to run in Microsoft Azure.

Microsoft Azure customers can now make full use of Red Hat applications such as JBoss Enterprise, JBoss Web Server, Red Hat Gluster Storage and OpenShift, Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service offering.

The two partners will jointly offer enterprise-grade support for hybrid computing set ups. The cross-platform, cross-company support will span both Microsoft and Red Hat offerings. In a new initiative, support teams from both vendors will be located on the same sites, in a bid to achieve the level of support cohesion the public cloud lacks, according to Red Hat.

The two partners will also work together to unify workload management across hybrid clouds. This will see Red Hat CloudForms interoperate with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, As a result, customers should be able to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure. Extra support for managing Azure workloads from Red Hat CloudForms is expected ‘in the next few months’.

There will also be a level of collaboration on .NET for a new generation of application development options, Red Hat said. Developers will have access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

“The data centre is heterogeneous, and the cloud is hybrid,” said Paul Cormier, president of Products and Technologies at Red Hat. “Together, we’re offering the most comprehensive support agreement for our mixed technologies to support customers.”

Fujitsu, Red Hat partner on OpenStack-based private clouds

Red Hat and Fujitsu are partnering to develop OpenStack converged infrastructure solutions

Red Hat and Fujitsu are partnering to develop OpenStack converged infrastructure solutions

Fujitsu and Red Hat have jointly developed a dedicated solution to simplify the creation of OpenStack private clouds.

The Primeflex is a converged compute and storage combines Fujitsu’s server technology with Red Hat OpenStack and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform software, and backed by Fujitsu’s professional services outfit.

The companies said the OpenStack-based converged offering will speed up cloud deployment.

Harald Bernreuther, director global infrastructure solutions at Fujitsu said: “Primeflex for Red Hat OpenStack can underpin any organisation’s plan to transform their business model by leveraging cloud computing. By opting for an OpenStack-based solution, organisations can run new cloud-scale workloads while also optimising costs.

“Primeflex for Red Hat OpenStack extends the philosophy of cost optimisation, through simplifying system maintenance and consolidating technology updates across the entire system stack, all the way from the underlying hardware through to the operating system,” Bernreuther said.

Red Hat said there is value in driving strong integration between software and hardware in the cloud space.

“OpenStack is a rapidly-growing, open source cloud infrastructure platform that is cost-effective, open, flexible and highly scalable,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat.

“We are excited about Fujitsu’s offering based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to deliver private cloud infrastructure solutions and we look forward to continuing the collaboration to provide customers with an innovative cloud platform for digital business initiatives,” he said.

Red Hat isn’t the only OpenStack vendor boosting its converged infrastructure strategy as of late. In July Mirantis unveiled plans to work with a range of vendors, initially Dell and Juniper, to deliver OpenStack-based converged infrastructure solutions for enterprises.

A tale of two ITs

Werner Knoblich,  head of strategy at Red Hat in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)

Werner Knoblich, senior vp and gm of Red Hat in EMEA

Gartner calls it ‘bimodal IT’; Ovum calls it ‘multimodal IT’; IDC calls it the ‘third platform’. Whatever you choose to call it, they are all euphemisms for the same evolutions in IT: a shift towards deploying more user-centric, mobile-friendly software and services that more scalable, flexible and easily integrated than the previous generation of IT services. And while the cloud has evolved as an essential delivery mechanism for the next generation of services, it’s also prompting big changes in IT says Werner Knoblich, senior vice president and general manager of Red Hat in EMEA.

“The challenge with cloud isn’t really a technology one,” Knoblich explains, “but the requirements of how IT needs to change in order to support these technologies and services. All of the goals, key metrics, ways of doing business with vendors and service providers have changed.”

Most of what Knoblich is saying may resonate with any large organisation managing a large legacy estate that wants to adopt more mobile and cloud services; the ‘two ITs can be quite jarring.

