Thursday, November 4, 2010

Red Hat set to unveil RHEL 6...but is there more?

Red Hat has announced that their executive team will be hosting a technology webcast on November 10. Chances are they are going to launch (or at least announce) Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 which reached the Release Candidate stage a couple weeks ago. I am also hoping that they will use the opportunity to lay out a comprehensive vision for what they plan to do with their Virtualization, Identity Management and Systems Management/Monitoring technologies.

There are a number of Red Hat projects out there that sounded great when I first heard about them but have yet to reach their full potential: oVirt, Thincrust, Cobbler, Spacewalk, RHQ and FreeIPA are just a few. None of these individual ideas have been to be integrated into a larger plan and some of them seem to overlap with products like RHEV and MRG.

If combined, these tools could form the basis for a powerful Cloud Computing platform; one that could scale from a modest server room at an SMB to a world class Data Center. All the little pieces are there: virtualization management, appliance OS, provisioning server, systems management/monitoring and identity management, but without a unifying vision and a strong commitment, they are just a bunch of semi-interesting open source projects.

What I find even more concerning is that Red Hat's latest initiatives like Deltacloud and Cloud Foundations, and their complete absence from OpenStack make it seem like they are more interested in creating APIs and technology blueprints than they are in delivering the integrated technology themselves.

I am hoping that this was all just part of the plan, and that they have been patiently waiting on RHEL 6 so that they could use it as the foundation of their new cloud platform. I am hoping that they will finally show us that they did actually have a plan all along. I guess I'll have to wait till November 10 to find out.

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