Red Hat Updates VM Migration Features on OpenShift

Red Hat announced today it is making it easier for organizations to migrate existing virtual machines into a container that can be deployed on top of a Red Hat OpenShift platform based on Kubernetes.

In addition, Red Hat, with the release of version 4.7 of Red Hat OpenShift, is adding templates that make it possible to add virtual machines with a single click.

Version 4.7 of Red Hat OpenShift is based on Kubernetes 1.20. The technical oversight committee for Kubernetes is now updating the platform three times a year, and now Red Hat is following a similar cadence for OpenShift.

For some time now, Red Hat has been making a case for hosting legacy applications that run on virtual machines on top of Red Hat OpenShift running on a bare-metal server alongside microservices-based applications constructed using containers. That capability is enabled by a Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization framework that is based on open source KubeVirt software.

Available as a technology preview, the Migration Toolkit for Virtualization (MTV) tool from Red Hat will be generally available later this year. Once source and destination credentials are provided to MTV, it then maps the source and destination infrastructure to create a choreographed plan that will be followed to execute the migration.

Brian Gracely, senior director of product strategy for Red Hat, says the latest edition of Red Hat OpenShift makes it simpler to import, for example, a virtual machine based on VMware onto the platform. Most IT organizations initially deploy Kubernetes on a virtual machine, primarily because that’s what they already have installed in their environment. However, as IT teams gain experience with Kubernetes, it becomes apparent that running virtual machines on top of Kubernetes is both a more efficient approach and, in the case of VMware, less costly from a licensing perspective, Gracely says.

Red Hat isn’t necessarily opposed to running OpenShift on a virtual machine. The latest version of Red Hat OpenShift also expands Windows Containers support, first announced in late 2020, to include support for Windows Containers on VMware vSphere, due out next month. However, microservices-based applications will run faster, and at a lower cost, when they are deployed on top of a bare-metal server, Gracely says.

Red Hat is also adding a technology preview of OpenShift GitOps, a declarative framework for implementing GitOps processes based on the Argo continuous delivery (CD) platform that, like Kubernetes, is being advanced under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The goal is to ultimately integrate DevOps platforms, based on continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools such as OpenShift Pipelines, with code repositories such as GitHub and GitLab.

Finally, the latest edition of Red Hat OpenShift also adds support for Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, which makes it simpler to apply governance policies across a fleet of Kubernetes clusters.

It’s not clear to what degree organizations are embracing Red Hat OpenShift to both build and deploy containerized applications. It’s clear the hybrid cloud computing strategy for Red Hat’s parent company IBM revolves around OpenShift. However, most instances of any application development platform are still being managed in isolation across multiple clouds and on-premises IT environments. However, the potential for Red Hat OpenShift to become the foundation upon which hybrid cloud computing will be built in the enterprise grows stronger with each passing update.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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