Live from the Summit: Best practices for PaaS, OpenStack, & cloud adoption

13883319464_9c866cf43e_zDefining a cloud strategy for your organization comes with a lot of questions, but once you’ve answered the why, you need the how. Enter best practices for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), OpenStack, and more with industry expert David S. Linthicum and Red Hat cloud evangelist Gordon Haff.

After covering emerging standards in cloud adoption, Linthicum discussed 3 important questions to ask yourself as you look for solutions to fit your IT needs:

1. What is open and extensible?
2. What is cost-effective?
3. What meets your damn requirements?

That led him to best practice #1: Open your mind. “Coming in with a pure-born view of everything you’re going to leverage and ‘damn if it doesn’t meet your requirements’ is a dangerous approach,” said Linthicum. An open mind is essential for a mix-and-match environment, where you have to find what just works. “What impresses me about Red Hat is that it works and plays with other stuff really well,” he said.

The audience comprised a variety of verticals—when asked, hands shot up representing transportation, healthcare, tech, retail, finance, and more. That certainly speaks to the broad appeal of open cloud solutions, but Linthicum brought up an interesting and often overlooked trend: “The larger the industry gets, the more likely they are to fail because they don’t like to share [IT services or knowledge],” he warned.

That brought us to best practice #2: Go hire someone with a brain. “You need someone who can make the appropriate calls so that you’re marching in the right direction,” said Linthicum.

Most cloud-based systems are lacking architecture, and what’s more, solutions architects can get too narrowly focused on their own areas. “Typically, people aren’t going to have a range of skills that lets them be agnostic architects to make the right decision from all available choices,” Linthicum said. Hence, the need for open minds and sharp brains.


One of the common pitfalls organizations make when investing in cloud resources is when that investment ignores training, or proofs of concept, or support. As a result, he described, many clouds are not meeting expectations.

Additionally, customers get caught up in the technology itself sometimes. “They call up and the first thing they want to know is ‘what’s the best out there? Amazon? Google? Red Hat?’ instead of asking ‘what’s the best solution for me?” said Linthicum.

That reinforced the advantage of keeping an open mind and choosing open cloud infrastructures.

13883316664_ff9c1f7d0c_zA FIRESIDE CHAT

The session pivoted from structured presentation to a “fireside chat” of sorts as Red Hat’s Gordon Haff steered the hour into audience interaction, which he found in spades.

One audience member asked about adoption habits or trends with PaaS, which coincided with another question about multi-hypervisor strategies. Linthicum explained that a lot of PaaS use is initially small at first but increasing to more mission-critical apps. “If you look at IDC and Gartner, they show a lot more multi-hypervisor use out there. It’s becoming the norm,” he said. “People aren’t throwing out VMware but they’re initially adopting KVM, RHEV, and Hyper-V for new types of projects so they don’t have to increase their VMware spending.”

Another audience member asked about private/public hybrid infrastructure approaches to PaaS. Haff described the variety of options within the OpenShift portfolio—Red Hat’s offering—including OpenShift Online for public and OpenShift Enterprise for private PaaS. Both got ringing endorsements from Linthicum. “Theirs is pretty much the only one in the industry that just works right now. It’s rock-solid, and I have no problems saying that” he said.


More information


Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: Tues, April 15, 2014
Type: Session
Title: Best practices for PaaS, OpenStack, & cloud adoption
Speaker: David S. Linthicum (Cloud Technology Partners), Gordon Haff (Red Hat)