Red Hat preps real-time messaging stack for the cloud

Red Hat's MRG includes support for 10G Ethernet and additional diagnostic and scheduling tools

Anticipating greater use in large-scale cloud deployments, Red Hat has updated its real-time messaging platform with support for new networking and operating system capabilities, the company announced Wednesday.

"Version 2 features many new capabilities and significantly improved performance across the board in every area," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Cloud Business at Red Hat, in a webcast held Wednesday.

Enterprise MRG 2.0 (Messaging, Realtime and Grid) includes drivers for 10G Ethernet, the latest version of the Ethernet, and embeds its real-time Linux kernel in the latest version of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), version 6.1.

MRG is a stack of technologies designed to run high-throughput, low-latency messaging across many servers, aimed for use in time-sensitive operations such as stock exchanges and animation farms. The DreamWorks animation studio, for instance, uses MRG (pronounced merge) in the film animation process.

Beyond low-latency, high-throughput workloads, Red Hat also uses MRG as a key component of its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) package, which was unveiled in May.

"We're quite excited with OpenShift as we expect it to be a very crucial platform to create a new generation of open-source solutions that are much more optimized to run on the cloud," said Capgemini Chief Technology Officer Ron Tolido during the presentation.

"A real-time kernel allows you to have predictable response times," Crenshaw said.

"In a traditional application, you may be concerned about squeezing the most performance out, but you are often not worried about predictable response time. But there are certain applications where you really do need a predictable deterministic response time. You need to know that a transaction will happen under 1/100th of a millisecond or something like that," he said.

To improve network throughput, MRG expands on existing RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) Infiniband by including a new set of drivers for iWarp 10G Ethernet. The company claims that the new drivers will increase throughput by 100 percent over existing Ethernet and Infiniband connections.

Embedding the company's Linux real-time kernel in the latest version of RHEL means users can enjoy all the benefits of that operating system.

The package includes a number of other enhancements as well. The grid management software features an enhanced scheduler, one able to complete 100 jobs per second. "This is really important because if you want to work at cloud scale you have to deliver performance that is very highly scalable," Crenshaw said. "There is nothing else like this on the market now."

Diagnostic tools have been improved. A new set of APIs (application programming interfaces) has been introduced to automate management tasks. It also includes the ability to shut off servers when they are not used, in order to save energy.

In addition to announcing MRG 2.0, Red Hat also made a number of other announcements during the webcast. The next version of its application server, JBoss 7.0, will be fully released in July. This will be the first version to include full support for Java Enterprise Edition 6.0, said Ashesh Badani, a Red Hat senior director of JBoss.

The company has also started a training program for building private clouds using Red Hat software, called Red Hat Cloud Architecture.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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