Red Hat Storage 2.0 beta was announced yesterday by the Massachusetts-based open source software company.

The product - which is based on RHEL 6 - provides a host of new options for software-based management of scalable storage, according to Red Hat, as well as integration with many top enterprise storage technologies like virtualisation and Hadoop.

"This new functionality enables faster file access and opens up data within Hadoop deployments to other file-based or object-based applications," Red Hat said.

The company also boasted that its new ability to "seamlessly" integrate file and object storage into a unified pool is an industry first, providing greatly improved accessibility.

However, Red Hat Storage 2.0 is not the only Linux-based provisioning and management tool making headlines of late - a new method of applying virtualisation management techniques to hardware dubbed Metal-as-a-Service was introduced last week by Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth.

"MAAS makes it easy to set up the hardware on which to deploy any service that needs to scale up and down dynamically - a cloud being just one example. It lets you provision your servers dynamically, just like cloud instances - only in this case, they're whole physical nodes. 'Add another node to the Hadoop cluster, and make sure it has at least 16GB RAM' is as easy as asking for it," he said.

Ubuntu's main enterprise backer, Canonical, has been touting its upcoming release of Version 12.04 as a watershed moment for the operating system's role in the enterprise. However, established open source business powerhouse Red Hat - which recently announced that it had become the first billion-dollar open source company - looks to be stiff competition indeed.