The chief goal used to be reliability; now it’s agility. In the traditional world of IT the focus was on price for performance; now it’s about customer experience. In traditional IT the most common approach to development was the classic ‘waterfall’ approach – requirements, design, implementation, verification, maintenance; now it’s all about agile and continuous delivery.

Most assets requiring management were once physical; now they’re all virtualised machines and microservices. The applications being adopted today aren’t monolithic beasts as they were traditionally, but modular, cloud-native apps running in Linux containers or platforms like OpenStack (or both).

Not just the suppliers – but also the way they are sourced – has changed. In the traditional world long-term, large-scale multifaceted deals were the norm; now, there are lots of young, small suppliers, contracted in short terms or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

“You really need a different kind of IT, and people who are very good in the traditional mode aren’t necessarily the ones that will be good in this new hybrid world,” he says. “It’s not just hybrid cloud but hybrid IT.”

The challenges are cultural, organisational, and technical. According to the 2015 BCN Annual Industry Survey, which petitioned over 700 senior IT decision makers, over 67 per cent of enterprises plan to implement multiple cloud services over the next 18 months, but close to 70 per cent were worried about how those services would integrate with other cloud services and 90 per cent were concerned about how they will integrate those cloud services with their legacy or on-premise services.

That said, open source technologies that also make use of open standards play a massive role in ensuring cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-legacy integrations are achievable and, where possible, seamless – one of the main reasons why Linux containers are gaining so much traction and mind share today (workload portability). And open source technology is something Red Hat knows a thing or two about.

Beyond its long history in server and desktop OSs (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and middleware (JBoss) the company is a big sponsor and early backer of Open Stack, increasingly popular cloud building software built on a Linux foundation. It helped create an open source platform as a service, OpenShift. The company is also working on Atomic Host, an open source container-based hosting mechanism for a slimmed down version of RHEL with support for other open source container technologies including Kubernetes and Docker, the darlings of the container community.

“Our legacy in open source is extremely important and even more important in cloud than the traditional IT world,” Knoblich says.

“All of the innovation happening today in cloud is open source – think of Docker, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, and you can’t really think of one pure proprietary offering that can match these in terms of the pace of innovation and the rate at which new features are being added,” he explains.

But many companies, mostly the large supertankers, don’t yet see themselves as ready to embrace these new technologies and platforms – not just because they don’t have the type or volume of workloads to migrate, because they require a huge cultural and organisational shift. And cultural as well as organisational shifts are typically rife with political struggles, resentment, and budgetary wrestling.

“You can’t just install OpenStack or Dockerise your applications and ‘boom’, you’re ready for cloud – it just doesn’t work that way. Many of the companies that are successfully embracing these platforms and digitising their organisations set up a second IT department that operates in parallel to the traditional one, and can only seed out the processes and practices – and technologies – they’ve embraced when critical mass is reached. Unless that happens, they risk getting stuck back in the traditional IT mentality.”

An effective open hybrid approach ultimately means not only embracing the open source solutions and technologies, but recognising that some large, monolithic applications – say, Cobol-based mainframe apps – won’t make it into this new world; neither will the processes needed to maintain those systems.

“For some industries, like insurance for instance, there isn’t a recognised need to ditch those systems and processes. But for others, particularly those being heavily disrupted, that’s not the case. Look at Volkswagen. They don’t just see Mercedes, BMW and Tesla as competitors – they see Google and Apple as competitors too because the car becomes a technology platform for services.”

“No industry is secure from disruption, particularly from players that scarcely existed a few years ago, which is why IT will be multi-modal for many, many years to come,” he concludes.

This interview was developed in partnership with Red Hat

Box, Docker, eBay, Google among newly formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is putting Linux containers at the core of its definition of 'cloud-native' apps

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is putting Linux containers at the core of its definition of ‘cloud-native’ apps

The Linux Foundation along with a number of enterprises, cloud service providers , telcos and vendors have banded together to form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in a bid to standardise and advance Linux containerisation for cloud.

