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Red Hat plays Switzerland in balkanized cloud world

APIs for everyone

DeltaCloud

The Deltacloud APIs were announced in September 2009, and it is an open source implementation of a RESTful Web service programming interface that can be used to manage the VMs and hypervisors in an infrastructure cloud. Earlier this year, Red Hat moved the Deltacloud APIs to the Apache Incubator at the Apache Software Foundation. The APIs are necessary for VM portability across different clouds, however unlikely that may seem.

Bryan Che, manager of cloud computing products at Red Hat, said that the DMTF was chosen among many different possible standards bodies because Red Hat has a history with the organization. "We do not want Deltacloud to be under the control of any one vendor, including Red Hat," Che explained, which is why the project was moved to Apache and the API specs are being handed to DMTF. (Red Hat, by the way, is a member of the DMTF Cloud Management Work Group.)

The portability of applications in Cloud Foundation, as opposed to the portability of VMs, is accomplished through Red Hat Network Satellite, the provisioning and patching tool for RHEL, and another tool called Application Engine, which creates virtual appliances stuffed with operating systems and application software of assemblies of VMs that represent a multi-tiered application stack that can be puked out onto a cloud as a single unit and managed that way.

Moving up one level, you are talking about portable services, allowing you to migrate data and cope with application dependencies as applications move around clouds. Some of the services that are needed include message rerouting and high availability and failover for VMs.

Take one step up higher, and you are at the platform cloud layer, where Red Hat is putting JBoss middleware and exposing Java, Pojo, Seam, Spring, Ruby, GWT, and other languages used to create applications using JBoss Developer Studio to run applications atop JBoss middleware on a cloud based on Red hat Enterprise Virtualization (the commercial-grade KVM), Amazon's EC2 public cloud, or any other cloud that supports the Deltacloud APIs and interoperates with Cloud Foundations.

Red at understands that .NET runtimes and C# and other Microsoft languages have to be part of this mix, of course. But the idea is to pitch JBoss Developer Studio as the way to manage how these platform clouds are created and JBoss Operations Network is used to control the lifecycle of the applications, as they move from programmer to production to the delete button.

The platform cloud enhancements for Cloud Foundations Edition One were a bit sketchy, but an unnamed techie at Red Hat showed off the features that will come to the stack through a future release of JBoss Developer Studio and the JBoss application server. It's a bunch of pointing and clicking, so, uh, most of you system administrators are fired. Red Hat did not say when these future JBoss enhancements will be available, so it looks like you have more than 15 minutes to clean out your desks. Get some coffee. Work on your resume. ®

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