Red Hat Flexes OpenShift Kubernetes Muscles

Red Hat wants to make it easier for developers to build and deploy cloud-native applications by automating out some of the hassle. To that end, Red Hat introduced OpenShift 4.2 on Wednesday, with new automation tools for developing and deploying cloud-native apps built using Kubernetes

"Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 aims to make cloud-native technologies easier to use and more accessible for developers [by providing tools to] automate the set-up and management of Kubernetes environments," the company said in a statement. The automation allows developers to focus on building applications "without requiring deep Kubernetes expertise," the company said.

"What we've seen in the past year is that telcos are very interested in containers and Kubernetes and what it means to them," Joe Fernandes, Red Hat VP of products for cloud platforms, tells Light Reading. "Much as enterprises have adopted virtual machines and have since adopted containers, now service providers are saying, 'how can we take advantage of containers and Kubernetes to drive greater automation and efficiency?'"

By automating the development process, Red Hat is looking to help operators get containerized network functions (CNFs) deployed and updated more quickly.

New capabilities provide support for service mesh, which is virtual networking for Kubernetes applications; serverless compute, which automates provisioning compute, storage and other resources for applications; and cloud-native continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD), which … um … does pretty much what it says -- speeds up the development cycle by allowing developers to update software continuously.

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Additionally, Red Hat CodeReady Containers lets developers install a preconfigured OpenShift environment on a laptop for local development of applications that can be later deployed on a full OpenShift environment.

Red Hat is introducing automated install environments for Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and OpenStack. Previously, Red Hat had installers for Amazon Web Services, VMware vSphere and bare metal.

And the vendor is adding new tools to provision OpenShift on servers that are disconnected from the network -- on the edge, in central offices or "air gapped" in data centers to enhance security.

Why this matters
As operators move networks from purpose-built appliances, they're looking to containerize software running on Kubernetes to virtualize network functions and make them more flexible, high-performance and less expensive to build and deploy. Red Hat wants to make OpenShift the platform of choice for those operators. It's a strategy that some service providers, including AT&T and Turkcell have been receptive to. The latest developments follow up on a strategy Red Hat announced in May.

Red Hat's big competitor for OpenShift is VMware, which announced in August that it plans to acquire Pivotal Software to enhance its own Kubernetes capabilities, for $2.7 billion. Pivotal and VMware are already related; Dell Technologies owns a controlling interest in both companies. At about the same time, VMware said it will support Kubernetes in its flagship vSphere product, which provides virtual machines for servers.

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— Mitch Wagner Visit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on TwitterJoin my Facebook GroupRead my blog: Things Mitch Wagner Saw Executive Editor, Light Reading

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