Red Hat continued its foray into Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings expanding its OpenShift PaaS with a new partnership announcement with Zend, makers of the leading PHP development and runtime environments. Red Hat's OpenShift is a complete platform service that supports a number of different languages and technologies. It is currently availble as a free service for developmental purposes only.
The new offerings include a new Zend Server for OpenShift that can access built-in debugging, monitoring and application performance tuning capabilities. Zend is the premier choice for the millions of PHP developers world-wide. Besides an excellent development environment, the Zend server is highly regarded as a top choice for running PHP applications.
I spoke with Jimmy Guerrero, director of product marketing for Red Hat's OpenShift team, and Elaine Lennox, chief marketing officer at Zend, about the partnership and new offering. Guerrero thinks that having the Zend run time server as part of OpenShift really makes it a great offering for anyone using PHP. For those who have developed PHP applications and now want to take them to the cloud, Lennox and Guerrero think Zend server for OpenShift is a no-brainer. Further benefits of the new offering and partnership from the release are:
Zend Server for Red Hat OpenShift
◦ Simple "one-click" deployment to OpenShift of a PHP runtime environment, pre-enabled with the professional-grade performance and management capabilities of Zend Server.
◦ Allows developers to focus on creating code immediately as the full environment is pre-deployed as ready-to-go, versus having to manage server and software configurations.
◦ Rock-solid, enterprise-grade, certified PHP stack.
◦ Code optimization for greater performance: built-in data caching and bytecode acceleration.
◦ Job queue for performing PHP tasks in parallel to improve application performance and reduce bottlenecks.
◦ Advanced debugging in the cloud: code tracing capability to quickly pinpoint issues’ root causes without having to recreate them.
Zend Studio with OpenShift integration
◦ Fully featured Eclipse-based professional IDE is now integrated with OpenShift.
◦ Zend Studio includes advanced productivity features, including refactoring, code assist and semantic analysis.
◦ Simple "one-click" deployment to OpenShift of applications created in Zend Studio.
◦ Makes it easy for teams to collaborate on application development.
◦ Debug PHP applications directly in OpenShift PaaS.
◦ Receive real-time alerts on issues.
◦ Git and SFTP integration.
Of course, PHP is not the only language that OpenShift supports: Node.js, Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl and Java and offers customizable cartridge functionality that allow developers to add additional languages they choose to develop in. OpenShift also supports many popular frameworks, including Zend, Java EE, Spring, Rails, Play and more.
While the Zend partnership brings some great PHP functionality to OpenShift, as well as joining an already impressive list of supporters, you have to realize that right now OpenShift is really an experimental platform. It is free, but it not recomended for production environments. It's more of a test platform. According Guerrero, plans call for OpenShift to be offered as a commercial service starting some time early next year. Exactly when is still not clear. So while it is great to experiment on OpenShift to test your plans for the future, those plans right now have to probably stay in the future.
We will be watching as OpenShift makes its way to a commercial offering hopefully sometime after the first of the year. If and when it does, it promises to put Red Hat at the forefront of PaaS to compete with Microsoft, Google and others. When that happens things will get really interesting.