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Monday, July 2, 2012

Red Hat Launches Four Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has launched four hybrid cloud solutions that extend from Platforms as a Service (PaaS) to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), storage and virtualization. The launches, announced at Red Hat Summit, target cloud consulting firms and enterprise customers that want to march forward with the open source company.

The big questions…
  1. Competition: Can Red Hat succeed with some many cloud efforts amid fierce competition from emerging rivals (Rackspace), established titans (Amazon Web Services) and IT companies in transition (Microsoft Windows Azure, Oracle Cloud, etc.)?
  2. Cloud Integrator Strategies: How will Red Hat empower channel partners to sell, service and support each of the four hybrid cloud solutions? And how will Red Hat entice partners to back its public cloud offerings?
First, the four pieces of news. Red Hat evangelized:

1. An OpenShift Enterprise PaaS Solution: A cloud application platform for enterprise customers, the solution combine Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. It’s designed for IT operations, with future plans for Development Operations (DevOps) support. The idea is for customers to leverage on-premise OpenShift private clouds that are compatible with Red Hat’s public PaaS.
Potential rivals include Amazon Web Services (public cloud) coupled with Eucalyptus (private could), and OpenStack running in public or private cloud setting.

2. Red Hat Hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Solution: An open hybrid cloud solution for enterprises, this offering will include Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization; cloud management, governed self-service and systems management with Red Hat CloudForms; and guest operating system with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat said it plans to include public cloud hours from leading providers with the solution in the future.

3. Red Hat Cloud with Virtualization Bundle: This offering packages Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms, combining virtualization and cloud management into the same project cycle for cloud deployments.

4. Red Hat Storage 2.0: Running on industry standard x86 servers across on-premise, cloud or hybrid environments.

Red Hat Storage is available today. The OpenShift Enterprise PaaS Solution, Red Hat Hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Solution and Red Hat Cloud with Virtualization Bundle offerings are expected to be available in Summer 2012, Red Hat said.

Red Hat and Big Rivals

Clearly, Red Hat has big cloud ambitions. But those ambitions also involve big rivals. On the hybrid cloud front, Red Hat must differentiate from:
  • OpenStack, which is designed for both public and private cloud build-outs.
  • Amazon Web Services (public cloud) coupled with API-compatible Eucalyptus (private cloud).
  • A lengthy list of channel-centric IaaS and PaaS companies.
Red Hat is the rare open source company that pushed beyond one market (Linux) to establish beachheads in neighboring markets — JBoss middleware with virtualization and storage coming on strong. CIOs deeply respect Red Hat. And channel partners influence more than half of Red Hat’s annual revenues. Whether Red Hat can extend that story into the hybrid cloud market is another story.

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