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Red Hat halves prices, blackens European skies with OpenShift PaaS

14 new countries get commercial support for PaaS

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Red Hat has halved the cost of IT on its OpenShift platform cloud engine and expanded commercial support to cover 14 Eurozone countries.

The upgrades to OpenShift were announced by the company on Monday to coincide with Amazon Web Services's "re:Invent" cloud show in Las Vegas.

It sees the company slather the commercial "silver tier" offering across 14 countries which have adopted the euro as their currency, including Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Cyprus, and others. At the time of writing, Red Hat had not let us know whether the PaaS had been buffed with language localisation.

OpenShift is a platform-as-a-service from Red Hat. A platform generally presents one or several language-specific runtimes to a developer, who can write applications whose infrastructure is provisioned, deployed, and managed automatically. The platform supports Java, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Python and Perl.

It requires less management than an app built out of infrastructure-as-a-service resources, but tends to cost more and grant the developer less control.

OpenShift competes with as-a-service products like Heroku, Google App Engine, Windows Azure, EngineYard, and Active State, and locally deployable platform services such as big kahuna Cloud Foundry as well as minnows like Apprenda.

Like rival Heroku (owned by Salesforce), OpenShift's public platform-as-a-service floats on top of Amazon's cloud on a sea of mostly "m1" instances hosted in the US EAST data center hub.

This infrastructure is covered with Red Hat SELinux software and middleware, netted together, and exposed to the end user as "gears", which is marketing jargon a term for a collection of resources that lash together storage, compute, networking, OS, and middleware, then exposed as a multi-tenant runtime.

Red Hat has cut the prices of these gears by as much as 50 per cent, with a small "gear" (512MB memory, 1GB storage) now costing $0.02 per hour, and a new "Large" class (with 2GB of memory) costing $0.10 per hour. This compares with $0.05 per hour for a Heroku "Dyno", with 512MB of RAM.

Though OpenShift is strategically important for Red Hat as the Linux company tries to gain a foothold in cloud services, the amount of business it actually does is difficult to work out: Red Hat could give us no numbers, nor could rivals like Cloud Foundry or Engine Yard.

The new pricing comes into effect immediately, and expanded country support will be available in December 2013. ®

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