Tim: Diane, could you introduce yourself?
Diane: Hi. I am Diane Mueller also known as @pythondj on Twitter and I am the Red Hat Cloud Ecosystem evangelist which is a big title of nothing. I am actually working on the OpenShift Origin open source project which is a Platform-as-a-Service, which is now hosted on OpenShift Online and available as OpenShift Enterprise. But the project that is near and dear to my heart is the open source project and that is what we are here at LinuxFest talking about Origin upstream feeds the Red Hat offerings.
And Origin is a Platform-as-a-Service. If you don’t know what a Platform-as-a-Service, maybe I should step back and say what that is too. If you’ve ever deployed a website or an application to the cloud, you probably use Amazon or Rackspace or Dreamhost or one of those many pieces and then you build the stackup of everything that your application needed like maybe MySQL, Drupal, some plugins for Drupal, and your content, you know, all of that stuff, and you had to build that stack for yourself on that hosting service.
And with the advent of cloud computing, that got a little bit cheaper and easier because it was more elastic but you still had to build that stack. Well, then, about two, maybe three years ago, some public PaaS, or PAAS, Paas, however you want to do it, the acronym is P-A-A-S, or Platform-as-a-Service, there are lots of ‘as-a’ services but this particular one, what it did was automate the building of those application stacks.
So say I have a Jangle app and I use it to install Python for Jangle packages, I need Postgres, I need Nginx and all of those things. What it does is it deploys all of that into a secure space on an instance on the cloud and automates all of that being connected to your application. So I may build I do a Bottle or a Flask application (which are two Python frameworks) it will pull the Bottle Flask framework, it will set up the database I need underneath and automate all of the deployment.
But it is much more than just deploying. It is about the deployment, the administration, and the management of that application as well and the scaling of it. So Platform-as-a-Service is kind of, in our terms at OpenShift, we have what’s called a broker and nodes. And the broker is sort of, think of it as the cloud controller. It is watching all the nodes and so there are lots of people, it’s a multitenant world, so your application you deploy on one of those nodes and you are sharing it actually with lots of other people. That’s what starts to compress the number of resources you need to spin up, because in the old days, you’d spin up maybe a small instance on AWS and your credit card would get zinged to that.
But now you go to a Platform-as-a-Service and we can do some resource management and so it gets cheaper and cheaper. And that’s what the public PAASes did so a public PAAS provider like Heroku, or Dotcom or Engine Yard or even Google App Engine, they all are sort of middlemen that have deployed PaaS software on to cloud, AWS, HP Cloud or whoever it is, and they are doing this service for you.
Now that’s all going good, and they help drive the adoption of PaaS right up, and they did some, lots of great open source projects came out of that, of the pieces and parts, but what we are doing at Red Hat is we’ve actually taken it to the next generation, and we’ve open sourced everything under the hood. And we call it Origin. It is OpenShift Origin. You can find it at openshift.github.io. All of the source code that you need to deploy your own PaaS is there - it is really cool.The ethos at Red Hat is ‘anything we build, we are going to make it open’, right? We really are very strongly committed to that.
And so all of the pieces and parts you need to deploy your own private PaaS whether it is on premise, behind your enterprise firewall or you want to host your own for some niche specific purpose or your own private minecraft servers or quake you can do that on AWS, and you don’t have to have that middleman any more. And the reason I call it the next generation of Platform-as-a-Service is Platform-as-a-Service as a concept has been around for (I don’t know) for four or five years, and Sirocco launched and all these things, and NIST, the national standards for it defines cloud like a layer cake.
At the bottom layer is IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service which you will hear things like open source projects like OpenStack or CloudStack is the software that will run and manage all the machines and spin up an instance on that machine. So that’s the bottom layer. The next layer up is what we call (you might have in the old days called it middle web) but we call that the Platform-as-a-Service one that helps deploy your application.
So IaaS is about deploying and spinning up machines elastically. Platform-as-a-Service is about spinning up your application and scaling that elastically. And the applications on top of that, you might have heard of another acronym called SaaS or software-as-a-service, and the famous one Salesforce.com, they bought Heroku, so that’s a big example of one, but there are lots of little examples of them too. And you can come to OpenShift.com and host your own there too.
One of the other things we are doing here, is if you come to OpenShift.com you can actually use Origin in its public facing version which is hosted at OpenShift.com, and sign up and launch and try out using PaaS for free for three years which is basically enough to do three small web applications or you can combine it to make something that is a little bit bigger and more robust. So the idea behind Platform-as-a-Service is, in our concept, as I mentioned before, the broker layer, that is an instance that is running that is managing all the nodes that are underneath it.
And the nodes are where you can have districts of nodes too, so there are lots of new terminologies, (we’ll show some slides afterwards, and you can edit, and you can see what the diagram looks like) but on those nodes that’s where your application runs. And the broker and the Platform-as-a-Service software is what’s managing scaling up and scaling down. So say, you’ve launched a Wordpress site, and you used just x from underneath and there are no big hits on hit.
So your resources are going to go down. We may have the potential to allocate up if say, you write a very interesting blog post and it goes boom! And everybody in the universe will scale that application up for you. But on the other hand, if you are doing something like a Python financial application or using ARPI and doing some weird number crunching, trying to figure out the stock market or something for instance, you can have your application lying fallow and not using much, and then when you use it for the two or three or four hours that you need, it will scale up, do the number crunching, and then scale back down.
And so it is all about resource sharing. And that is really a cool thing. And that’s what cloud computing, or elastic computing is all about. And Platform-as-a-Service makes that really easy to do for your application. Now the thing you might wonder is in a multitenant world like that, this is why I say (points to her T-shirt) “I’ve got 99 problems but SE Linux is not one of them”, Security, you think about multitenant, you think about ‘is there a good enough firewall between everybody on that same instance?’
