Red Hat’s Reengineered Cloud Platform Addresses Ops Automation, Hybrid Management

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat OpenShift 4 reflects a reengineered platform service shored up by CoreOS management technology and integrated with RHEL, targeting operations’ need for ALM automation.
  • Red Hat and Microsoft deepen their partnership to offer enterprise-grade Kubernetes under a one-click service and include Azure services such as ML, IoT, and serverless computing.

Red Hat is strengthening its OpenShift strategy and competitive standing by leveraging its recognition in the Linux world through Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and integrating, for the first time, its two flagship technologies. The move serves to tackle enterprise operations’ need for improved application lifecycle management (ALM) as customers move into complex projects that modernize app development and deployment.

Last week, during Red Hat Summit in Boston, the company highlighted its advantages as an open source software (OSS) leader that supports hyperscale cloud services, synergies which — following the completion of IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat – promise to elevate IBM’s threat towards larger cloud rivals which are honing their enterprise cloud strategies and solutions. Red Hat’s new releases of the RHEL operating system and OpenShift cloud platform integrate with RHEL CoreOS to engineer a connected offering and provide enterprises with operational automation in hybrid/multi-cloud management.

Red Hat’s full-stack automation approach positions RHEL as a single entity capable of conducting true hybrid and multi-cloud management, spanning hardware to cloud services. RHEL CoreOS delivers a common operating system (OS) kernel across the technologies, uniting the company’s entire portfolio of products for the first time, including RHEL, JBoss middleware, and Kubernetes services. Operations can access a one-click install and automatic over-the-air updates, forming the basis of a self-managing (e.g., self-healing), autonomous platform with an OS kernel that is more secure than in the past. The reengineered Kubernetes platform makes it easier for customers to run OpenShift on top of public clouds, which will include, in coming months, Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, Alibaba, and IBM Cloud, as well as on-premises private clouds in data centers including VMs and bare-metal servers.

For more details on OpenShift 4 and the new roles of RHEL and CoreOS, please see Red Hat Summit 2019: Red Hat Integrates RHEL with OpenShift in Its Quest for Cloud Management Dominance( May 14, 2019).

The primary benefit of the updated OpenShift offering is being able to better manage Kubernetes clusters among any cloud provider, making Red Hat’s expanded Microsoft Azure partnership announcement even more relevant. The vendors’ partnership was initially spurred by customers’ desire to run OpenShift as software to Azure, prompting the two companies to deepen their integration capabilities, simplify billing, and share enterprise customer support. The arrangement is described as enterprise-grade Kubernetes under a one-click service, which includes various Microsoft Azure services such as ML, IoT, and serverless computing. The two companies are also working to further their serverless architectures through event-driven Kubernetes containers via Kubernetes-based event-driven autoscaling (KEDA).

Of course, Red Hat’s not the only one with this agenda, and it faces competition from infrastructure giants such as VMware and Cisco, both of which are going after the same hybrid management space through integrations with public cloud partnerships. These vendors have been more deliberate about their DevOps and cloud strategies, which include strategic public cloud partnerships, such as the recent partnership between Cisco and Google to jointly offer a hybrid management solution, called Google Anthos. Similarly, virtualization leader VMware has recently made key hybrid cloud announcements via public cloud partnerships including VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware.

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