Red Hat ups IaaS ante with ManageIQ acquisition

Heterogeneous hybrid clouds are officially all the rage in IaaS, as Red Hat shores up its CloudForms with cloud management software from ManageIQ.

Red Hat's $104 million acquisition of cloud management software maker ManageIQ this week means IT pros now can't swing a dead cat without hitting a heterogeneous, hybrid, all-in-one IaaS management platform.

ManageIQ's EVM software will be combined with Red Hat's CloudForms cloud brokerage platform, Red Hat and ManageIQ executives said, which will add policy-based cloud management, orchestration and chargeback.

This is a sign of maturity in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market, analysts said.

"We're well past 'what is cloud and how do I do it?' to 'give me actual useful tools to solve my daily problems with IaaS,'" said Carl Brooks, analyst with 451 Research in Boston, Mass. "It's the same rationale as VMware buying DynamicOps."

But Red Hat VARs will take a wait-and-see stance until they see the integration.

If that works, it would be much simpler than trying to decipher Amazon's four pages of price quotes and exceptions.

Ryan Murray, chief architect at Red Hat VAR Sintre

"ManageIQ does list an impressive set of monitoring, security controls and cost usage of public clouds," said Ryan Murray, chief architect at Dallas, Texas-based Red Hat VAR Sintre. "Although those are great features, I think they are more geared to multi-tenant platforms, and I don't have any clients right now where this would be a benefit."

However, if ManageIQ has real-time stats and can limit the run time of virtual machines (VM) to a fixed budget per user, a single-tenant customer could benefit.

"If that works, it would be much simpler than trying to decipher Amazon's four pages of price quotes and exceptions," Murray said.

The combined CloudForms and ManageIQ products will also compete, at least on some level, with Microsoft's System Center 2012 products and tools, such as HotLink, which can manage multiple types of VMs within cloud infrastructures.

However, the most direct comparison is between CloudForms/ManageIQ and VMware Inc.'s stack topped off with DynamicOps, as both aim to manage not just VMs but entire heterogeneous cloud infrastructures across public and private cloud deployments.

Red Hat Storage will differentiate its offering, Red Hat officials say, by allowing it to manage workloads across clouds at the data layer as well as the compute layer. So for example, Red Hat Storage could create a global namespace encompassing Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) repositories and on-premise VMware VMDKs.

ManageIQ and Red Hat already have a number of joint customers, with almost all of ManageIQ's customers running some form of Red Hat software, officials said, though they declined to specify a number of joint clients.

One public ManageIQ customer reference is Pitney Bowes Software Inc., which uses ManageIQ to gain visibility into Amazon Web Services accounts which would otherwise be running under "shadow IT" in its global organization.

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for SearchCloudComputing.com and SearchServerVirtualization.com. Write to her at bpariseau@techtarget.com or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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