Red Hat Promotes Linux in Open Cloud Push

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Red Hat promotes Linux as the original cloud OS, espousing its portability, consistency and extensibility as key factors that make it more cloud-friendly than other major operating systems. But does Red Hat's evangelizing of Linux have less to do with what it can provide today and more to do with the cloud platforms of the future?

Today, there are a lot of cloud choices, and all major cloud platforms provide the same kind of functionality with a vendor's personal flavor. But when it comes to mission-critical business applications that measure effectiveness down to the second, important variables make all the difference.

Red Hat Inc. wants to let the world know Linux isn't just the right choice for the cloud, it is the cloud OS. That's not surprising from a company built on its own Linux brand. Red Hat attests, "Linux is the original cloud OS. Its popularity as a cloud architecture remains high today, and we expect it to continue to be the cloud OS. Unlike competing OSes, Linux was born on the Internet, making it a natural fit for cloud."

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This is not the end of Red Hat's appeal to the industry. Red Hat attests the attributes of the Linux platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) are as follows:

  • Portable: Delivering on the "cloud promise," RHEL allows applications to "move, expand, replicate and … run applications on any cloud." Red Hat chocks this up to the architecture that "transcends specific hardware vendors" and can be more flexibly deployed across multiple locations with heterogeneous hardware -- a popular choice in the growing x86 server space.
  • Consistent: For developers, the application environment is everything. Red Hat offers a consistent, portable development environment. Applications can be written once and deployed "across all cloud environments."
  • Automated: RHEL plays nice in environments where cloud scaling must be enabled. With built-in scripting, APIs and command-line interfaces, RHEL is well-positioned to be an easily managed cloud platform.
  • Virtualized: Thanks to kernel virtual machine (KVM), virtualization support is baked into every distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With industry-wide support for this standard, this makes RHEL a standard-based OS. The momentum of the OpenStack project as another leading open source cause is making Linux a popular choice.
  • Extensible: Customization isn't a problem, since source code is easily accessible and most developers can augment existing capabilities to be customized for mission-critical deployments. This is true across mixed and hybrid and private cloud environments.

Whether Red Hat and/or Red Hat Enterprise Linux can truly deliver on these facets is still a matter of choice, but Red Hat's cheerleading isn't for the end user's benefit; it's for the cloud solution providers deciding with which platform they want to build and invest. Red Hat is on track to announce "an update on its cloud technologies and strategy," on Nov. 27, and Red Hat will likely unveil its own innovations that more deeply prepare RHEL for the next generation of cloud demands.

In a way, Red Hat is trying to eliminate misconceptions about open source technologies as it seeks to gain wider support from vendors  looking to build on Linux, or vendors considering contributing their own efforts to the open source cause. Either way,  Red Hat wants to ensure Linux gets careful consideration, which may become more important as cloud companies and capabilities eventually converge.

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