Red Hat Enterprise Linux launched for SAP HANA

Red Hat has expanded the company’s strategic alliance with SAP AG to make it easier for customers to adopt and run the SAP Data Management portfolio, including the SAP HANA platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE), SAP IQ software, and the SAP SQL Anywhere suite on Red Hat’s open source solutions.

The expanded collaboration is expected to enable real-time, in-memory innovation by providing an open, scalable, integrated and highly-available platform for solutions from SAP along with those that are custom-built in an effort to expand customer choice when it comes to fueling business performance and helping enterprises realize increased value from cloud computing and big data.

Steve Lucas, president, Platform Solutions, SAP AG added: “By joining forces with Red Hat to enable SAP HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we plan to give our customers an additional choice upon which to base deployments of SAP solutions; an open, flexible and scalable platform that is intended to support customers’ data management needs across on-premise and cloud environments.”

As the foundation of the enhanced partnership, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now available and qualified for production use of SAP HANA and supported by partners’ SAP-certified hardware solutions. SAP HANA enables customers to capture business transactions to help make smarter, faster decisions through real-time analysis and reporting combined with dramatically accelerated business processes. Customers can now also enjoy expanded choice when it comes to their deployments of SAP HANA to experience the reliability, quality and stability offered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They can also standardize deployments of SAP solutions on Red Hat’s high-performing, secure and open platform, helping to ensure consistency of operations across the business.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP HANA is designed for easy deployment and simplified integration, and will be available via SAP-certified hardware appliances from partners. Delivered through the power of the partner ecosystems of Red Hat and SAP, it is planned for customers to now have access to a portfolio of cross-industry experience and expertise that harnesses the flexible, scalable and open nature of SAP software and Red Hat solutions that are designed to meet a variety of enterprise information requirements.

Red Hat to acquire Inktank, a company in which Mark Shuttleworth invested $1 million

Red Hat is acquiring Inktank, a provider of scale-out, open source storage systems for approximately $175 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

What makes this acquisition even more interesting is that Red Hat competitor Canonical invested $1 million through a convertible note in the start-up back in 2012. Shuttleworth’s money helped the start-up grow big enough to become a target for Red Hat.

Bad news for Canonical?

Does this make Mark upset as Benjamin Kerensa, a Mozilla evangelist, says on Google+? I think not for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that Red Hat is the world’s number one Open Source company which is also the #1 contributor to many open source projects so this acquisition won’t lock Canonical out of the company that they once funded.

Allan Bell, an Ubuntu developer opines that Canonical may have actually made a lot of money via this investment as it was a convertible bond. He says, “He invested $1m in a convertible note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible_bond must have given him a fairly substantial holding in 2012, it was certainly newsworthy http://www.inktank.com/news-events/new/shuttleworth-invests-1-million-in-ceph-storage-startup-inktank/ and now it has been sold for $175m. I think he made a lot of money on this in less than 2 years.”

Mark has not reacted to this acquisition yet.

Inktank will bring a lot of value to Red Hat as it “delivers world class object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds, including many early adopters of OpenStack clouds. Combined with Red Hat’s existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, the addition of Inktank positions Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.” says Red Hat in a statement.

What’s Inktank?

Founded in 2012, Inktank’s main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Ceph was developed by Inktank’s founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments.

Inktank’s primary goal has been to help customers scale their storage to the exabyte-level and beyond in a cost-effective way. Inktank has provided customers with expertise, processes, tools and support with their enterprise subscription and service offerings. Inktank’s customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Red Hat buys Inktank for $175 million

Red Hat has announced that it is acquiring Inktank, the company behind the Ceph open-source storage system, for $175 million in cash. Inktank’s primary product Inktank Ceph Enterprise is an enterprise-grade Ceph storage system sold on a subscription basis. Combined with Red Hat’s existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, the addition of Inktank is said to position Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.

“We believe that, as part of Red Hat, the Inktank team will be able to build a better quality Ceph storage platform that will benefit the entire ecosystem,” wrote Inktank TCO Sage Weil in a blog post.

Founded in 2012, Inktank’s main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Ceph was developed by Inktank’s founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments.

