The truth is, I sorta saw this coming, but even if I’m not psychic, I’m really not surprised…Let’s look at the last few years:
2008 – It is clear that the complete Xen kernel bits will never ever ever be accepted into the upstream kernel, which means that Red Hat has to either support 2 kernel streams (regular RHEL kernel plus Xen kernel) or switch to KVM.. They bought Qumranet and with it KVM and the KVM engineers.
2010 – Red Hat’s CloudForms product is (depending on who you talk to) behind or not broad enough or (insert other opinion).. Truth is, I don’t know what the catalyst was, but the end result was that Red Hat purchased ManageIQ, and rebranded it CloudForms 2.0.
2012 – Red Hat is working hard on Aeolus, a promising PaaS product that was supposed to “out OpenStack OpenStack”. But again, they saw the writing on the wall, and moved to support OpenStack as the de facto PaaS project.
2014 – Red Hat’s purchase of Gluster 18 months earlier and rebranding as Red Hat Storage has not had the uptake that they had hoped for. In the mean time, Ceph becomes the de facto storage standard for OpenStack.
History repeats itself, and no more so than at Red Hat, and I mean this in the best possible way. Allow me to explain… Red Hat sets a course and goes whole hog into it. If it pays off, they continue. If it doesn’t, they re-evaluate and course correct. I love this about Red Hat, because it means that even as they surpassed $1b in revenue and 5k in employees, they remain nimble in their business decisions.
So how do I see things unfolding? Well, under the heading of “pure speculation”, I will say that Red Hat will not want to support 2 separate commodity storage platforms for too long. I think that Red Hat will either fix the issues that plague Ceph’s file service, or find a way to merge Gluster’s file service with Ceph. Additionally, Ceph’s management platform is further along. In other words, I don’t see an enterprise Gluster-based solution for too much longer.
Regardless, I think it was a great move as it solidifies Red Hat’s leadership in the Enterprise and Telco spaces for OpenStack.
Again, this is only my speculation and I could be (probably?) completely off base. It is also not a reflection of the men and women who work very hard to develop and support Gluster.. I have friendships with these people that will hopefully outlast my professional career.
But as long as I’m speculating, I have one more… As OpenStack (and RHEL-OSP) matures and picks up more and more enterprise features, I see Red Hat pulling the great parts out of RHEV and merging them with RHEL-OSP…. I just don’t see Red Hat supporting what will become 2 virtualization platforms.