Red Hat's new OpenShift service aims for public-cloud convenience, bare-metal speeds

Red Hat new OpenShift service aims for public-cloud convenience, bare-metal speeds
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A new hosted version of Red Hat's flagship PaaS aims to satisfy enterprise needs for multitenancy and performance

OpenShift, Red Hat's open source PaaS that was recently reworked as a container-centric solution, is now once again being offered as a service.

The target audience for OpenShift Dedicated is enterprise IT and development teams, according to Red Hat's press notes. Rather than take on other major PaaSes head on, Red Hat is aiming to satisfy OpenShift customers with a service that touts both public-cloud convenience and bare-metal performance.

OpenShift Dedicated is actually an extension of Red Hat's existing OpenShift Online service, which as of last year had already been used to deploy some 1.8 million apps. Online is more akin to other public-cloud PaaSes; it's hosted on Amazon Web Services, so is little more than a managed instance of OpenShift.

OpenShift Dedicated, on the other hand, is aimed at enterprise customers who want to run OpenShift in an environment where they have a high degree of control, but don't want to be saddled with the burdens of managing bare metal. OpenShift is already heavily developer-centric and developer-focused, so a more self-service version of OpenShift ought to appeal to enterprise developers who use the PaaS.

OpenShift Dedicated is also hosted on Amazon, meaning that Amazon VPN and VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) tools can be used with it, but the actual hosting is single-tenanted and offers "a resource pool of 100GB SSD-based persistent storage, 48TB network iops, and nine nodes to deploy container-based applications."

For Red Hat to offer OpenShift in not just one but two cloud-hosted varieties contradicts the stance expressed last year by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. "People are much more interested in running PaaS in-house than not in-house," Whitehurst said at the time "This is going to be much more of the era of private cloud infrastructure as a service, more so than PaaS." 

OpenShift Enterprise, the on-premises private-cloud version of the PaaS, is still being pushed as the solution for those who want to keep everything close to the vest and run it themselves. 

Over the last year, though, buzz about moving enterprise workloads to the cloud has intensified. It's unclear whether that's because of the breadth of worthy options now available and how mature they have become, but Red Hat is clearly interested in meeting that demand -- although not at the cost of the developer audience it's worked so hard to woo.

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