Inktank’s primary goal has been to help customers scale their storage to the exabyte-level and beyond in a cost-effective way. Inktank’s customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As part of the transaction, Red Hat will assume unvested Inktank equity outstanding on the closing date and issue certain equity retention incentives.

The transaction is expected to close in May 2014.

Red Hat, ownCloud enable scalable file access for enterprise users

ownCloud, Inc. has released its performance testing for ownCloud Enterprise Edition with Red Hat Storage, Red Hat’s open, software-defined storage offering, running on x86 servers that demonstrate the cost and performance efficiency gained by running ownCloud with Red Hat Storage on industry-standard servers.

According to the company, the performance testing benchmarked 25,000 concurrent users of ownCloud Enterprise Edition and Red Hat Storage running on industry-standard x86 servers.

The configuration used illustrates a 2x total cost of ownership (TCO) improvement by converging the application server and storage server tiers onto the same servers, compared to traditional solutions with separate storage server appliances.

Red Hat and ownCloud used two twin-node x86 storage servers and four standard 2-socket servers for the performance benchmark. ownCloud Enterprise Edition and Red Hat Storage were installed and benchmarked on first one, and then two twin storage servers, serving as converged storage and application nodes. In addition, a MySQL NDB cluster was installed on two of the 2-socket servers, with another used as a load balancer out front with the final 2-socket server used as a load generator.

Matt Richards, vice president – Products, ownCloud, said: “The combination of Red Hat Storage and ownCloud Enterprise Edition gives businesses an open, secure and private way for their employees to sync and share secure corporate data.”

With ownCloud Enterprise Edition and Red Hat Storage, enterprises customers can take more control of their files with on-site application servers and storage to manage large big data workloads while integrating easily into existing IT environments.

“ownCloud gives enterprise users the ability to share and sync files in an open source and secure way,” said Brent Compton, director, ecosystem, Storage and Big Data, Red Hat. “As illustrated by these benchmark results, the combined ownCloud solution with Red Hat Storage and leading x86 storage servers is very attractive to customers looking for similar scalability and TCO benefits available from public cloud solutions but with increased control and security.”

Red Hat announces OpenShift Marketplace

Red Hat has announced OpenShift Marketplace, which the company calls “a one-stop shop that will enable customers of all sizes to find and try solutions for their cloud applications.

With the marketplace Red Hat will be able to create a very organized ecosystem OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering for partners and customers. No more hunting for solutions or trying to tap into customers – the marketplace will take care of it.

Red Hat says in a press statement, “With its OpenShift Marketplace, Red Hat aims to reduce the search time and cost of finding the perfect solution for customers seeking value-added OpenShift partner add-ons. Customers and developers will be able to easily search for third-party OpenShift solutions and add-on productivity offerings, including database, email delivery services, messaging queues, application performance monitoring and more, all managed from a central location.”

Red Hat already has a decent list of partners who have signed up for OpenShift Marketplace including BlazeMeter, ClearDB, Iron.io, MongoLab, New Relic, Redis Labs, SendGrid, and Shippable.

Julio Tapia, director, OpenShift ecosystem, Red Hat said, “The OpenShift Marketplace is our next step towards our goal of providing customers the widest variety of choice when it comes to technologies that complement their OpenShift experience. As the OpenShift partner ecosystem continues to expand, we expect the Marketplace to provide developers and customers a more streamlined, secure experience to choose the best third-party solutions for their productivity and business enablement needs.”

The service will be available in coming weeks.

Now Red Hat customers can access Google’s Compute Engine

Open Source leader Red Hat has signed a deal with another major player in Open Source arena, Google, to give Red Hat customers access to Google Compute Engine. Now eligible Red Hat customer can move to Google Compute Engine using Red Hat Cloud Access. Google joined the Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider program in November 2013, joining a group of technology industry leaders who offer tested, proven solutions that extend the functionality of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud solutions.

Tim Yeaton, senior vice president, Infrastructure Group, Red Hat said, “As customers move to the cloud, they want flexibility and portability, which is a key component of our vision for the open hybrid cloud is to enable freedom of choice across both new and existing heterogeneous infrastructures. By collaborating with Google to offer Red Hat Cloud Access for Google Compute Engine, we’re bringing even more choice to the open hybrid cloud: whether on-premise or in the public cloud with Google Compute Engine, customers can rely on their Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions to meet their needs.”