The newly formed open source foundation, a Linux Foundation collaborative project, plans to create and drive adoption of common container technologies at the orchestration level, and integrate hosts and services by defining common APIs and standards.

The organisation also plans to assemble specifications to address a “comprehensive set of container application infrastructure needs.”

The members at launch include AT&T, Box, Cisco, Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Cycle Computing, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Kismatic, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Switch Supernap, Twitter, Univa, VMware and Weaveworks.

“The Cloud Native Computing Foundation will help facilitate collaboration among developers and operators on common technologies for deploying cloud native applications and services,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

“By bringing together the open source community’s very best talent and code in a neutral and collaborative forum, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation aims to advance the state-of-the-art of application development at Internet scale,” Zemlin said.

The central goal of the foundation will be to harmonise container standards and techniques. A big challenge with containers today is there are many, many ways to implement them, with a range of ‘open ecosystems’ and vendor-specific approaches, all creating one heterogeneous, messy pool of technologies that don’t always play well together.

That said, the foundation expects to build on other existing open source container initiatives including Docker’s recently announced Open Container Initiative (OCI), with which it will work on building its container image spec into the standards it develops. Google also announced that the foundation would henceforth govern development of Kubernetes, which reached v.1 this week, over to the foundation.

“Google is committed to advancing the state of computing, and to helping businesses everywhere benefit from the patterns that have proven so effective to us in operating at Internet scale,” said Craig McLuckie, product manager at Google. “We believe that this foundation will help harmonize the broader ecosystem, and are pleased to contribute Kubernetes, the open source cluster scheduler, to the foundation as a seed technology.”

Ben Golub, chief executive of Docker said while the OCI offers a solid foundation for container-based computing many standards and fine details have yet to be agreed.

“At the orchestration layer of the stack, there are many competing solutions and the standard has yet to be defined. Through our participation in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, we are pleased to be part of a collaborative effort that will establish interoperable reference stacks for container orchestration, enabling greater innovation and flexibility among developers. This is in line with the Docker Swarm integration with Mesos,” Golub said.

Red Hat beefs up cloud partner programme as ecosystem broadens

Red Hat is broadening its cloud partner programme

Red Hat is broadening its cloud partner programme

Red Hat is replacing its existing cloud provider programme with a revamped one it claims will help provide better support for distributors, managed service providers and systems integrators. The company said the move was in response to what it sees as a broadening ecosystem of partnerships in cloud.

The “Certified Cloud and Service Provider” programme will replace the existing “Certified Cloud Provider” initiative and broaden the types of members included. The company will  certify and provide technical support to vendors as well as service providers offering Red Hat-based cloud services for any type of cloud deployment.

The company said the move was driven in part by the continued adoption of newer technologies and platforms like PaaS and Linux containers, and the broadening of the ecosystem of potential partners.

“Much like enterprise IT itself, the world of cloud computing is constantly evolving, especially with the growing promise of hybrid cloud approaches and Linux container-based architectures,” said Michael Ferris, senior director, Business Architecture, Red Hat.

“The Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider program is designed to encompass nearly all service provider models, spanning the public cloud to on-site managed services, offering our customers a secure, stable and trusted partner ecosystem upon which to build their next-generation IT projects using Red Hat solutions.”

Red Hat said the revamped programme will launch with about 13 of the 15 service providers recognised in Gartner’s oft-cited Magic Quadrant, and has grown close to 60 per cent from the previous year. The company has close to 50 cloud providers signed up to the programme so far.

Mark Enzweiler, senior vice president, Global Partners and Alliances, Red Hat said: “The Certified Cloud and Service Provider program is an important next step for one of Red Hat’s key channels. Our partners want to develop their businesses based on enterprise-ready open source technologies, and this global program delivers new opportunities for recurring revenue to a diverse set of participating partners to expand their business with Red Hat.”