And that’s one of the things that Platform-as-a-Service does, especially OpenShift Origin does very very well as we are using SE Linux so the resources and the labeling is all in there, very securely keeping people from jumping across walls, or getting access to things that they shouldn’t. It is all very securely containerized, so the coders are set, and the resources are set, and all managed by the PaaS itself, so if I can’t consume all the resources, I can’t be a greedy guy, there are coders and business rules that we set up.
And you can’t go past your allocations – it is a really cool universe. And what I always like to say is: I am a bad developer, so if you see me check something in, check it twice in GitHub. But I gave up on merely doing production quality, dev development that I would put it out on the web for people to consume, because building those stacks is hard, and it is versioning, and maintenance, and patching nightmare. And so I hated that. Like I love coding. I love Python. And I am beginning to love PHP (I didn’t say that out aloud) and noJS and all those new languages – they are great and are lots of fun to play with.
But I hated building the stacks. And that’s was causes me to trade for development fun again. Because it is really simple to version, like if I get to deploy a new version of MySQL without taking my entire thing down, I can push that change across my application without it coming down, I can upload patches or the PaaS administrator if it is a public Paas like OpenShift.com, whoever controls that, can push new versions of ‘cartridges’ which is a metaphor that we use for plug in methodology.
A cartridge, you can have a cartridge for say, Mungo or MySQL or PHP; I have one for Drupal 7 now. And you can push a new cartridge without affecting everything on it, it is a very easy metaphor for patching and maintaining. So I always say it makes deployment easy, makes administration simple, and compliant. And it makes managing. So it is like a damn’ good thing.
Tim: I want to ask you one thing about the business model which is, one of the things that people have always complained on the outside about open source is it’s hard to sell, hard to make money with open source software, now at the level of hosting you are offering some free services, but at the same time, ____9:55 somewhere, so what is your business model in terms of do businesses subscribe for a month today.
Diane: It is a very very good question. Right now, Red Hat being the open source lovers that we are, and we are hosting this free tier in some ways so we get all the bug fixes and we learn about making sure that it is scales and get all that feedback into it. But we do like to make money. I think we made $1.3 billion last year, so it is not like we don’t make money. And so the three years that you get for free is enough to really get a decent application running but it is not going to scale you to the sky.
And I think, next week the pricing tier is being announced, if you want to go and scale huge systems and create your own SalesForce.com, we can host that and service that kind of thing as well. But our business model is an interesting one, I think. One, because (and this is my humble opinion,) Origin and its architecture, and this again why I call it the next generation PaaS, has done some really interesting things in terms of resource management and being able to get a whole lot more, it is the MBase Platform-as-a-Service, many of them are, but we’ve done a lot especially because we are using SE Linux.
Being able to manage the number of resources and get more applications and more users on an instance than any other PaaS on the planet. So we are really we’ve been concentrating on making sure it is the most cost effective PaaS to run. And that it is the most secure. So while other PAASes public PAASes have to charge _____11:33 bucks, we will probably charge some place in the same range, but we are probably doing a better high volume low cost ratio at Red Hat than any other Platform-as-a-Service on the planet.
So I believe that when we monetize OpenShift online we will probably be the more profitable of the ones. But at Red Hat it is not really about having the most successful public PaaS on the planet, like that’s not where our revenue stream is coming from, our revenue stream is for people who want to develop on-premise, firewalled private platforms within their enterprises.
So big government agencies, Fortune 500’s, all those kinds of folks are actually some of them if you look into the contributors list to Origin they are already there, they are already contributing to Origin, because they trust Red Hat, they trust our certification programs, they trust,they want to run it on RHEL, and I should say also OpenShift runs on RHEL, it runs on Fedora and also on Centos as well. And we are always looking to do improvements.
So my pitch to everybody out there in Slashdot-land is that if you want to get involved and you want to start working in building the next generation of Platform-as-a-Service come to openshift.github.io. If you want to build the next generation of cloud, start talking to us now because what we are doing at Red Hat is really interesting. Because not only do we have this PaaS layer that I am deeply involved with but I am also deeply involved in the OpenStack community as well.
And so what I am seeing is this convergence of those two layers. So some people will still be pushing out PaaS software and things like that, proprietary, sort of open source stuff, all kinds of that, but I really truly believe that when you build a private cloud, if you build it with say, OpenStack, that it ought to come just with a PaaS embedded into it.
And to that end we’ve been doing a lot of work with the OpenStack community and the Heat community (which is a service for orchestrating that is now out in the OpenStack community, I think the official release will be in Havana, but you can play with it in Grizzly), and so Heat basically lets you do an orchestration template and we built one for OpenShift to deploy like that on OpenStack. And we were demoing it last week, or the week before last at the OpenStack Summit (now I will give you a URL I can’t remember the YouTube URL off the top off my head, but that will be under my comparison).
Tim: What about people who are currently using other providers, is there a migration path?
Diane: It is so simple, to migrate your applications like this weekend while I am here at this conference in the background I have been migrating my Drupal 6.26 website to Drupal 7 on my old Dreamhost server, and then I am going to export it and just install Drupal 7 on OpenShift.com, import my database, import my content, there are a few other tweaks look for blog posts shortly, because everything I do I end up having to write about. But it is so simple to do it. And right now, I no longer have to pay, sorry Dreamhost, my fee at Dreamhost because I am hosting it for free, because it is just a simple Drupal site, and it is so dead easy. I am not going to say it is so dead easy your dad could do it, but maybe my mom.