Red Hat Expands OpenShift Platform Scope, Reach

Red Hat today at the online KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020 event announced an update to the OpenShift application development and deployment platform based on Kubernetes that expands support for virtual machines.

In addition, Red Hat announced a three-node edition of the platform optimized for edge computing platforms, along with the general availability of a tool dubbed Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes for managing fleets of Kubernetes clusters.

Red Hat also announced a range of updates to the developer tools it provides for OpenShift, including an update to CodeReady Workspaces that can be provisioned with a single click; support for version 3.2 of Helm Charts, support for an odo 2 command-line interface for OpenShift and Kubernetes; use of Tekton pipelines; and plugins for GitHub Actions, Microsoft Azure DevOps, Jenkins and GitLab runner. There are also now previews available of Buildpacks for converting source code to images and a Kaniko tool for building container images alongside Source-to-Image and Dockerfile builds through the Red Hat open source Buildah framework Red Hat provides for building containers.

Finally, Red Hat announced it plans to make significant contributions to the open source Argo continuous delivery platform. Originally developed by Intuit, Argo is now an incubation-level project being advanced under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

Joe Fernandes, vice president and general manager for core cloud platforms for Red Hat, says version 4.5 of OpenShift delivers on the company’s promise to add support for the open source kubevirt project, which makes it possible to deploy virtual machines on top of Kubernetes.

At the same time, version 4.5 of OpenShift now can be automatically deployed on top of VMware vSphere platforms with a single click of a button. Red Hat is committing to providing similar capabilities for deploying OpenShift on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Fernandes says Red Hat is also seeing a significant increase in demand for platforms that enable applications to be deployed on edge computing platforms. Data needs to be processed at the edge to drive a wide variety of emerging interactive applications, he adds.

Red Hat also expects Argo to play a significant role in deploying cloud-native applications on Kubernetes clusters, Fernandes says. As part of its commitment to the project, an instance of Argo for OpenShift environments is under development. That offering will also play a significant role in deployed applications on edge computing platforms.

As the number of Kubernetes clusters deployed at the edge expands, Fernandes notes the need to tools such as Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes to provide a consistent control plane to manage them only becomes more pronounced.

Red Hat is clearly moving toward making OpenShift ubiquitously available as part of a larger hybrid cloud computing strategy. In general, Red Hat prefers IT organizations to deploy OpenShift on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) running on bare metal servers. Legacy monolithic applications can then be deployed on OpenShift using kubervirt, also known as OpenShift Virtualization. However, if organizations already have virtual machines deployed on-premises or in the cloud, it’s also possible to deploy OpenShift on top of those virtual machines.

It’s not clear yet to what degree OpenShift will ultimately drive hybrid cloud computing. However, after IBM plunked down $34 billion last year to acquire Red Hat to drive the adoption of hybrid cloud computing, it’s apparent the return on IBM’s investment is happening. However, the average enterprise IT organization isn’t that far along. More applications than ever are being deployed in the cloud in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s not clear how much they are standardizing on a single platform to achieve that goal.

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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