Red Hat rolls out OpenStack HCI platform for telco and enterprise hybrid clouds

Red Hat's new HCI platform enables improved application portability between the data center and the edge. (Pixabay)

Red Hat launched a new hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform for telcos and enterprises that combines OpenStack compute with its Ceph storage.

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud is an open, integrated platform for customers seeking to co-locate compute and storage functions in OpenStack environments.

Announced Tuesday at the OpenStack Summit, the new platform blends Red Hat OpenStack Platform 13 and Red Hat Ceph Storage 3 into a single user experience for hyperconvergence in the hybrid cloud.  Red Hat said it was the biggest contributor to both open source projects.

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud enables improved application portability between the data center and the edge. In an OpenStack environment, it also provides telcos with the flexibility to use non-hyperconverged nodes across the network along with hyperconverged nodes at the edge for better resource utilization.

Daniel Gilfix, product marketing manager, Red Hat, said in an email to FierceTelecom that all communications service providers (CSPs) would deploy network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVi) in both core and edge installations. With equipment supplied by network equipment suppliers (NEPs), communications service providers are deploying Ceph and OpenStack in a few large central data centers for the core of the network where the primary functions involved tasks such as routing data and calls, and storing records.

In contrast, Gilfix said, the edge of the network usually involved deployments to hundreds of nodes, one for every city, where the focus was on local call management, content delivery and similar functions. Digital transformation for telcos begins at the core and extends out to the edge, according to Gilfix.

"Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud helps by enabling a simplified, more automated environment that streamlines tasks, and requires less hardware than a normal Ceph and OpenStack deployment," he said. "It delivers a single, prepackaged software product for hyperconverged deployment of OpenStack and Ceph. It also delivers simplified management, a single vendor relationship via Red Hat for purchasing and support, and use case-specific performance, integration, and quality engineer testing that the customer would normally do on its own."

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Cloud could also improve cost efficiencies via reduced pricing, infrastructure consolidation and standardization, according to Gilfix.

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Red Hat faces a crowded field of well-known players in the hyperconverged market. Based on the brand of the hyperconverged solution, a recent report by IDC found that Dell was the largest supplier in the most recent fourth quarter with $346.8 million in revenue and a 27.8% market share. Nutanix generated $243.0 million in revenue for the second-largest share of 19.5%. HPE and Cisco were statistically tied for third-place with $61.6 million and $56.3 million in revenue and 4.9% and 4.5% market share, respectively. 

On the basis of HCI software, systems running VMware's hyperconverged software raked in $405.1 million in fourth quarter vendor revenue, or 32.4% of the total market segment. Systems running Nutanix's hyperconverged software totaled $368.4 million in fourth quarter vendor revenue for 29.5% of the total market segment. There was a large drop off to third-place with Dell EMC accounting for $95.5 million in revenue and 7.7% in market share in the fourth quarter.

Revenue from hyperconverged systems sales grew 69.4% year-over-year to $1.25 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017, which accounted for 34.3% of the total converged systems market. Full-year sales of hyperconverged systems surpassed $3.7 billion in 2017, up 64.3% from 2016, according to IDC.