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Red Hat CloudForms – New Product for Private and Hybrid Clouds

Red Hat CloudForms – New Product for Private and Hybrid Clouds

Raleigh, North Carolina-based open source behemoth Red Hat launched a new product line for creating and managing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) private and hybrid clouds named CloudForms, the company announced. The product incorporates both comprehensive application lifecycle management and the ability to create integrated clouds from a broad range of computing resources with unique portability across physical, virtual and cloud computing resources, Red Hat said.

According to the company, CloudForms is developed to provide solution to problems like the cost and complexity of virtual server sprawl, compliance nightmares and security concerns that were found in first-generation cloud products. CloudForms allows users to configure and manage complex multi-tier applications instead of managing large numbers of virtual servers. In addition, the new solution enables allows users to deploy, manage and move these applications between different clouds and  virtualization environments. The company claims that its new product provides functionality allowing quicker modifications of applications, resulting in shorter reaction time when time-critical security fixes, application updates or configuration changes are to be made. Administrators are able to control the applications as well as where they are allowed to run, therefore reducing compliance and security-related cloud computing problems.

Red Hat CloudForms is also able to create hybrid clouds utilizing existing computing resources like virtual servers provided by various vendors and a broad range of public clouds such as Amazon, IBM and NTT Communications. The product is also compatible with traditional in-house or hosted physical servers, the company said. Such flexibility makes CloudForms a product suitable for various enterprise needs, allowing businesses to deploy cloud computing solutions while avoiding expensive migration costs.

With CloudForms, Red Hat is changing what CIOs expect from private clouds,” Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager, Cloud Business at Red Hat, said in a statement. “With its leadership in enterprise operating systems and middleware, Red Hat gives users an easier way to build hybrid clouds and manage what they really care about: applications. Red Hat CloudForms also lets them deploy and manage their applications on any type of server: physical, virtual and public cloud. This is very different than cloud products from virtualization-only vendors, which focus on managing virtual machines, not applications, thus creating significant new complexity and costs. By allowing users to manage applications, not just VMs, Red Hat makes the promise of cloud real, by reducing management complexity and increasing IT agility and innovation,” he added.

In 2010, Red Hat announced Red Hat Cloud Foundations with Red Hat CloudForms extending its capabilities and functionality while providing application portability from one cloud to another. The new product was launched in beta while the official release is expected later in 2011, the company said.

Application portability is a crucial element of future full-scale cloud solutions and software companies  started to develop such products since the early days of cloud computing. In the past four or five years several similar products were launched but Red Hat’s solution is open source which is a significant advantage compared to other products on the market.

Nevertheless, the cloud computing community should wait for the beta version to develop into a fully-functional official release while those who want to test the beta version are allowed to take advantage of Red Hat’s product by signing up on their website. Red Hat has great reputation for delivering high-quality products but every beta version should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially in the field of cloud computing where every solution is last but one and where predictability is greatly reduced by external factors, including human factors like IT experts market trend analysis and overall market mood.

By Kiril Kirilov

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