Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Red Hat Summit 2017 Reporter's Notebook: OpenShift by Red Hat takes center stage

BOSTON — It was called Red Hat Summit, but it could just as easily have been OpenShift Summit.

Red Hat’s platform as a service product was the hottest topic at the show here this week. Enterprise IT pros at the show were either already running it in production, or trying to get there.

Forty-eight percent of Red Hat’s customers say management, automation and orchestration are top of mind concerns for 2017, said Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies for Red Hat, citing a recent company-run survey in his keynote presentation that kicked off the conference. Some 70% of customers said cloud was the top 2017 IT spending priority, and 59% of Red Hat’s customers are planning or have implemented a multicloud environment.

Red Hat then made a splash with new multicloud features for OpenShift – specifically, an expansion to an existing partnership with Amazon Web Services that will see AWS services managed by an on-premises tool* for the first time and some contributions to Kubernetes development by AWS engineers. It still won’t involve Kubernetes integration with the EC2 Container Service, however, which is what many IT pros still want.

As developers clamor for more speed in application delivery, IT operations professionals at large enterprises with hybrid infrastructures are now tasked to deploy the massive, intricate OpenShift platform. Once that’s accomplished, they also must offer developers on-demand services in private data centers and public clouds with equal flexibility and speed.

“It’s a big change – we’re no longer building infrastructure to support a specific application’s requirements,” said an infrastructure architect with a financial services company that has recently bought into OpenShift, speaking on condition of anonymity over breakfast Wednesday. “Now we have to build infrastructure with the flexibility to support any application, anywhere.”

OpenShift roadmap to focus on services provisioning

A packed OpenShift Roadmap session Tuesday afternoon highlighted another mindset shift for IT pros: thinking in services, rather than servers.

OpenShift will integrate the Open Service Broker API to make on-premises enterprise IT departments more like cloud service providers that offer a catalog of services to developers. Like hybrid cloud, this is not a new idea – but with services composed of containers, it’s finally a practical goal.

The roadmap for 2017 also includes a tech preview of improvements to a multi-tenant plugin for project isolation to protect traffic within a project pod down to the port level, rather than simply enforcing network policies project-by-project. A tech preview of cluster federation will come in the second half of the year with OpenShift 3.6.

Beyond version 3.6, OpenShift will support low-latency apps with persistent storage volumes built on Red Hat’s version of Ceph open-source software-defined storage, as well as interfaces for Amazon’s Elastic File System and S3. This support is expected to include tenant-controlled snapshots for data backup. More logs and metrics, such as Jenkins logs, will be exposed through the OpenShift user interface.

Beth Pariseau is senior news writer for TechTarget’s Data Center and Virtualization Media Group. Write to her at [email protected] or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

*Statement changed following initial publication