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Red Hat: Amazon love 'yes', its own cloud 'no'

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Red Hat won’t spin up its own public cloud service but is getting serious with Amazon on OpenShift.

That’s according to Red Hat’s vice-president for cloud computing Scott Crenshaw who last week said the open-source biz has “no plans” to become a cloud provider.

Crenshaw told reporters in London that Red Hat wants to focus on areas where it believes it can “add value” - operating its own public data centre isn’t one of those areas.

“We have absolutely no plans right now to become a cloud provider,” Crenshaw said.

“Red Hat wants to focus its resources in areas where can add the most value and we don’t think we add the most value in the operation of a data centre. We have hard skills in helping people do that but where we put our resources are on things that matter to developers and operations people.”

Crenshaw was responding to a question from The Register about when, or if, Red Hat would spin up its own public cloud.

Red Hat is an exponent of clouds built on different systems instead of a single vendor’s virtualization, operating system and API stack. Oracle had a similar model of selling products rather than offering its own cloud service but that’s all changed now; the database software giant plans to offer a public cloud running Java, databases and apps all floating on an existing Oracle hosting facility in Texas.

"We don't use Oracle as a model for consistent strategy," Crenshaw said.

Red Hat is already in the cloud, with the OpenShift platform-as-a-service that it runs on Amazon. OpenShift lets you run Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Node.js apps on a shared architecture and supposedly makes the set-up and running on Amazon simpler.

Red Hat plans to offer service-level agreements for OpenShift “very soon”, Crenshaw said. “We’ve stated publicly we intend to offer SLAs. We are getting surprisingly high demand for SLAs. So there will be SLAs,” he added.

The company’s also getting serious on OpenStack, the Linux-for-the-cloud project from Rackspace and others that started in 2010.

Red Hat has also come around to working with other cloud projects, notably OpenStack. Senior Red Hat software engineers and programme managers have been working on the software since last year, with up to 30 engineers engaged.

“The market has spoken,” Crenshaw told The Reg at the event. He added that a lot of work remains to be done on the code.

It’s a recognition of OpenStack’s technical and market potential; Red Hat was invited to join the line up by Rackspace early on but the Linux outfit turned the web host down because it was felt Rackspace exerted too much control over OpenStack’s governance. Things have change since then.

The question is when, and it will be a “when” not an “if", Red Hat offers enterprise support for OpenStack given many of its customers are now using the code.

Red Hat is also offering CloudForms to set up and run private clouds using JBoss, and has begun the Aeolus project to spin up, manage and deploy applications from physical and virtual servers to any public or private cloud. ®

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