Rackspace taps former VeriSign, Red Hat exec to lead strategy, product engineering

Scott CrenshawRackspace has appointed Scott Crenshaw to the role of senior vice president of strategy and product. Crenshaw, who formerly hails from VeriSign, will oversee the company’s corporate strategy, business development and product and engineering portfolio.

Crenshaw most recently served as senior vice president of products at VeriSign, where he led the development of the company’s new products and services. Before that he served as vice president of strategy and chief marketing officer at Acronis, a data backup and recovery solutions provider, and spent a number of years at Red Hat, where he served as vice president and general manager of the cloud business unit.

He also holds a number of patents related to subscription service provision and monitoring.

“We are excited to have someone of Scott’s caliber and experience joining our team,” said Rackspace president and chief executive officer Taylor Rhodes.

“Throughout his career, Scott has established a strong track record of developing winning strategies, managing and growing unique product offerings and working collaboratively with colleagues and customers. Scott will work closely with our marketing, sales, support and other critical functions to drive compelling product offerings and the best customer experience in the industry.”

Crenshaw said: “I am thrilled to be a part of this talented team at such an exciting moment in the company’s history.”


Red Hat, Dell redouble OpenStack private cloud efforts

Red Hat and Dell are co-developing OpenStack-based private cloud solutions

Red Hat and Dell are co-developing OpenStack-based private cloud solutions

Red Hat and Dell have announced a series of co-engineered, high-density servers the companies claim are optimised for large-scale OpenStack deployments.

The co-engineered servers ship with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and are based on Dell PowerEdge R630 and R730xd high-density rack servers, the latter ideal for compute and the latter optimised for storage utilisation.

“Enterprise customers are requiring robust and rapidly scalable cloud infrastructures that deliver business results,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president and general manager, Dell Engineered Solutions and Cloud.

“Dell and Red Hat continue to jointly deliver cost effective, open source-based cloud computing solutions that provide greater agility to our customers, and this newest version of the Dell Red Hat Cloud Solution leverages best of breed technology from both companies to do so,” Ganthier said.

Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack at Red Hat said: “Red Hat’s ongoing collaboration with Dell to co-engineer enterprise-grade cloud solutions is further enhancing OpenStack to be production-ready.End customers continue to benefit from Red Hat’s strategic partnership with Dell as we deliver joint solutions that streamline deployment and accelerate time to innovation.”

A number of interrelated forces seem to be at play here. In revealing its fourth quarter 2015 financial results last month Red Hat said deals involving OpenStack-based offerings tripled when compared to the fourth quarter 2014, and with HP pushing its Helion OpenStack-based private cloud offerings hard it seems reasonable to expect Dell, one of its largest private cloud rivals, would want to counter with OpenStack-integrated offerings of its own.

Red Hat says OpenStack, OpenShift deals trebled year-on-year

Red Hat enjoyed a solid fiscal year, with OpenStack and OpenShift

Red Hat enjoyed a solid fiscal year, with OpenStack and OpenShift

Red Hat revealed its fourth quarter 2015 financial this week, reporting revenue of $464m, up 16 per cent year-on-year. The firm also said deals involving OpenStack and OpenShift-based offerings tripled when compared to the fourth quarter 2014.

For the full fiscal year total revenue hit $1.79bn, up 17 per cent on the previous year, and the Linux incumbent reported subscription revenue for the quarter reached $405m, up 15 per cent year-on-year.

“We continued to experience strong demand for our open, hybrid cloud technologies, as evidenced by increased cross-selling in our top 30 deals which were all over $2 million for the first time,” stated Jim Whitehurst, president and chief executive officer of Red Hat. “Customers value the consistency and flexibility as they run their applications using Red Hat solutions across a variety of deployment models, including public and private clouds, to modernize and transform their IT infrastructure.”

