Red Hat Woos Developers with Free OpenShift Instances

Red Hat today at the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2021 conference made Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift offering generally available. The Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift makes the Kubernetes-based platform more accessible to individual developers at no cost.

Mithun Dhar, vice president and general manager for the Developer and Tools Business Unit at Red Hat, says the goal is to increase the number of developers capable of building cloud-native applications on top of a Kubernetes platform. To achieve that goal, Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift gives developers access to a private OpenShift environment in a shared, multi-tenant cluster that is preconfigured with a set of developer tools.

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The tightly integrated tools and infrastructure are designed to provide a safe environment for creating containers from source code or Dockerfiles, prototyping or building new applications and adding new services among other capabilities.

Red Hat is also preparing to launch a set of Kubernetes Examples next month that will make it easier for developers to employ and reuse patterns for building cloud-native applications.

Red Hat OpenShift sandbox

This latest developer effort comes on the heels of an initiative Red Hat launched earlier this year to make Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) more accessible to individual developers.

At present, it’s estimated that out of approximately 18 to 20 million enterprise application developers, roughly 4.5 million have some level of familiarity with Kubernetes-based platforms such as Red Hat OpenShift. Increasing adoption of Kubernetes depends on how quickly the next 10 million developers embrace the platform.

The challenge is the high correlation between adoption of Kubernetes and the building of microservices-based applications. Many developers are finding microservices-based apps challenging to build and maintain as the number of dependencies between services steadily increases.

Despite those issues, however, there are plenty of enterprise IT organizations that are embracing microservices to build more resilient applications. Microservices-based applications are easier to secure and new features are more easily added. Red Hat this week revealed that the pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim is employing Red Hat OpenShift to accelerate the development of its digital healthcare portfolio by a factor of five.

Dhar says Red Hat has been investing heavily in making its core Red Hat OpenShift platform more accessible to developers – and also simpler to incorporate into DevOps workflows – using tools such as OpenShift GitOps and OpenShift Pipelines launched earlier this week.

Most developers will gain initial exposure to Kubernetes via a managed cloud service that only surfaces a limited amount of functionality. The Red Hat programs are designed to enable developers to eventually build more sophisticated applications that invoke deeper functionality, notes Dhar.

Of course, many developers are simply waiting for it to become easier to build applications using containers. Many developers today rely on frameworks that abstract away as much of the underlying complexity as possible. Kubernetes, at its core, is a platform for building platforms. Many developers are clearly still waiting to see how application development tools and platforms will mature further before making any major commitments.

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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