Thursday, March 22, 2012

Podcast: Juan Noceda talks node.js support on Red Hat OpenShift PaaS

Red Hat has announced node.js support for OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service. Listen to Product Manager Juan Noceda:
  • Give an overview of OpenShift
  • Discuss node.js and why it's interesting
  • Highlight some of the other interesting news with OpenShift
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Transcript:

Gordon Haff:  Hi, everyone. This is Gordon Haff, cloud evangelist with Red Hat, and I'm sitting here with Juan Noceda, who's the product manager for Red Hat's OpenShift Platform‑as‑a‑Service, I want to spend the next few minutes talking about OpenShift and also, some of the new news around OpenShift. Hi, Juan.
Juan Noceda:  Hi, Gordon. Glad to be here.
Gordon:  Great. So, to level set, what is OpenShift?
Juan:  Well, OpenShift is an application platform. Essentially, it's a place in which you can outsource the entire platform for your application. The platform takes care of all the details of dealing with that application: servers, back ends, and so forth.
Gordon:  Now, there are a number of Platform‑as‑a‑Services out there, how is OpenShift different?
Juan:  It's ideal for new entrepreneurial applications that you want to go and deploy on the platform. So, there are several advantages. First of all, it's very open in essence. At Red Hat, we have a huge commitment with open source. The full application that you can deploy there could be based on a full open‑source stack. That's very important.
Because of this, then you don't have any sort of lock‑in. What we provide is full support for your application, for your stack. And then, from there, that promotes actually, a great deal of portability between your application and between your traditional data center and the cloud, back and forth. So, no subsets of the specifications, no subset of the libraries; full freedom, full power for your applications.
Gordon:  What type of developers are using OpenShift today?
Juan:  We see a nice range. We are in developer preview, but we have several types of people. The most important type of developers that we see is people that want to do new types of applications, applications of what we call next‑generation applications: systems of engagement, mobile applications, social applications, and big‑data applications and so forth. And we see these in enterprises, as part of the department‑level efforts, and we see this also in independent developers and startups. So, the good news is we see a lot of new‑generation applications in different sort of technologies.
Gordon:  What are some of the trends you're seeing within these new languages and new types of applications?
Juan:  Well, we see several ones. We see, as I said before, a lot of mobile applications going on, and therefore we see a lot of interest on dynamic languages, languages like the recent release that we've just done of node.js, which is friendly, lightweight, server‑side, event‑driven JavaScript. So, we see a lot of trends in this direction, so we wanted to make sure that our platform captures the whole experience of a developer wanting to develop these types of applications. We see a lot of trends, also, in terms of big data. We have great support for MongoDB. We are actually seeing that more and more.
Gordon:  Can we talk a little more about node.js, since you just recently had announced around that? What is it, and why, in your view, is there so much interest in it?
Juan:  Well, it's a great technology. It shifts, in a big way, some of the ways we think about web servers and server‑side programming for the cloud, in general. Though I would say that it is a new technology that is focusing, is kind of a cloud‑age technology, instead of coming from the legacy view. Think about traditional web servers. They were based on file systems. They were designed to serve files. This is technology dates back to the '90s, when Internet just started up. So, this is new generations of servers, a new way of thinking about server‑side programming, and a new way of thinking about servicing requests that could come from different devices.
Gordon:  And it leverages JavaScript, which pretty much any web developer knows.
Juan:  It's amazing. Even if you have other languages that are very popular, like Java, if you just do a quick survey, pretty much, JavaScript doubles any other language in terms of the number of people that knows how to code in JavaScript.
Gordon:  I guess one of the things that that shows, and Red Hat's even done some surveys on this, is that developers don't necessarily like things that totally break from the past 100 percent. They want to do new things, but they don't want to throw out everything that they know.
Juan:  It's interesting that you mention that, Gordon, because one of the things that our platform, one of the value propositions of OpenShift, is to be the bridge between the traditional programming models and the new wave of programming models that are actually “sponsored” by cloud. So, that's exactly the bridge that OpenShift wants to actually get together.
Gordon:  Cool stuff. Anything else coming down the road you'd like to share?
Juan:  Definitely. We're going to be investing much more in our overall user experience. And when I say that, this is not only from the UI perspective, but the idea is OpenShift really wants to engage the developer in an experience that is about covering the full life‑cycle management of the applications. So, you will see, in the next generation of our web UI console and OpenShift overall experience, much more detail in all the aspects of the application life‑cycle management.
Gordon:  If any of our listeners want to get into OpenShift and start playing with it...
Juan:  Very simple. OpenShift.com. It's free. So, we want to always have a free entry level. We are in the developer preview, and we're going to be eventually having a full service. This will be announced later this year, but the good thing is you can set up for free and use OpenShift on the cloud for free now.
Gordon:  That sounds great. So, that was OpenShift.com. It's free. Take a look. Thank you, Juan.
Juan:  Thanks, Gordon.
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