An updated support lifecycle, enhanced virtual machine support, improved workload distribution and more are part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) OpenStack Platform 5, the latest release of Red Hat's (RHT) enterprise cloud computing solution.

Based on the Icehouse release of OpenStack and the recently release Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 is "aimed at easing enterprise adoption of OpenStack technology in the existing data center and enhancing capabilities to make it a more reliable and dependable cloud platform," according to Red Hat. To that end, the new release, which became generally available July 8, offers several key changes from earlier iterations of the platform, including:

  • A production support cycle that now lasts three years, up from one year for version 3 of the platform and 18 months for version 4.
  • Support for full VMware virtualization integration, from the hypervisor to management, networking and storage.
  • More efficient spreading of workloads across the cloud, which Red Hat said delivers greater reliability for distributed applications.
  • Enhanced support for virtual machines, especially in the realm of cryptography. Now, according to Red Hat, "using the para-virtualized random number generator device added in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, cryptographic routines in guest applications will have access to better quality encryption and experience improved performance," and will be compatible with the latest cryptographic security requirements in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Better interoperability at the networking level, thanks to the modular plugin architecture of the current version of OpenStack's Neutron networking component.
  • Sahara, the OpenStack data processing service for integration with Hadoop, is available in RHEL OpenStack Platform 5 as a technology preview.

All of these updates help to keep Red Hat competitive in the open source cloud computing market, where Canonical's Ubuntu also remains a fierce contender, commanding the lion's share of the market according to data that OpenStack released a few months ago. Canonical will need to continue working hard if it wants to hold that lead against Red Hat, whose OpenStack platform is now more enterprise-friendly than ever.