Red Hat has fully embraced Linux Containers through the creation of two new projects aimed at both developers and systems administrators. Project Atomic and the GearD project both work with Docker to enable Linux Container use in large-scale data center deployments.

Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, said in his Red Hat Summit keynote Monday night that the industry has awakened to “the power of Linux Containers as a new way to build, distribute and manage applications.

“I’ll be honest, when I did my keynote last year, I did a lot on the future, and I didn’t even know what Docker was at the time. The idea that containerization of applications could get the kind of traction it has gotten hadn’t crossed my mind. Over less than 12 months, that community has gone from zero to over 350 contributors driving a whole new way to deploy applications. Red Hat didn’t predict it, but Red Hat made sure we were involved in the relevant communities.”

Project Atomic is a new effort from Red Hat’s community to build a container-focused distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. This effort will yield Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, which will ostensibly be a slimmed-down version of the Linux operation system designed simply to host applications in containers.

The project has its own website at projectatomic.io, where further details were divulged. The name, Project Atomic, alludes to the fact that the OS can be deployed as an atomic unit. This is done by pulling the components of the OS together and deploying it as a file system. Thus, if an upgrade goes awry, the portions of the file system that were changed in the update can be rolled back to their original state.

Expect Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host to arrive as soon as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, this summer.

(Related: Red Hat hires CentOS developers)

At the Summit, Red Hat made available the first release candidate of that operating system. The beta arrived December 2013, and the release candidate includes many of the improvements and fixes made during the beta.