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Red Hat takes OpenShift to 1.2

Makes app containers more modifiable

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Red Hat has goosed its locally deployable platform cloud to version 1.2, bringing a host of improvements.

The upgrades to OpenShift Enterprise were announced on Wednesday, and see the company broaden the range of modifications possible for its application containers – which Red Hat rather charmingly calls "cartridges".

Customers can now add their own frameworks and backends to OpenShift via the Cartridge API, though the open source community has already created a platter of pre-integrated containers for technologies such as vert.x, node.js, and the Redis database.

New features aside from the cartridge customization include custom SSL certifications for application domain aliases, websocket support, Tomcat 7 availability, token-based authentication for enterprise client tools, and various administrative utility scripts such as oo-diagnostics, oo-admin-repair, oo-admin-broker-auth, and oo-admin-broker-cache, among others.

"We want to create the best environment for developers to deploy their applications, and the self-service updates to this version of OpenShift Enterprise through the new cartridge design will allow this greater freedom in how users choose to run their applications," Ashesh Badani, general manager for cloud and OpenShift at Red Hat, said in a canned quote.

The upgrades to OpenShift Enterprise follow the 1.1 release in February, which followed the general release back in December 2012, reflecting the faster development cadence of the cloud software, as opposed to Red Hat's 18-month pace for Linux.

Like many of its rivals, Red Hat is keen to develop a successful platform-as-a-service that can form the underlay of a company's application infrastructure, but OpenShift exists in a market already crowded with a number of competitors, such as Pivotal's Cloud Foundry.

What Red Hat is hoping is that its open source approach will serve it just as well in platform-as-a-service as it has in its general Linux endeavours – but how successful this strategy will be remains to be seen. So far, platform clouds have failed to generate significant quantities of cash, and their original major proponents, Google and Microsoft, have both turned their efforts towards developing capable infrastructure-as-a-service clouds. ®

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