Red Hat aims high with Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure

Hot on the heels of RHEV 3.2, Red Hat plans to integrate the platform with OpenStack in an offering called Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure.

As admins start to get to know Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2, released in June 2013, the vendor already has its eyes toward the future with the goal of integrating virtualization and cloud services in the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure.

During the June 2013 Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, future plans for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) were aimed at the cloud. RHEV already has tight integration with the cloud, and the two will be more closely related in the future.

Merging virtualization with the cloud

A virtualization platform and a Platform as a Service cloud platform both offer virtual machines (VMs), but you typically measure the life span of a cloud VM in hours and months rather than years, as you would in a virtual data center environment. Both cloud and virtualization platforms need hypervisors and high availability, however, as well as a storage area network.

Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) will be a common services layer that offers cloud services and virtualization services from the same platform. It's scheduled to be available to customers in July 2013, and will include CloudForms 2.0, Red Hat OpenStack 3.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.2.

This common services layer eliminates the duplication of infrastructure, makes the architectural design easier, optimizes solution development and, most important for end users, facilitates the transition from traditional virtualization to cloud workloads. The structure also makes it easier to manage resources from Red Hat Cloud forms.

This layer will integrate OpenStack services with oVirt and RHEV, and offer a common set of shared devices:

  • KVM hypervisor
  • OpenStack Image Store (Glance)
  • OpenStack Network Service (Quantum)
  • OpenStack Volume Service (Cinder)

Additional reading on virtualization and
the cloud

What's the difference between virtualization and cloud computing?

The CIO's guide to virtualization and the private cloud

RHEV soldiers on

In the meantime, Red Hat plans to release new versions of RHEV, as well. RHEV 3.3 has a scheduled release date of November 2013, and version 3.4 is already on the schedule for April 2014. RHEV 3.3 will offer features that are only currently available in OpenStack: the OpenStack Network Service (Quantum) as well as the OpenStack Image Service (Glance), which is used for storage. Version 3.3 also offers new virtualization-specific features:

  • Major changes to VM creation dialogs
  • Support for instance types
  • Integration with cloud-init for VM metadata
  • Support mime-typing launching for VM consoles
  • Added guest memory to live snapshots
  • Added support for NoVNC, an HTML-based VNC client
  • Support hosts to run a VM using "run once"
  • OpenLDAP support

The next major release of OpenStack is expected to follow RHEV 3.3.

Red Hat's increased focus on cloud is helping to transform RHEV from a standalone, traditional virtual platform to the cornerstone of RHCI. Integrating RHEV with OpenStack makes sense because services common to both platforms -- such as networking, storage and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol integration -- will develop at one time, making the platform stronger.

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