Red Hat announced the business model and pricing plans for its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service offering, to provide support to companies in application development and deployment.

Available as a free service since May 2011, OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provides a cloud application platform for developers with a choice of programming languages, frameworks and application lifecycle tools to build applications.

The OpenShift platform over the past year became the first PaaS to support Java EE 6 and to offer lifecycle support for Java in the cloud, according to Red Hat. The code that powers OpenShift platform was made available to the open source community through the OpenShift Origin project in April 2012.

OpenShift PaaS will initially be offered with two tiers. The first tier, FreeShift, is available for free and includes the ability to autoscale, offers access to languages, frameworks and data stores developers like to use and leverages community-provided support.

The other tier, MegaShift, is the initial paid tier of OpenShift PaaS and will extend the FreeShift offering with larger gear capacity, up to 16 gears, and the ability to add storage space past the 1GB per gear in FreeShift. MegaShift users will get support from Red Hat.

Pricing for MegaShift is planned to start with a $42 monthly platform fee and a per-gear-hour fee for gears past the first three.

“Platform-as-a-service is becoming an increasingly efficient and powerful tool for building both new applications; but also for modernizing legacy and traditional ISV applications in the age of mobile, social and the cloud,” Martin Schneider, research manager at 451 Research, said in a statement. “The beauty of open, flexible platforms like OpenShift is that they provide developers with the required toolkits to create cloud applications, or enhance existing environments without exorbitant 'per-user' costs or fear of platform or vendor lock-in.”


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