Red Hat Offers Startups a Free Cloud Platform

The OpenShift Startup Program provides free hosting and technical support.

Application testing and development has traditionally been one of the chief drivers of public cloud usage, as it presents extremely little real risk to a company. Because critical information -- customer data, credit card numbers and so on -- isn't being stored, the benefits of cloud computing are more apparent and immediate. Now, Red Hat Inc. wants to make it's even easier, by offering a version of its OpenShift platform specifically for software startups.

Dubbed the OpenShift Startup Program, it's aimed at new companies developing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, providing the platform, hosting and other tools for free. Companies that join will get limited OpenShift Online subscription benefits that include support, promotional credits, consulting services, and migration to private cloud, plus on-premises installations, should a business want to take that step.

Red Hat also promises, in a press release announcing the program, that there will be no "software or program lock-in." That might be an important consideration for some, as Platform as a Service (PaaS) can raise the specter of being tied to one vendor's infrastructure. The release quotes Adam Klein, chief strategist at American Underground, trying to dispel some of those fears:

"Collaborating with Red Hat on OpenShift will enable our startups to focus on their code via the benefits of PaaS. The wide variety of the choice, flexibility, and accessibility of programming languages offered by OpenShift Online will benefit both consumer and B2B startups."

OpenShift has three versions:

  • OpenShift Online: The version used by the Startup Program. It's a hosted service available for free, or as a subscription service for the more robust version.
  • OpenShift Enterprise: For companies that are interested in a private cloud only. It requires an annual subscription, and is hosted on a company's private servers.
  • OpenShift Origin: The free, open source project available to be downloaded and used by anyone. Red Hat doesn't support it because it's a community-based offering.

OpenShift works with applications written in Java, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Python and Perl.

The OpenShift Startup Program is available now.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.