Content by Mark Atwood

Open Source Advocate & Developer Evangelist for the Red Hat OpenShift PaaS

I'm the open source advocate and a developer evangelist for the OpenShift PaaS. I study, I write, and I speak at conferences.

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Watch the Video: Building an Open Source Platform as a Service with Red Hat's OpenShift Origin

For the past few months, Krishna Raman and I have been giving a really fun presentation called "Building as Platform as a Service with Open Source Software", wherein we outline what a PaaS is show how to build one using Red Hat's OpenShift Origin.

We have presented it at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, and most recently at O'Reilly's OSCON in Portland. Each time we've presented it, the room has been full, with a wonderfully engaged audience.

OpenShift Origin vs OpenStack

A question I am often asked when I talk about OpenShift and OpenShift Origin is “How does OpenShift compete with OpenStack?” Or sometimes, the better question “How does OpenShift relate to OpenStack?”

Both OpenStack and OpenShift Origin are open source projects, and both provide cloud computing foundations. However, they do not compete with each other.

OpenStack provides “Infrastructure-as-a-Service”, or “IaaS”. It provides bootable virtual machines, networking, block storage, object storage, and so forth. Some IaaS service providers based on OpenStack are HP Cloud and Rackspace Cloud. Red Hat is fully engaged with the larger OpenStack user and developer community. Our developers are the source of a significant amount of code to implement features and fix bugs in the OpenStack projects.

Deploying a Scalable Multi-Node PaaS with OpenShift Origin

When the OpenShift Origin open-source project was released, it did not yet have all the features we ultimately want for it. One important feature not present in the initial release was multi-node cluster support.

The OpenShift hosted service runs on a large cluster of compute and storage nodes. Each node is running many "gears", instances of a user application. That cluster uses Qpid AMQP messaging queues and MCollective for inter-node communication and coordination.

The cluster coordination code has now been cleaned up and added to the OpenShift Origin codebase, and thus an OpenShift Origin based PaaS is now able to run on a cluster of more than one compute node.

Twilio on OpenShift: using Cloud Telephony to make your own Dial-a-Song

Cloud Telephony

Cloud computing is disrupting traditional corporate IT computing and also traditional data center computing by automating the provisioning and scaling of computing services and making that automation available via internet-friendly APIs, and then using automation and economics of scale to make pricing "by the drink" and transparent.

Twilio is a company that is gunning for disrupting telephony exactly the same way. They have automated the operation and the provisioning of telephony resources, such as PSTN numbers (NANP +1 numbers, and also numbers in other countries), audio send and receive, SMS short codes, SMS send and receive, and DTMF handling.

Build an Open Cloud - Getting Started with OpenShift Origin and OpenStack

What's the difference between OpenStack and OpenShift Origin?

As I talk to people about OpenShift, and now about the OpenShift Origin project, they are sometimes confused about how it is related to OpenStack.

OpenStack and OpenShift Origin are different but complementary open source projects.

OpenShift Origin is not part of OpenStack, but it can run on top of an OpenStack system.

Speaking in OurSQL MySQL Community Podcast, episode 87, A Shift in the Clouds

Earlier this month I was at the Percona Live MySQL Users Conference and Expo in Santa Clara.

While I was there, I sat down with Sheeri Cabral and Gerry Narvaja of the OurSQL MySQL Community Podcast, and talked about what OpenShift is, why it's useful, and some ways that it is going.

The podcast containing that interview is now up at OurSQL Episode 87: A Shift in the Cloud.

Give it a listen.

A PaaS that runs anything HTTP: Getting Started with DIY Applications on OpenShift

In addition to supporting Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python, and Java EE6, the OpenShift environment supports the "Do it Yourself" or "DIY" application type. Using this application type, you can run just about any program that speaks HTTP.

How this works is remarkably straightforward. The OpenShift execution environment is a carefully secured Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 on x64 systems. Thus, OpenShift can run any binary that will run on RHEL 6.2 x64.

The way that OpenShift DIY interfaces your application to the outside world is that creates a HTTP proxy specified by the environment variables OPENSHIFT_DIY_IP and OPENSHIFT_DIY_PORT. All your application has to do is bind and listen on that address and port. HTTP requests will come into the OpenShift environment, which will proxy those requests to your application.