“Red Hat Cloud Access is a unique “bring-your-own-subscription” benefit available from select Red Hat Certified Cloud Providers that enables customers to move their Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions from on-premise to public clouds. With today’s announcement, Google becomes only the second Red Hat Certified Cloud Provider to earn designation as a Red Hat Cloud Access-enabled partner. In December 2013, Google announced the general availability of Google Compute Engine, including support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” says the company.

Google Computer Engine is Google’s entry in Amazon’s extremely popular (and ofter troubled due to notorious downtime) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) space. Google Compute Engine (GCE) offers customers a chunk of the same massive platform that runs Google’s own services including the search engine, email service, YouTube and other such services. Like Amazon or other IaaS, GCE allows one to run virtual machines on Demand. These services are charged on minutes basis instead of flat per month or per month basis.

Developers from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan & Syria can’t contribute to US based open source projects?

Unless they choose not to tell where they are from. To tackle the issue Fedora project has adopted the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for contribution.

I am aware of situations where Open Source companies based out of US can’t offer free software to those countries which are in US’s embargo list, but something interesting popped out today when FESCo debated the issue whether Fedora should allow ‘contribution’ from such countries. Fedora’s sponsor Red Hat is a US based company and thus has to adhere to US laws so it’s tricky whether they can use the free software contribution from embargoed countries or not.

A ticket was created by lkundrak asking:

It has come to my attention that a sponsor suspecting contributor’s residence due to his nationality might exclude him from participating in the project. I’m wondering whether it’s encouraged, discouraged, mandatory or forbidden that sponsors try to determine contributor’s nationality and area of residence. If it’s not discouraged or forbidden, I’d like to be aware what reliable means of determining the location and nationality should we use. I’d like to find out a reliable way to find out whether a piece of third party open-source code can be included in Fedora, taking the country of origin restrictions into account.

lkundrak seek advice from FESCo to suggest “changes to contributor’s documentation so that next time we know in advance and make no mistakes.”

The issue was triggered when a developer from Sudan, named Mohammed Isam, wanted to get involved with Fedora development. Petr Šabata said that while he would love to sponsor Islam he would have to check with Fedora legal as Sudan is in the Sanctioned list. Mohammed Isam added that he doesn’t live or work from Sudan; he was based out of Quatar.

Today FESCo made a decision about it. The solution is – ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ FESCo recommends that “Sponsors (or any other contributors) in Fedora should not make any effort to determine a contributor’s nationality, country of origin, or area of residence.”

But there can be cases where the nationality of the contributor is revealed then they have to ‘tell. “If a potential contributor independently (and explicitly) reveals their nationality, country of origin, or area of residence, and that nationality, country of origin, or area of residence is in one of the export restricted countries, then they are required to bring that information to the attention of Fedora Legal ”

In case of Mohammed Isam, Fedora Legal team cleared the he can contribute.

There are quite some open source projects based out of US, what will they do? We will talk to some projects and update the story.

Red Hat brings Microsoft’s .NET Apps to OpenShift

Customers now don’t need Microsoft Windows to be able to run or create .NET Apps. Red Hat has partnered with Uhuru Software to bring Microsoft .NET Apps and SQL server capabilities to Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution OpenShift.

As expected it’s a community driven, Open Source solution. Red Hat said in a press statement, “With open source code contributed by Uhuru, OpenShift is able to provide application isolation for multiple .NET apps on the same Windows instance.”

OpenShiftDotNetGraphic

So now it doesn’t matter if customers are running Windows or RHEL, they will now able to provide “a standardized application environment with consistent administration capabilities across both by abstracting away the underlying infrastructure,” said the company.

“This means developers can easily write an application using a .NET frontend that is on Windows with a MySQL backend on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, all through the OpenShift self-service interface,” said the company in a press statement.

But why is Red Hat doing this? They explain, “…we deeply believe in customer choice. We also embrace the innovation that comes from our open source communities and our partner ecosystem. With a host of .NET applications already deployed throughout enterprises, integrating Microsoft environments for application workloads can provide OpenShift users with the most complete developer experience. That’s why we were excited to have Uhuru collaborate with the OpenShift Origin community on this effort as the first step. This will then enable us to bring this capability to our Online and Enterprise customers in the future.”

