It’s all about the Enterprise PaaS roadmap

Today Red Hat launched it’s Enterprise roadmap for Platform as a Service to the press and analysts. It’s been a labour of love for a long time internally with our teams and management working intensively to put together a structured offering that really could hit the market offering a value proposition and a lifecycle for enterprise customers.

OpenShift is a game changer in Platform as a Service (PaaS). If you historically look at the definition of PaaS it’s been shrouded in the architectural frameworks, scalability and application / source syncing challenges that present a raft of APIs and behaviour changes to developers that you could perceive as less than friendly – or that doesn’t meet your or my own definition of open. Certainly it’s not the greatest experience when faced with a new stack it presents you with a list of service definitions, frameworks and capabilities.

OpenShift is different. For starters theres a message here for the analysts and technology press – it’s written by developers – for developers. Please don’t lose focus on the importance of this. Theres a reason why the popularity of OpenShift since we launched it last May 2011 has been somewhat stellar. We’re providing an end user experience of being able to focus on what matters – your code. Removing the handcuffs and the shackles and allowing people to get to work faster not worrying about the VM’s, or the change control and how to get servers online and built etc. A gentle cursory search of the Twittersphere will drown the average researcher in plaudits from the development community who have realised a three stage push to Cloud really is redefining how you can just take leaps and bounds into the ecosystem.

Let’s not over egg the pudding here. This blog isn’t a marketing stall that sets out to look purely down the gun of the Cloud technologist and to aim Red Hat flavoured solutions scattergun style. What we’re doing is fundamentally different, to concentrate on a paradigm shift that offers you an application platform in the Cloud whilst managing the stack for you – automating the painful stuff that hinders technology growth and slows down the rate of application development and Cloud provisioning. As I said before developed by developers for developers to deliver the capabilities they need whilst also tacitly improving the developer experience in the process. As we get to a point in the technology curve where Cloud matures it becomes even more obvious that the solutions we describe right now, that we’re making available today, are THE ecosystem of choice not the simple automation of a providers framework or clutch of badly documented APIs.

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The fact that we come from an Enterprise background with RHEL the supported prizefighter out there in the Linux environments globally then it’s screamingly obvious that once you lift the hood of OpenShift you see all the goodness, strengths and maturity of RHEL underneath. The support for standard operating and development environments as well as all the ultra tenacious stuff that the analysts in Cloud now realise is the kingpin – the major benefits of faster application scaling, better higher efficiency by the virtue of OpenShifts ability to support two tier multi-tenancy from the get go. For the bean counters that means you’re reducing your costs out the box. Proper portability of applications and development environments, industry leading security by virtue of control groups as well as sVirt and SELinux out the box (security as aspect of design not by retrofit) and heres the magic sauce, the multi-tenancy capability at the Operating System tier not at the virtualisation layer unlike other offerings out there.

As you move to embrace a true hybrid Cloud model you have to acknowledge as technologists that your support frameworks and application model will have to stretch to conform to different models with different hypervisor types, SLA’s enforced on you as end user adopters still expected to offer the same level of service and conformity to your users and customers. OpenShift as part of its design specification had a core realisation that if you develop an application for PaaS you were going to be in a situation where there would be flux on the part of everchanging underlying hypervisor or provider technologies. Minimising the adverse effects this would have on PaaS environments in hybrid cloud therefore became a design factor. To be able to maintain service regardless of operating environment and to maintain security and segregation in multi tenant environments and move it away from the underpinning virtualisation layer. Down to basics if you think of a battlefield planner who has to come up with a fabric that will cope and perform to the same level no matter how hostile the weather or the neighbourhood in a conflict zone then OpenShift is the body armour of choice for the Cloud soldier going into battle.

Bryan Che is the Product Marketing Manager and thought leader at Red Hat on all things Cloud, an MIT graduate and an amazing font of knowledge when it comes to virtualisation, Cloud and reinventing how we need to embrace change. He has contributed an article today which explores further how the development eco system and our JBoss core strengths can scale to handle multiple applications and multi tenancy in Cloud. Follow this link to read the article, and while you’re there check out his other Tenet’s of Cloud articles which are thought provoking and a great armoury for you to keep personally as you tackle objections and shape your own path in Cloud.