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Red Hat revs OpenShift Enterprise to 1.1

Fixes bugs, buffs UI, beckons to young devs

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Red Hat has whipped out version 1.1 of OpenShift Enterprise, its locally deployable platform-as-a-service.

The main changes in the 1.1 release are a slew of bug fixes relating to stability and security, a bit of judicious code pruning, and enterprise-certification of a web GUI. The release comes just two and a half months after the 1.0 launch of OpenShift Enterprise - a change of pace for Red Hat, which produces its main operating system on an 18-month cycle.

The company has turned the release around so quickly to "give enterprises confidence that on the one hand they've got Red Hat standing behind them, but on the other hand they'll still get the advantage of a fast-moving stream," general manager of Red Hat's cloud division, Ashesh Badani, told The Register.

OpenShift supports applications written in Java, Ruby, Node.js, Python, PHP, and Perl.

The GUI improvements are designed to appeal to young developers who may have grown up using the web-based dashboards of Heroku, Google App Engine, and the like, and old devs who have spent a lot of time in Microsoft environments.

The public version of OpenShift is built around a "drop and click" interface, Badani says, whereas the 1.0 version of OpenShift Enterprise "was really a bunch of command-line tools."

"You're going to have a smattering of developers within an enterprise, some of whom are very comfortable with working with the innards of the command line, and some of them are less so," he said.

By example, many Windows developers spend a lot of their time in Visual studio - though this is changing since the advent of PowerShell - so wrapping a nice interface around the platform makes the technology seem more familiar to them.

Cosmetics aside, the company has patched a variety of bugs that customers and its own developers had reported.

"We've had some stability issues in the broker - we've dealt with that," Badani says. The company has also fixed various instances of execution failures and has increased the stability of the node component, which houses applications.

But are people using it?

Badani was not willing to give numbers of overall deployments or hazard a guess at how many cores it was being run on, but said one customer is running an OpenShift proof-of-concept across 15,000 Java virtual machines. The lack of information is typical of platform-as-a-service vendors, who still seem to feel a bit grumpy at the muted adoption of PaaS compared to its bigger, richer brother IaaS.

As for competition, OpenShift butts up against VMware's Cloud Foundry in private cloud environments and Salesforce's Heroku in public clouds, Badani said, and the company never runs into Oracle-backed EngineYard.

Pricing remains the same. OpenShift 1.1 is available to new and existing customers from today. ®

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