Red Hat Summit then and now: Big Data, OpenStack top-of-mind

unanswered question search predictive analytics big data challenges cloud futureIn the IT industry, large-scale corporate conferences usually serve the same purpose as invite-only analyst meetings, giving the relevant parties a chance to gain first-hand insight into the current position of the company organizing the event and a glimpse of its goals moving forward – except with a different angle, one that caters to customers and partners rather than investors. The Red Hat Summit, which kicked off on Monday in San Francisco, is no exception.

Last year’s show makes a good reference point for this week. Big Data was high on the agenda, with Red Hat tapping Hortonworks to help incorporate Hadoop into its vision for open source hybrid cloud computing and foster relations with the Apache community. The pair outlined three main objectives for the collaboration: integrate their respective offerings, enhance the Ambari project, which provides monitoring and lifecycle management capabilities for batch analytics clusters, and develop generic test suites to enable compatibility with alternative file systems.

OpenShift for the win


On Monday, the firms revealed the latest milestone in their partnership. Hortonworks’ open source Hadoop distro, HDP, has been optimized for Red Hat’s OpenShift platform-as-a-service in order to let customers run their analytical applications in the cloud.

As OpenShift product management head Joe Fernandes pointed out in a recent blog, that combination has several compelling advantages. For one, users can scale their apps seamlessly without having to make upfront capital investments in infrastructure or deal with ongoing maintenance costs. And second, HDP takes advantage of the YARN resource management and scheduling technology, which allows developers to access different types of data from a variety of sources in the same environment.

The integration was announced within hours of the new OpenShift Marketplace, an online storefront featuring an array of pre-packaged services for building and administering cloud apps. The launch line-up consists of over half a dozen offerings, including MongoLab, New Relic and Redis Labs. The catalog is set to launch in the near future and underscores Red Hat’s focus on the ecosystem, which is also reflected in the long list of third party products on display at this week’s summit.

News from Red Hat Summit 2014


Among the companies showcasing their wares is software-defined networking specialist PLUMgrid, which revealed that its flagship solution has been approved for use in environments running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Another SDN startup called ConteXtream also achieved certification for its product, a cloud-based virtualization service geared towards large enterprises and service providers. On the storage front, Cloudian announced that its own HyperStore tool has been made compatible with the platform.

Partners constitute a core pillar of the firm’s hybrid cloud strategy, which is founded on the community-led OpenStack project. The private cloud operating system has been a major focus of Red Hat since it acquired Gluster for $136 back in October 2011, and just like last year, the software is taking center stage at the conference.

Also attending the gathering is OpenStack distributor Piston Cloud. The startup officially confirmed that it’s participating about a month and a half after Red Hat reportedly canceled its sponsorship over a lost business deal, a decision that was promptly revised in the wake of the ensuing outcry from the community.

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