From Red Hat Summit: Docker Collab, PaaS Marketplace

Red Hat details its work with Docker to streamline app delivery, and plans to launch an OpenShift Marketplace.

Red Hat made several major announcements during its Red Hat Summit taking place in San Francisco this week. First is the streamlining of application delivery, and the second has to do with launch of a PaaS marketplace related to its OpenShift platform.

On the application delivery end, the company said that it's working with Docker, the commercial entity behind the leading open-source container engine, to streamline the process of application delivery and orchestration across bare metal systems, virtual machines and private and public clouds via software containers.

Paul Cormier, president of Red Hat's Products and Technologies group, told reporters that lightweight, portable, self-sufficient software containers, such as those produced by Docker, allow developers to "cross these four footprints" in a much more efficient and maintainable way.

The two organizations began working together last year to extend support for Docker in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The new collaboration will enhance interoperability between Docker's hosted services and Red Hat certified container hosts and services.

Red Hat also announced two other "Linux Container innovations." The first, Project Atomic, is a new community initiative through which the company hopes to develop lightweight host operating systems for containerized applications. These hosts will be "based on next-generation capabilities in the Linux ecosystem." The ultimate goal of the project is to create a variant of RHEL, dubbed Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, which will debut with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

With Project Atomic, Red Hat is "making an edition to the RHEL family," Cormier said -- which matters because applications depend on consistently available services within the operating system. "When RHEL that runs on bare metal goes to 7.1 or 7.2," he added, "then Red Hat Enterprise Atomic will go to that same 7.1 or 7.2...Whether you're running on a bare metal system that has been in the back closet for four years, or whether you're running that application out in someone's public cloud, it's important that that application knows and understands what's underneath."

Project Atomic will support the larger Linux community (the so-called "upstream community"), including the Fedora Linux distro and CentOS, with hosts, the company said.

Red Hat also unveiled a new sub-project of OpenShift Origin called GearD. OpenShift Origin is the free and open-source app hosting platform on which the company's OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service is based. With the GearD command-line client and agent for integrating Docker containers with systemd Linux service manager across multiple hosts, Red Hat aims to develop tools for rapid application development, continuous integration, delivery, and deployment of application code to containerized app environments.

Red Hat also plans to expand its RHEL 7 high-touch beta program to include Atomic Host and Docker technologies, the company said.

The project, launched last year, has attracted more than 400 developers and generated more than 1.4 million downloads, the company says. The Docker public index currently includes more than 9,000 "Dockerized" applications.

OpenShift MarketPlace Almost Open for Biz
Red Hat also announced that it will soon launch a new software marketplace for users of its OpenShift Online public cloud application development and hosting platform. The OpenShift Marketplace will provide customers and developers with access to "complementary third-party solutions" developed by Red Hat's OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) partner ecosystem, the company said.

The list of early partner participants includes BlazeMeter, ClearDB,, MongoLab, New Relic, Redis Labs, SendGrid, and Shippable. This kind of app-store-like marketplace model has become an essential tool for solution and add-on providers, connecting them more directly with customers of their platform provider partners. The Red Hat version offers a number of managed services for these partners, including a database, e-mail delivery services, messaging queues, and application performance monitoring, among others.

The OpenShift Marketplace is the next step in Red Hat's evolving cloud PaaS strategy, said Julio Tapia, director of the company's OpenShift ecosystem group. The idea is to provide customers "the widest variety of choice when it comes to technologies that complement their OpenShift experience."

The OpenShift cloud PaaS is based on a free and open-source app hosting platform, now called OpenShift Origin, which was developed by Red Hat. The first version of OpenShift was launched as a free beta in 2011 and was aimed at open source developers. It came with built-in management and auto-scaling capabilities that freed developers from stack setup, maintenance, and operational chores, allowing them to focus on coding. And it supported a range of programming languages, including Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Perl, as well numerous frameworks, databases, and clouds. In 2012 the company launched an enterprise version of OpenShift and began an expansion of its then nascent partner ecosystem.

No date certain was provided for the launch of the OpenShift Marketplace, but the company promised availability "in the coming weeks." Red Hat is also providing a free preview for interested ISVs who e-mail the company with a request.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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