Enterprise Linux Log

May 5 2011   3:38AM GMT

Red Hat Summit 2011: Top five takeaways

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

BOSTON: A couple themes emerged from this week’s Red Hat Summit.

1: Red Hat is pitching itself hard as the “open” cloud player. It’s new CloudForms Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering promises to let users (buzzword alert) “leverage” existing technologies–virtual servers from Red Hat or VMware, public clouds by Amazon, IBM, and others; and on-premises or hosted physical servers.

Then there’s Red Hat OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) which, Red Hat said, will support Java, Python,  PHP and Ruby languages and Spring, Seam, Weld, CDI, Rails, Zend, Django, Java EE and other frameworks.

Isaac Roth, Red Hat’s PaaS Master, said developers just want to develop. Figuring out infrastructure, platform basics, servers, and fundamentals is not how developers should be spending their time. 

“God it’s awful,” Roth told reporters on Wednesday. “I just want to write Angry Birds.”  His claim is that OpenShift Express will ease their pain.

OpenShift Express, a free set of client development tools, is available now. Two other, higher-end versions, OpenShift Flex and OpenShift Power add more capabilities.

2: Last year, Summit attendees were busy weighing Red Hat’s Xen-for-KVM virtualization switch and what issues they might experience in a Xen-to-KVM migration of their own. Flash forward to this year, Red Hat appears to embrace the idea of multiple hypervisors. It must be that whole “openness” thing. VMware doesn’t share that philosophy, according to Red Hat exec VP Paul Cormier who charged that VMware  “is trying to take the entire world back to the 1980s by locking you into the hardware level with ESX.”

3: Perhaps Red Hat is getting all kumbaya about virtualization because it has no choice. Judging from another Summit session, there’s a heckuva a lot RHEL shops running (gasp!) VMware. Even RHEL shops that would love to go with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) aren’t gonna go there until they no longer have to run RHEV management on a Windows (yes, Windows!) server. That hated Windows requirement will finally go away with the upcoming RHEV 3 release.

4: Judging from the packed session on running high-availability Oracle databases on RHEL, Oracle’s efforts to supplant RHEL with Oracle Unbreakable Linux are falling woefully short.

5: Opinions on Red Hat support remain mixed. Some RHEL customers  privately say companies deploy RHEL because they have to prove they’re running a supported OS. But the problem is, when they actually call for support, the results are wildly inconsistent. Two Summit attendees — who work for different government agencies — said they are very happy with RHEL support, although they both also noted that they never, ever use it. Many techie-heavy Linux shops may be in the same boat. (If a support call is never dialed, does support really happen?)

Here’s more cloud news from Red Hat Summit/JBoss World.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at bdarrow@techtarget.com.

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