Dell will start selling systems early next year that run Red Hat's version of the OpenStack open-source cloud platform.
The offering will be tailored for large enterprises that wish to set up private clouds, said Radhesh Balakrishnan, Red Hat general manager for virtualisation and OpenStack.
Dell announced the partnership Thursday at the company's Dell World enterprise users conference in Austin, Texas.
Dell is the second major enterprise systems company to use OpenStack as the basis for a line of enterprise private cloud products. Earlier this week, Hewlett-Packard also announced that the newest version of its own CloudSystem private cloud systems run the company's HP Cloud OS, which is based on OpenStack.
Both announcements suggest that OpenStack may be ready for enterprise use, or at least coming close to enterprise readiness.
In a recently posted commentary, Gartner research director Alessandro Perilli said that the OpenStack project lacks clarity about its goals, and OpenStack vendors lack transparency around their business models. As a result, enterprises should still be wary of OpenStack, Perilli argued.
"There are definitely parts of OpenStack platform that are still have a ways to go in terms of maturing," Balakrishnan said at DellWorld, pointing by way of an example to its still nascent technologies for offering networking as a service. The core parts of the software, however, are operationally solid and Red Hat has worked to bring these components to the level of an "enterprise grade implementation," he said.
"We fundamentally believe that OpenStack will be the new data-center fabric of the future," Balakrishnan said.
Dell and Red Hat will work together to engineer the system, which will be built using Dell hardware and the next version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Dell did not delve into details about the possible hardware configurations, though the package will use Red Hat's Linux OpenStack Platform 4, which is currently in beta.
This Red Hat software package includes the latest version of OpenStack, named Havana, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Hypervisor and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.
Dell's Cloud Services will sell the system, which will be implemented by the unit's Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform practice.
The offering will be among the first products of a newly expanded partnership between Dell and Red Hat. Dell and Red Hat have been long-time partners. Dell has been using Red Hat software in its own packaged systems for 14 years.
Dell and Red Hat will also work together on a number of projects to further improve OpenStack. They will work on OpenStack Neutron, a project to bring Software-Defined Networking capabilities to OpenStack, allowing the platform to offer networking as a service. They will also collaborate on Ceilometer, a project to improve OpenStack instrumentation for monitoring and billing purposes.
In related private cloud news, Dell also announced Thursday that it would include the open-source Eucalyptus cloud software on its packages of server, storage, and networking equipment.
Eucalyptus replicates the APIs (application programming interfaces) of the Amazon Web Services' Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), allowing organisations to replicate the AWS service on their own networks.