Red Hat, the hidden cloud company

From Deltacloud to OpenStack to a new public cloud offering, Red Hat is on a mission to accelerate the cloud while keeping it open

Red Hat is bullish on cloud computing. That's no surprise: Its version of GNU/Linux has been a driving force behind the last decade's infrastructure revolution, from which the idea of cloud computing arose.

What might surprise you is how much open source work Red Hat has initiated to create this opportunity. I'd expected Red Hat to be involved in Linux virtualization, but it has a range of component parts for virtualization, is participating in private cloud initiatives, and has just announced pricing for a public cloud offering. Here are some samples of the many sponsored projects.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Simon Phipps asserts Red Hat's $1 billion proves value of software freedom, and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst weighs in on strategy, growth, and Oracle. | Track the latest trends in open source with InfoWorld's Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]

Red Hat is of course a big proponent of the Linux-centric KVM hypervisor, but its activities extend to other hypervisors. To assist with the easy deployment of virtualization envronments, Red Hat is working on Libvirt, an open source tool for managing platform virtualization, providing a management daemon and a control API with bindings for a variety of languages, including Java and Python. It's able to manage a wide range of hypervisors in addition to KVM, among them Xen, VirtualBox, VMware, and Microsoft's Hyper-V. It's used by a range of applications to control virtualization environments, including from the Jenkins coninuous integration server. There's plenty of information in the interview with the developers of libvirt from the start of June.

Red Hat is also involved in the oVirt project, which provides a suite of tools delivering a virtualization management system for hosts and guests. It enables live migration of instances, storage management, system scheduling, and other capabilities that simplify data center virtualization management. There's more in the Floss Weekly interview of the team from March.

Red Hat is a significant supporter of Deltacloud at Apache, which I've mentioned previously. It offers an abstraction layer for cloud APIs, so your cloud applications aren't locked in to a single provider such as Amazon Web Services. It supports every significant cloud provider and has a straightforward REST API that allows for simple deployment of cloud applications. You may want to check out my interview with Deltacloud developer David Lutterkort from March of this year.

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