Live from the Summit: Introducing the cloud technical roadmap


Tim Burke, vice president of Linux and Cloud Engineering at Red Hat, was joined by 6 cloud engineering leaders to share a detailed technical cloud roadmap. This lightning talk featured experts from various cloud engineering technology groups, including systems management, virtualization, OpenStack, containers, cloud management, and identity management.

Burke gave an overview of his 14 years at Red Hat, describing the transition to cloud as similar to the shift from Red Hat Linux to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. “[Early-stage Linux] was for rocket scientists. You had to piece it together yourself.” He described cloud as intimidating to enterprises, “Cloud [today] is still in the rocket scientist camp.” Red Hat’s goal, he explained, was to make cloud consumable for customers—just like what Red Hat helped do for Linux. Communities, companies, and partnerships drive this demand for innovation, integration, stabilization, and delivery.

“It’s all about our upstream focus—it’s how we innovate,” Burke said. And making cloud consumable involves many—maybe even all—Red Hat products.


Bryan Kearney, senior manager in Software Engineering at Red Hat, described how Satellite releases continue to become more open. Enhancements in systems and subscription reporting were included in the most recent release, Red Hat Satellite 5.6. Red Hat Satellite 6 will change more dramatically, and is intended to be a re-imagined revision. Kearney assured the audience that customers will not be rushed to the new version. “It’s a little daunting, so that’s why we’ve done [an] extended beta program and a long life cycle.”

Expanded features in Red Hat Satellite 6 should include:

  • More provisioning
  • Recipe-style configuration management
  • Refined life cycle management
  • Modern administration dashboards
  • Simplified content management
  • Drift management
  • Federated services and management
  • The ability to deploy on VMware, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Amazon EC2, and OpenStack


Andrew Cathrow, the director of product management for Virtualization at Red Hat, described Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as the open source competitor to VMware vSphere, containing all the features you’d expect from datacenter virtualization. The next release, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.4, plans continue improvements in:

  • Storage, such as mixed domains, single-disk snapshots, and read-only disks.
  • Networking, such as neutron integration, security groups, and IP address management.
  • Compute, such as scheduler enhancements, high availability reservations, and hotpluggable CPUs.
  • Infrastructure, including support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.


Mark McLoughlin, manager of software engineering and consulting engineer at Red Hat, as well as a leading contributor to OpenStack projects, talked about Red Hat’s involvement and influence on the OpenStack community—and the reciprocal OpenStack influence on Red Hat. “OpenStack is exactly the kind of fast-moving emerging project we like to see. It brings a lot of exciting innovation around.” McLoughlin also claimed that a Red Hat foundation is the best platform for running OpenStack—and a stable base for cloud.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack platform releases generally follow OpenStack project releases by 2 months. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5, based on the upcoming Icehouse, is slated to include:

  • Trove
  • Sahara (was Savanna) technology preview
  • Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 and 7 beta

McLoughlin also outlined possible future enhancements, which could include:

  • Smoother upgrades
  • Support for Rabbit MQ
  • Support for active/active databases
  • Scalability and reliability improvements
  • TripleO standardization around management and deployment
  • Virtual networking advances and use cases


Daniel Riek, senior director of Software Engineering at Red Hat, succinctly described the emerging technology Docker: “It’s a big deal for us.”

“We are seeing a changing paradigm,” he said, “…a continuity of how IT deployment has evolved.”

Traditional ecosystems built around runtimes led to stable infrastructure that lacked flexibility. As demands increased, we looked to virtualization. The downside: complex management and security. “We think that application-centric IT and PaaS really changes things. [Containers let us] package apps with their runtime, but without their own OS. Shared services is still a part of the overall OS provided outside the containerized application. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Riek.

The Atomic project further expands this utility, creating Linux that is optimized for the container environment. The Atomic project includes:

  • A pattern for an optimized container host
  • A minimal OS to run containers
  • Minimal patching
  • Atomic updates through OSTree
  • Standardized core shared services
  • Orchestration primitives

OpenShift 3 by Red Hat is built using Docker.


Xavier Lecauchois, principal technical product manager for Cloudforms, came to Red Hat in December 2014 as part of the ManageIQ acquisition. Red Hat CloudForms is the Red Hat cloud management platform. “It provides a single pane of glass [approach] to manage hybrid cloud,” said Lecauchois.

Red Hat CloudForms currently supports:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
  • VMware
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Planned feature advancements for Red Hat CloudForms may include:

  • Initial support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, such as inventory, editing, capacity and utilization planning, self-service provisioning, and reporting
  • Improved support for Red Hat virtualization manager.
  • improved support for OpenStack
  • Content management

After much effort, Lecauchois announced that CloudForms should also be open-sourced this year.


Dmitri Pal, senior manager in Software Engineering at Red Hat, discussed identity management improvements in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta. “We are innovating for SSSD and identity management,” he said. Current and future advancements in identity management may include:

  • Microsoft Active Directory integration—both direct and indirect
  • Free IPA for identity management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • System security services daemon (SSSD)
  • Native two-factor authentication with Kerberos
  • Certificate authority management tools
  • Improved look and feel
  • Better access control
  • Improved Active Directory integration
  • DNSSEC availability
  • SSSD features, SSSD for Docker containers
  • Rich identity information over D-Bus

“What you’ve seen here,“ Tim Burke said in closing, “[is that] cloud means a lot of things. It’s a lot of the technologies put together. This is the most exciting thing about being at Red Hat right now.”

“We are weaving all the pieces together… it’s not just about Red Hat. It’s about how we build it together with you, our partners and our customers.”

More information


Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: 10:40 a.m., Tue April 15
Type: Session
Track: Best of
Technical difficulty: 3
Title: Cloud technical roadmap
Speakers: Tim Burke, Bryan Kearney, Andrew Cathrow, Mark McLoughlin, Daniel Riek, Xavier Lecauchois, Dmitri Pal