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Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated balances public-private clouds

Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated brings isolation and control to the company's platform as a service offering, allowing customers to have dedicated environments on AWS.

Red Hat aims to provide its customers with a happy medium of public and private-like cloud environments with the latest edition of OpenShift.

OpenShift Dedicated is now generally available and becomes the third iteration of the platform as a service (PaaS) offering, along with Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise and OpenShift Online. The latest version lets customers build applications on underlying public cloud infrastructure, while providing more control and isolation from the multi-tenant platform.

The new service follows the Red Hat path of having OpenShift rebuilt on Docker containers and Kubernetes orchestration. It's compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS), but the company plans to expand to other public cloud platforms in the future.

Red Hat provides the administrative support and operational management as part of the service. OpenShift Dedicated pricing starts at $48,000 a year, and includes single-tenant isolation, 100 GB solid-state drive-based persistent storage, 48 TB network IOPS and nine nodes for deploying container-based applications.

Villamedia, a Toronto company that builds social Web and mobile applications, has used OpenShift Online for several years on top of AWS, but the added control of OpenShift Dedicated provides more granularity to manage user groups and accounts, as well as better maintains the company's Docker container registry that runs on OpenShift.

Villamedia is still testing OpenShift Dedicated, but sees the potential for clients that require more security or isolation of services, or are wary of the cloud, said Sebastian Villa, co-founder and director of technology.

"Customers will say, 'You tell me about all these great features, but we want to have complete control,'" Villa said. "Even sometimes, when you bring up the 'AWS' word with clients, they're sort of scared, because they don't know where their stuff is going to live."

Villamedia will assuage those concerns about shared resources by knowing Red Hat is in complete control of the infrastructure-isolation process, he added.

Codenvy Inc., an early adopter in San Francisco, is working to build on-demand OpenShift environments for developers. There's a lot of complexity under the hood with the OpenShift rewrite on Kubernetes, and with the company's time constraints and staffing, it probably wouldn't be able to get the product out without Red Hat's support, said Tyler Jewell, Codenvy CEO.

"There is really a difference between installing and maintaining a large-scale PaaS and using it," Jewell said. "So, having a managed hosting provider or managed service provider for this technology oversee our installation for us saved us a ton of time."

Vendors are trying to find the balance for users between a fully multi-tenant architecture and something more akin to on-premises architecture, said Larry Carvalho, research manager at IDC Research Inc., in Framingham, Mass. It's a good move by Red Hat, as even AWS now offers dedicated servers.

"It's another level that everybody is trying to meet the needs of customers who don't have the skills to build applications on multi-tenant environments, or for regulatory or security issues," Carvalho said.

And despite the value it brings, it's also worth noting that anything outside of fully public cloud is a narrow focus for growth and future momentum, Carvalho said.

Trevor Jones is a news writer with TechTarget's data center and virtualization media group. Contact him at [email protected]

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