What it means is that developers won’t have to leave OpenShift and they can create .NET applications using familiar OpenShift workflows.

The company said, “With Uhuru, OpenShift can deliver a PaaS solution for .NET that is native to Windows while still enabling the secure, multi-tenant architecture that users have come to expect from our platform.”

Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6 is now available

Red Hat has announced JBoss BPM Suite 6, which includes the next version of its business rules platform, JBoss BRMS 6. With JBoss BPM Suite 6, the company claims to bring a unique combination of business process management (BPM), business rules management (BRM) and complex event processing (CEP) technologies together in a single product offering.

JBoss BPM Suite is a platform for business process management that includes all the capabilities of JBoss BRMS and adds support for modeling, automation, simulation, and monitoring of business processes.

JBoss BRMS is a platform for business rules management and complex event processing that is used to host an organization’s business rules and to make business decisions based on those rules, as an alternative to coding them directly in applications.

Business rules management is often deployed in conjunction with BPM to provide decision management in the context of business processes, and JBoss BPM Suite 6 incorporates all of the features found in JBoss BRMS 6.

With tooling that makes rule and process definitions visible and understandable, JBoss BPM Suite 6 helps business experts apply their domain knowledge directly to the models. These tools include a drag and drop BPMN2 process modeler, a graphical data modeler, and business activity monitoring (BAM) dashboards and reports, in addition to rule authoring and management tools also included in JBoss BRMS 6.

JBoss BPM Suite combines the runtime rule engine and CEP features from JBoss BRMS with a business process execution server capable of supporting a variety of workload needs. Combining these technologies into a single offering provides efficient integration and a seamless user experience, ultimately allowing organizations to go to market faster with new products and services.

JBoss BPM Suite 6 and JBoss BRMS 6 can be deployed on physical, virtual and cloud environments. Both products can leverage JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6 clustering to meet scalability and high availability deployment needs.

JBoss BPM Suite 6 and JBoss BRMS 6 are compatible with platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments, such as OpenShift by Red Hat, and provide the foundation for bpmPaaS as part of Red Hat JBoss xPaaS services for OpenShift.

JBoss BPM Suite 6 and JBoss BRMS 6 are now available globally. A support subscription for the full Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite begins at about $40,000 per year and that for Red Hat BRMS 6 at about $20,00 per year.

Yes there was a security hole in Linux, but Red Hat already fixed it

Luckily enough for all of us Red Hat quickly found, patched and distributed a fix. Originally reported by Ars Technica, the fix was available by the time the general public was made aware of it. It’s actually fairly similar to a certain security hole that lived for a year and could have allowed for exploits to be used in the wild.

To explain the exploit simply, when a device using SSL for security should have failed or rejected a certificate in a certain manner it didn’t. Instead, it greeted it with open arms and hug like any proper security certificate. This unintentional behavior could have allowed for an entity not part of the authentication (your browser and the site are the only parties that should be present for the exchange) to simply step in to take a peek at all data that is being exchanged. Primarily login information and any other encrypted data.

What could allow for such an awful action to be possible? A bad “goto” statement. In programming, a goto statement in most languages tell a program to move its’ running logic to another part of the program and complete the instructions there. This statement was present twice in gnuTLS, a secure communications library. Many Linux based operating systems and programs relied upon this library as a source for verifying that whatever they did could be trusted so that users would be safe.

Red Hat found the exploit in a security audit and worked extremely quickly to inform and update the linux community. This is an excellent example of the security of open source in action. The audit may have been prompted by the recent security scare on Apple devices, but it was handled openly and swiftly. Users of all types and levels were alerted at the same time in an open format. There was no secrecy nor any wondering of when a patch would be released. Even if Red Hat couldn’t have provided a fix (Ha, extremely unlikely for that brilliant bunch), the discovery of the exploit and communication would have allowed for those with the proper expertise in the community to act.

If you’re using a Linux distro then it would be prudent for you to check for an update now. If your distribution hasn’t provided a patch, I would expect for it to arrive shortly if it has any decent level of support. There aren’t any known exploits of this security hole being used in the wild. By the time one could be created and seriously mobilized, most currently unpatched systems should be updated.

Sources: Ars Technica; ZDNet