Red Hat Flexes OpenShift Kubernetes Muscles

Red Hat is building new automation tools for developers into its OpenShift Kubernetes platform.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

October 16, 2019

3 Min Read
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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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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