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Red Hat Puts a Price on Open Source OpenShift PaaS

Just over a year ago, Red Hat first announced its OpenShift Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. After being available for free for its entire lifespan thus far, Red Hat is now revealing its plans for making money from the platform.

Issac Roth, PaaS Master at Red Hat, told InternetNews that people have been asking about the pricing for months.

"We're going to keep the same level of resources that we give to people today in the developer preview and have a tier called FreeShift," Roth said. "There might have been some people that didn't believe we would continue to offer a free service."

Red HatWhile Roth declined to provide a specific number of users that the free version of OpenShift currently has, he did say that it was in the tens of thousands of users.

The FreeShift tier comes with three free gears. A gear is the Red Hat unit of measurement that includes compute, bandwidth, memory and storage. The paid tier is called MegaShift and provides Red Hat support for the entire stack below the application code.

MegaShift will cost $42 a month, with an additional charge of 5 cents per hour for small gears and 12 cents for medium gears. There is also a $1 GB per storage fee and then an additional 3 cents per hour if JavaEE 6 is used.

As part of the commercial rollout, Red Hat is now officially supporting JBoss Enterprise Platform 6, which includes JavaEE 6.

While OpenShift is technically called a Platform as a Service (PaaS), the commercial offering -- with its inclusion of all the bits required to deliver an application, including hosting -- could potentially be considered an infrastructure play. Roth doesn't quite see it that way, though.

"We think of it as platform as a service, as it's interacting at the platform layer," Roth said. "As a developer, you just upload your code -- you don't have to configure operating systems or do system configuration. You just push your code and we do autoscaling and we handle it all."

He did note that MegaShift bundles in the cost of infrastructure, with the use of the cloud service, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform.

The cloud platform that Red Hat currently uses for OpenShift is Amazon. OpenShift isn't however limited to just Amazon, as Roth noted that a user could build the same stack on another cloud provider, albeit on their own. The full automation setup that OpenShift.com offer is currently only offered on Amazon.

OpenShift as a platform is available in multiple forms, with a fully hosted effort, the OpenShift Origin open source project and an IT ops edition. With the IT ops edition a customer can run a supported version of OpenShift on premises in their own cloud on top of the infrastructure of their choice.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on June 27, 2012
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