In a call with analysts this week Whitehurst also said its OpenStack and OpenShift offerings, as well as Ceph – the storage system provider it acquired last year – are starting to show signs of market acceptance.

“Half of our OpenStack wins are six figure OpenStack wins in the quarter had Ceph as a component. So fully strong affinity between OpenStack and Ceph and our ability to be a credible provider of both, I think helps us do well in both. So we’re seeing a lot of benefit there.”

“The number of times the top 30 deal included OpenStack or OpenShift this quarter tripled from Q4 a year ago. Interestingly, one technology customer expanded their existing OpenShift deal this quarter and we now have our first $10 million plus open shift customer,” he said. “OpenShift has been performing well with customers and momentum is growing.”

OpenShift is currently pitted in a battle for mindshare against Cloud Foundry, another open source platform as a service. Cloud Foundry seems to have gained the lion’s share of vendor buy-in, but Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s executive vice president, products and technology said OpenShift wins over Cloud Foundry when it comes to standards.

“One of the biggest differences is that cloud foundry from the various vendors is it’s very difficult in implementation. So getting applications that are compatible across those different vendors on Cloud Foundry will be challenging for one thing,” he said, adding that OpenShift relies on more tried-and-tested technology standards.

Red Hat enjoyed a solid fourth quarter and fiscal 2015, and it will be interesting to see how the incumbent attempts to keep that positive momentum going. Professional services may be one viable avenue. The company recently created a consulting division that combines technology expertise and consulting resources the firm acquired over the years.

CenturyLink expands public cloud in APAC

CenturyLink is expanding its public cloud platform in Singapore

CenturyLink is expanding its public cloud platform in Singapore

American telco CenturyLink has expanded the presence of its public cloud platform to Singapore in a bid to cater to growing regional demand for cloud services.

CenturyLink, which recently expanded its managed services presence in China and its private cloud services in Europe and the UK, is adding public cloud nodes to one of its Singapore datacentres.

“The launch of a CenturyLink Cloud node in Singapore further enhances our position as a leading managed hybrid IT provider for businesses with operations in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Gery Messer, CenturyLink managing director, Asia Pacific.

“We continue to invest in the high-growth Asia-Pacific region to meet increasing customer demand,” Messer said.

The company said it wants to cater to what it sees as growing demand for cloud services in the region, citing Frost & Sullivan figures that show the Asia-Pacific region spent almost $6.6bn on public cloud services last year. That firm predicts annual cloud services spending in the region will exceed $20bn by 2018.

The move also comes at a time when the Singapore Government is looking to invest more in both using cloud services and growing usage of cloud platforms in the region.

Last year the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said it was working with Amazon Web Services to trial a data as a service project the organisations believe will help increase the visibility of privately-held data sets.

The agency also signed a Memorandum of Intent with AWS that would see the cloud provider offer usage credits $3,000 (US) to the first 25 companies to sign up to the pilot, which will go towards the cost of hosting their dataset registries or datasets.

It’s also announced similar partnerships in the past with Pivotal and Red Hat.

Red Hat Delivers Now Supported by HP Virtualization VS2

Red Hat, Inc.  today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is supported by HP VirtualSystem VS2. HP VirtualSystem VS2 is a new converged system reference architecture designed to speed virtualization software deployment while maximizing performance and scale as organizations move to cloud computing.

HP has offered Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization subscriptions and support services on HP ProLiant servers since the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 in January 2012. Consulting, education and implementation services for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization are also available through HP.

The HP VirtualSystem VS2 Reference Architecture for Red Hat is an enterprise-business, single-rack solution that is optimized for compute density. It is based on the HP BladeSystem C7000 Enclosure, HP ProLiant BL460c servers, HP 5800 Switch Series and HP LeftHand P4800 Storage for BladeSystem and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. The combined solution is designed to support hundreds of virtual machines, and provides a base set of extended configurations and sizing for typical workloads for deployment optimization.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, including the new 3.1 update, is available worldwide today from HP.