Red Hat today revealed details the general availability of OpenShift Enterprise 2, the next version of its on premise, polyglot, private PaaS platform. The foundation of the product is OpenShift Origin, Red Hat’s open source PaaS product that undergirds its suite of OpenShift Platform as a Service products. In addition to OpenShift Origin, OpenShift Enterprise 2 leverages Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. Red Hat’s OpenShift suite of products supports application development in Java, Ruby, Node.JS, Python, PHP and Perl. Since its launch in November 2012, Red Hat has presided over four releases of OpenShift Enterprise marked by the addition of more than 45 new features including tighter integration with OpenStack and datacenter integration functionality. Meanwhile, the battle for private PaaS market share, and the direction of the PaaS space more generally, evolves and takes shape with a depth and sophistication that merits a dedicated reflection on the PaaS space, unto itself. Apprenda brands itself as the only true enterprise private PaaS vendor in the industry today, although Red Hat’s OpenShift Enterprise 2 and Pivotal One will be attempting to change and challenge that proposition as rapidly as possible with their respective private PaaS offerings. OpenShift Enterprise 2 will be generally available as of December 11.
A recent article by the Synergy Research Group (Synergy) claims that Amazon Web Services continues to dominate the IaaS and PaaS space in terms of revenue. According to Synergy, Amazon Web Services increased its quarterly revenue by 55% to over $700M in Q3 of 2013, whereas the aggregate of revenue for Salesforce, IBM, Windows Azure and Google was less than $400M for the same time period. Worldwide, total IaaS and PaaS revenues exceeded $2.5 billion for the quarter, with IaaS accounting for 64% of cloud revenues, a surprisingly small proportion given the limited penetration of platform as a service within the enterprise. Synergy Research’s John Dinsdale remarked on the company’s findings as follows:
We’ve been analyzing the IaaS/PaaS markets for quite a few quarters now and creating these leadership metrics, and the relative positioning of the leaders really hasn’t changed much. While Amazon dwarfs all competition, the race is on to see if any of the big four followers can distance themselves from their peers. The good news for these companies and for the long tail of operators with relatively small cloud infrastructure service operations, is that IaaS/PaaS will be growing strongly long into the future, providing plenty of opportunity for robust revenue growth.
Here, Dinsdale remarks that the “race is on to see if” Salesforce, IBM, Microsoft and Google can decisively secure second place in the battle for IaaS/PaaS market share. Strikingly, Microsoft, Google and IBM have revenues that are very close to one another, even though one might reasonably expect Microsoft’s Azure platform to edge out its competition given its earlier entry into the market than IBM and Google’s Compute Engine (GCE). That said, IBM’s sizeable IaaS revenue derives largely from its acquisition of SoftLayer, which itself had a rich and venerable history that predated IBM.
Synergy’s chart illustrating Q3 IaaS and PaaS revenues is given below:
Notable omissions from the findings include Rackspace, HP, Oracle, Pivotal One and Red Hat, the middle three of which (HP, Oracle and Pivotal One) are still relatively nascent, and hence justifiably excluded from the present calculation. As Dinsdale notes above, however, “the good news for these companies” and for remainder of the space is that revenues are set to increase significantly in the near term. Going forward, one of the key questions for subsequent IaaS market share analyses will be whether OpenStack’s momentum and gradual maturation propels disproportionate growth amongst OpenStack-based cloud platforms for vendors such as HP, IBM, Oracle, Rackspace and Red Hat.
After years in which Platform as a Service vendors had been eclipsed by the Infrastructure as a Service space, PaaS vendors appear to be making a comeback as enterprises take stock of the benefits of preconfigured technology stacks and development platforms that absolve IT administrators of the complexities of provisioning and managing ecosystems of virtual machines. Responding to consumer demand, for example, Red Hat recently announced the expansion of its commercial, public Platform as a Service, OpenShift Online, to 14 European countries including Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Cyprus and Malta. The geographic expansion of the purview of OpenShift renders the commercial, silver tier of OpenShift Online available to customers and thereby provides them with the option of technical support, free storage upgrades and additional resources.
In related news, Red Hat also announced the expansion of its partner program for its ecosystem of OpenShift PaaS products, which provides pre-configured support for development in Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Perl. While OpenShift Online represents Red Hat’s public PaaS, its suite of PaaS offerings also includes OpenShift Enterprise, a PaaS for on premise private clouds, and OpenShift Origin, the open source PaaS project whose code forms the foundation for all of Red Hat’s suite of OpenShift PaaS platforms. Red Hat expanded its partner program for the OpenShift PaaS suite of platforms to include application performance management, backend as a service, database as a service, IT integration and consulting vendors such as AppDynamics, Continuent, Kinvey, Netsource Partners, Phase 2, StrongLoop, Vizuri and Pat V. Mack. The expansion of Red Hat’s partner program means that OpenShift developers and customers now have even more tools at their disposal for building applications using the OpenShift platform.
