Red Hat has announced RDO, a community-supported distribution of OpenStack running atop Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and, in the words of the company, “their derivatives.” OpenStack is an open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed by Rackspace as part of a joint effort with NASA. A number of companies have chosen to embrace it in recent quarters: IBM announced in early March that all of its cloud services and architecture would be built on the open-source environment, while Dell indicated that its OpenStack-based public cloud would go live during the fourth quarter with a simpler SLA model. Just last week, Rackspace released some new mobile cloud stacks; its cloud is also built on OpenStack. At least in theory, RDO will simplify some of the installation work that typically accompanies OpenStack, via an installation tool called PackStack. The software also packages up a number of core components (Nova, Glance, Keystone, Cinder, Quantum, Horizon, and Swift) along with Heat (an “incubating project” for cloud application orchestration) and Ceilometer (which handles resource monitoring and metering). The OpenStack release at the heart of RDO is the latest stable one from OpenStack.org; Red Hat has also set up a community at openstack.redhat.com, where those using the software can interact with others to talk over issues. OpenStack has begun drawing comparisons to Linux, a comparison that Rackspace CTO John Engates seemed reluctant to embrace in a recent interview. “I hate to say it, because someone will immediately disagree, and say that it’s not like Linux in this way – there’s always somebody that throws it back in your face,” he said. “But I think if you characterize as the leading open source alternative to a traditionally proprietary stack, then it is… it’s really the only open-cloud architecture that’s resonating out there in the market. In that regard, it’s a lot like Linux.” However one feels about it, it’s clear that OpenStack is gaining momentum among IT vendors.   Image: 3Dstock/Shutterstock.com