By incorporating comprehensive application lifecycle management, Red Hat CloudForms allows organisations to benefit from the elasticity and flexibility of Cloud computing while retaining the ability to control and govern their application portfolio in the cloud. CloudForms addresses key problems encountered in first-generation Cloud products: the cost and complexity of virtual server sprawl, compliance nightmares and security concerns. It allows users to more easily configure and manage complex multi-tier applications, rather than having to independently manage large numbers of virtual servers.
Once defined, these applications can be deployed, managed and moved between different Clouds, virtualization environments and baremetal servers. The applications can be more quickly modified for time-critical security fixes, application updates or configuration changes. Compliance and security problems associated with Clouds are substantially reduced because administrators know and control the applications, their configurations and where they are allowed to execute.
Another ground-breaking benefit of Red Hat CloudForms is the ability to create hybrid Clouds using existing computing resources, including:
This unprecedented level of choice helps to eliminate both the lock-in typical with other Cloud products, and their requirement to undergo expensive migration from physical to virtual servers in order to obtain the benefits of Cloud. CloudForms allows companies to better utilize their existing investments in IT. Such portability is unique to open source solutions providers like Red Hat, and is enabled through its use of the industry-standard Deltacloud Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
"With CloudForms, Red Hat is changing what CIOs expect from private Clouds", stated Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager, Cloud Business at Red Hat. "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."
"Cloud computing is still relatively early in rolling out, yet many enterprise and service provider organisations are ready to move ahead deploying more applications in public, private and hybrid Clouds", stated Jay Lyman, senior analyst at The 451 Group. "Tools such as application lifecycle management, particularly resource management, for these new Cloud computing environments are critical in moving efficiently to the clouds and once there, effectively managing cloud applications and resources."
"Red Hat's delivery of CloudForms is a game-changer for the industry", stated Lew Tucker, vice president and CTO, Cloud Computing at Cisco. "Red Hat CloudForms introduces a new level of openness and choice for application developers. Cisco is excited to continue our collaboration with Red Hat to drive innovation in the Cloud."
"Red Hat and Intel have a long history of contributing to open source and open standards and we're pleased to be collaborating on CloudForms to make it easier to deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service", stated Jason Waxman, general manager, High Density Computing at Intel. Intel is committed to delivering the features in Intel Xeon processors to support the most performance and energy efficiency for CloudForms Cloud and System Engines while facilitating deployment through the Intel® Cloud Builders programme."
Red Hat CloudForms builds on the success of Red Hat Cloud Foundations, which was announced at the Red Hat Summit in 2010. Red Hat intends to extend CloudForms to include a range of services to extend application portability from one cloud to another, including critical areas such as storage abstraction, messaging and high availability. Red Hat CloudForms is being released in beta today, and is expected to be generally available later in 2011.