On Monday, Red Hat announced a Certificate of Expertise In Infrastructure as a Service that qualifies IT professionals to install the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The certification builds upon Red Hat’s launch of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform in June and its release of the Red Hat OpenStack Administration course earlier this year. Because the certification is tailored to Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution, it doubles both as a training vehicle and marketing platform to accelerate adoption of its OpenStack platform. Red Hat is positioning its relationship to OpenStack as analogous to its relationship to Linux by characterizing OpenStack as the “next Linux” and touting its experience commercializing open source software for the enterprise. In a press release that described its IaaS Certification, Iain Grey, VP of global services noted that Red Hat’s “goal is to bring our enterprise experience to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market and provide an OpenStack platform that our customers can trust.” Meanwhile, at VMware 2013, Red Hat revealed details of CloudForms 2.1 (Beta), a platform for the management of hybrid clouds. CloudForms 2.1 features integration with Red Hat’s OpenStack platform.
10gen and Red Hat recently announced that the centralized identity management features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux extend to 10gen’s MongoDB platform as an auxiliary application within the RHEL platform. The integration of MongoDB with RHEL’s identity management functionality means that administrators can centrally configure MongoDB users, passwords and permissions from the same backend database used to manage the permissions of RHEL users more generally. As a result, IT administrators can now leverage single sign-on functionality across an organization for MongoDB in addition to other applications included within RHEL’s integrated identity management functionality. Red Hat added identity management to RHEL version 6.4 by means of a solution that uses the LDAP protocol. The resulting integration enhances the security of MongoDB and enables streamlined identity management for enterprises and IT administrators.
On Tuesday, Red Hat announced the general availability of Fedora 19, its Linux operating system codenamed Schrodinger’s Cat. Fedora 19 packages a variety of open source technologies that have been integrated into its Linux distribution and are subsequently available for download and modification. Because Fedora represents the testing platform for Red Hat’s flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution, the distribution’s evolution is watched closely since it provides insight about the future of RHEL, one of the most widely used enterprise-grade distributions of Linux.
With respect to ongoing deployment, monitoring and management functionality, Fedora 19 contains OpenStack Grizzly, the latest version of the popular open source IaaS collaboration of which Red Hat is a Platinum Board Member and vigorous contributor of code. This release also includes virtual storage migration that empowers users to move virtual machines without requiring shared storage between host machines. Finally, Fedora 19 boasts “Systemd Resource Control” and “Checkpoint & Restore” functionality to dynamically update service settings and baseline and restore processes and system parameters.
Robyn Bergeron, Fedora Project Leader, noted that agility was the defining attribute of Fedora 19 as follows:
In this release, the Fedora Project community has absolutely demonstrated that agility matters. From high-level features for enabling cloud and virtualization infrastructure, all the way down to process-level and virtual-machine level portability, combined with the newest developer toolchains, Fedora 19 contains cutting-edge technologies that enable scalability, resilience, and flexibility that are vital in a technology world increasingly focused on rapid delivery of solutions, services, and information.
Here, Bergeron touches upon the release’s compatibility with “cloud and virtualization infrastructure” as evinced by OpenStack Grizzly and OpenShift PaaS as well as the “flexibility” inherent to its developer tools and improved everyday experience by means of CUPS enhancements that enable faster printing, federated Voice-over-IP (VoIP) that allows users to make calls using a user@domain address, in addition to desktop choices such as GNOME 3.8, KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.10 and the MATE 1.6 desktop environment.
The most significant innovation of Fedora 19, however, concerns its use of MariaDB as opposed to Oracle’s MySQL out of concern that MySQL lacked sufficient transparency and openness. Jaroslav Reznik, Fedora’s Project Manager, elaborated on Fedora concerns about MySQL’s transparency in January of this year as follows:
The original company behind MySQL, MySQL AB, were bought out by Sun which was then bought by Oracle. Recent changes made by Oracle indicate they are moving the MySQL project to be more closed. They are no longer publishing any useful information about security issues (CVEs), and they are not providing complete regression tests any more, and a very large fraction of the mysql bug database is now not public.
MariaDB, which was founded by some of the original MySQL developers, has a more open-source attitude and an active community. We have found them to be much easier to work with, especially in regards to security matters.
MariaDB is a MySQL fork whose development was led by the original developers of MySQL over concerns about the stewardship of MySQL by Oracle. MariaDB is intended as a “drop-in” replacement of MySQL and supports MySQL’s open source storage engines and additional storage engines and features as well. Returning to Fedora 19, future versions of Fedora may not even feature MySQL alongside MariaDB as noted by Jaroslav Reznik:
MySQL will continue to be available for at least one release, but MariaDB will become the default. Also, we do not intend to support concurrent installation of both packages on the same machine; pick one or the other.
MySQL may well be gone from Fedora 20 or Fedora 21, but the more interesting question concerns whether RHEL 7.0 will be released with MariaDB as its default database management system (DBMS). In an interview with ZDNet, Senior Director of Product Marketing for RHEL Mark Coggin refused to confirm that RHEL 7.0 would be shipped with MariaDB as its default DBMS, although he did specify that Red Hat Software Collections 1.0, which has been offered in Beta to RHEL 6 customers, contains MariaDB version 5.5, MySQL version 5.5, and PostgreSQL version 9.2. Red Hat intends to offer the languages featured in Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 in RHEL 7.0, although the question of the default DBMS remains. If Red Hat does decide to ultimately dispense with MySQL, however, it will be significant news for Oracle, which has thus far been used to being involved in the powering of LAMP technology stacks, especially as the meaning of “LAMP” undergoes redefinition.