Red Hat has launched its CloudForms hybrid cloud management tool after a year of testing the software in beta.
Most organisations interested in adopting cloud computing already have considerable IT infrastructure in place, argued Brian Stevens, Red Hat chief technology officer. As a result, their "focus is not how to start anew, but how to unify their existing internal resources with the elastic resources of the public cloud."
CloudForms was designed to unify public and private cloud resources into a single system, even if the underlying clouds use different technologies. With CloudForms, applications can be moved between these clouds without the user or administrator worrying about configuration issues. It provides users with a self-service portal, and administrators with control and governance tools.
CloudForms uses application predefined blueprints to deploy an application across disparate cloud environments, explained Bryan Che, Red Hat senior director of cloud marketing. Blueprints, composed either by Red Hat or the administrator, define everything an application needs to run in a particular native environment.
"An application blueprint provides a templating language that describes how to instantiate an application in the cloud," Che said. CloudForms maintains a catalogue of blueprints that it consults whenever an application is requested. "From a same application blueprint, you can manage the application across a diverse set of providers."
Che showed how an instance of WordPress could be deployed across three services, each with a different underlying infrastructure: Amazon Web Services, a VMware cloud and a Red Hat cloud. Each used different hypervisors, but CloudForms used the WordPress blueprint to package the software in the appropriate image for the chosen environment.
Red Hat fashioned CloudForms from the open source Apache DeltaCloud project, a project it initiated. CloudForms runs on a software stack that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and various Red Hat storage technologies.