Back in April, Red Hat announced the release of the OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) as open source. But the big question mark has been how Red Hat was going to apply its services-oriented business model to OpenShift and monetize the solution. Well, wonder no more, as Red Hat has announced a hosted OpenShift offering in free and paid tiers.
The announcement came at this week’s Red Hat Summit in Boston. OpenShift has been in a free developer preview since May 2011, but once the platform reaches the general availability stage, it’s going to be offered in two tiers:
- FreeShift, the free tier, is going to be the default migration path for developers using OpenShift in beta. It limits users to three small gears (resource-constrained containers), and developers have to get support from the community.
- MegaShift, on the other hand, is a paid offering that extends the offering with support for up to 16 gears, as well as the ability to add storage beyond FreeShift’s limit of 1 gigabyte per gear. Plus Red Hat will support MegaShift with its own offering Red Hat says that it expects MegaShift pricing to start at $42/month just for platform usage plus per-gear-hour fees above the first three.
Both tiers are expected to be available in the vague timeframe of “later this year.” Red Hat also announced that Java EE6 full profile support has come to OpenShift, as well as the Red Hat Pathway to Open Source Enablement consulting service to help enterprises move to OSS solutions.
There’s no question that OpenShift is generally a good thing for the market – as we’ve noted previously, VMware’s deep involvement in the governance of Cloud Foundry has raised some question marks of its own, and Red Hat is definitely a company that understands the foibles and concerns of the open source community.
Competition is only going to help the PaaS market in general. But Cloud Foundry is very well established in the developer community, with high-profile startups like AppFog taking what VMware made and running with it. It’s really a question of how long before we see the same momentum around OpenShift.