When Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) recently announced its long-term strategy for OpenShift, I began to think about potential implications for cloud-focused application developers and emerging cloud consultants. Already, cloud developers are seeking to understand cloud platforms like OpenStack, CloudStack, Microsoft Windows Azure and VMware Cloud Foundry. Amid all that noise, can Red Hat attract developers to OpenShift? And equally important: Can cloud consultants explain OpenShift and its alternatives to business customers?

So far, Red Hat is positioning OpenShift, a platform as a service (PaaS), mostly for enterprise customers and developers. There isn't much -- if any -- chatter about OpenShift for SMB (small and midsize business) use.

Red Hat unveiled OpenShift in May 2011. By April 2012, Red Hat open sourced OpenShift through a project called OpenShift Origin. And in May 2012, Red Hat offered updates regarding the OpenShift road map. That roadmap explains how OpenShift is built atop Red Hat's core technologies. According to Red Hat:
"Combining the core enterprise technologies that power OpenShift PaaS– including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Storage, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and OpenShift’s integrated programming languages, frameworks and developer tools – Red Hat plans to deliver the OpenShift cloud application platform available as a PaaS for enterprises in an open and hybrid cloud."