Red Hat promotes cloud projects, pans Microsoft and VMware

Red Hat's Project Hail offers platform APIs resident in the cloud, and Deltacloud is intended to enable an interoperating ecosystem across public and private clouds

Declaring that Microsoft and VMware will not drive cloud interoperability, Red Hat on Thursday detailed projects to proliferate use of clouds, including Project Hail, for putting applications onto a cloud.

A presentation at the Red Hat Summit conference in Chicago, led by Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO and vice president for engineering, shed light on Red Hat's cloud ambitions. With cloud computing, enterprises access compute resources via the Internet, with applications and data residing on systems housed remotely.

"Cloud is clearly mainstream, but it's more mainstream for us as customers and individuals than as enterprises," Stevens said. "Increasingly, enterprises are looking at how they can consume cloud services."

[ Also on InfoWorld: On Tuesday at the conference, Red Hat's CEO challenged attendees to choose IT flexibility over Larry Ellison. ]

Open source and Linux, he said, have quickly become "the de facto resource platform for cloud computing." Open source offers a ubiquitous nature conducive to clouds, Stevens stressed. Microsoft and VMware, with proprietary development models, will not drive cloud interoperability, Stevens argued.

Projects promoted by Red Hat aim to move cloud computing forward.

Project Hail offers platform APIs resident in the cloud, Stevens said. "The goals of Project Hail are to provide developers with low-level cloud services, for which they can develop their own cloud application," said Jeff Garzik, principal software engineer at Red Hat, in a video played during the presentation.

Services include distributed storage, indexing, and name services. "We want to avoid developers re-inventing the wheel," Garzik said.

The Hail wiki page states, "The goal of Project Hail is to provide language-neutral, OS-neutral, highly available distributed computing services that others may use to build cloud computing applications." Contributors can get involved in the project at the wiki page, which states that Hail is an alpha stage of development.

An open source project introduced Thursday, Deltacloud, is intended to abstract out cloud differences in an effort to provide a unified interface. "The goal is make it where you don't have to think too much about the cloud provider you are targeting," said Bob McWhirter, of the JBoss research group at Red Hat, in another video.

Deltacloud, Red Had said, is intended to enable an ecosystem of developers, tools, scripts, and applications that interoperate across public and private clouds. It features a REST API and supports the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV-M). VMware ESX hypervisor support will be added.

"Deltacloud protects your apps from cloud API changes and incompatibilities so you can concentrate on managing cloud instances the way you want," the Deltacloud Web page states. Another part of the project, Deltacloud Portal, provides a Web UI in front the Deltacloud API for migrating images across clouds, managing and provisioning instances, and viewing image status.

Red Hat's MRG technology, featuring IT infrastructure incorporating messaging, real-time, and grid functionality, also can be used to boost cloud deployments, offering navigation of different clouds.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.