November 27, 2012, 4:19 PM — Red Hat is officially jumping into the cloud platform as a service (PaaS) market today.
Last year the company announced an initial version of OpenShift, an application development tool optimized to run in the cloud, marking the company's foray into the PaaS market. Today, after running it in beta for 18 months, Red Hat is taking the wrapping off OpenShift and making it generally available. Red Hat says unlike big-name PaaS players like VMware's Cloud Foundry and Microsoft Azure, OpenShift is optimized to run both on customers' own private clouds behind their own firewall, or in a third-party data center.
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Red Hat already has a robust application development platform in its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, but Ashesh Badani, GM of Red Hat's Cloud Business Unit, says OpenShift is different because it runs in a cloud. The software automatically allows users to provision resources as the application needs them, instead of pre-provisioning servers in a traditional application platform, which can lead to waste. OpenShift is also polyglot software, meaning developers can write applications in a handful of languages, including Java, Ruby, Python, PHP and Perl. Since the application development platform is abstracted from the underlying hardware, it means OpenShift can run in a customer's private cloud or a provider's public cloud. Ultimately, Badani says PaaS creates easier management for operations managers and more freedom for developers.