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Red Hat (news, site) has been focusing its efforts on supporting enterprises and service providers that use Red Hat software for building and managing cloud networks. With Red Hat's recent acquisition of Makara, the company now has the capability to act as a cloud service provider, and is set to make an announcement at the upcoming Red Hat Summit.

While Red Hat is among the more popular server operating system and middleware vendors, it doesn't have its own PaaS offering. With the Makara acquisition in November 2010, Red Hat now has technology that enables developers to deploy cloud applications that can scale up or down as necessary. According to former Makara CEO Isaac Roth -- now Red Hat's "PaaS Master" -- the Makara team is currently working on integrating Red Hat's technology into the existing Makara service. "Makara enables applications to automatically scale down and up, so the consumption of resources happens in an on-demand fashion."

Makara is currently integrating parts of JBoss, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Deltacloud project, in which developers can use the same code to launch instances regardless of whether these are on private clouds, Amazon EC, Rackspace or other services, making sure applications are protected from API incompatibilities.

Competition with Other Service Providers

Red Hat has previously claimed that, apart from itself, only Microsoft has all the software offerings to build complete cloud networks, and move the workload from one cloud to another. While both have an operating system, management tools, middleware and application development frameworks, Red Hat did not have a public cloud service (as opposed to Microsoft having Windows Azure). Makara completes the picture for Red Hat. Roth says Red Hat and Microsoft have different target markets, though, with Red Hat focusing on developers who prefer open source.

Red Hat's core of efficiency is developers who build on open source, so we take the open-source projects that are out there and contribute heavily to them, and wrap operational support and certifications packaging around them to create commercial offerings."

Red Hat Cloud Foundations Strategy

Makara is already included in Red Hat's Cloud Foundations Strategy, and the company is confident it now has all the ingredients for a full-fledged PaaS platform. Red Hat is planning to unveil its roadmap for cloud services at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in Boston on May 3, 2011.