Red Hat's Cloud Computing Report Warns of Perils of Lock-In

by Sam Dean - Jul. 27, 2011Comments (1)

For some time now, Red Hat has been pinning its future on cloud computing and virtualization--a smart move as these trends are reshaping how IT administrators and policy makers think about technology. At the Red Hat Summit in May, the company discussed new IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, including CloudForms, which provides application management tools that help bring applications into the cloud, and OpenShift, which supports many development environments for delivering applications in the cloud. IRed Hat officials are also making sure that channel partners are backing Red Hat's cloud strategy. Now, though, Red Hat has released a new report to policy makers that takes an aggressive stance toward cloud lock-in, and related looming issues.

In a blog post titled "Keep the Cloud User in Charge," Red Hat summarizes aspects of the report, which you can read here.  According to Mark Bohannon, Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Global Public Policy, at Red Hat:

"Cloud computing has the potential to reformulate our industry in a number of ways, especially putting the focus on the user being in charge, which is where they should be....Lock-in drives costs higher and undermines the savings that can be achieved through technical efficiency.  If not carefully managed, we risk taking steps backwards, even going toward replicating the 1980s, where users were heavily tied technologically and financially into one IT framework and were stuck there."

Indeed, in the 1980s, before the rise of the personal computer, users were generally at the mercy of IT administrators and highly centralized computing topologies. Bohannon clearly sees an analog between that time and today, as cloud computing service providers often hold the keys to how a company's data is secured, made accessible to applications, and more.

The post from Bohannon continues:

"Red Hat's recent cloud initiatives --  such as OpenShift, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud for open source developers, and CloudForms, which allows users to create and manage Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) private and hybrid clouds -- are providing open source tools for a wide range of enterprise needs."

Red Hat's tools, of course, aren't the only open source tools for cloud computing, many of which we covered here. The report from Red Hat isn't only focused on businesses. It makes the strong case that the U.S. federal government needs to wake up to the promise and peril of cloud computing. It's worth reading, and includes as many warnings about cloud computing as it does criticisms of the trend.

Mark Walker uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Redhat has missed both the Virtualization trend and Cloud Computing trend and is late in the game.

It is trying to make its presence know by spreading FUD.

Instead Redhat should work constructively towards standardization of systems and processes in Cloud and Virtualization.

0 Votes
Share Your Comments

If you are a member, to have your comment attributed to you. If you are not yet a member, Join OStatic and help the Open Source community by sharing your thoughts, answering user questions and providing reviews and alternatives for projects.

Promote Open Source Knowledge by sharing your thoughts, listing Alternatives and Answering Questions!