Red Hat summit brings slew of announcements

Nick Chase, OpenStack:Unlocked - July 12, 2016 -

At the Red Hat Summit at the end of June, the company made a slew of announcements involving products such as CloudForms, OpenShift and even RHEL itself. They boil down to a focus on enabling cloud native operations in terms of hybrid cloud, cloud native programming, and the IoT.

On the operations front, Red Hat Insights, which was initially launched with support for RHEL and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, has been enhanced, and now provides visibility into OpenStack clusters, containers, and virtualized workloads. 

More directly relevant to the OpenStack world, however, are the enhancements to the CloudForms and OpenShift product line.  CloudForms, Red Hat’s hybrid cloud management tool, based on the open-source ManageIQ product the company had previously acquired, is designed to enable applications to bridge multiple clouds, and has been expanded to provide support for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud in addition to OpenStack.

The company also made a slew of announcements on the application development front. OpenShift, the company’s PaaS, is now available in three different form factors: Red Hat OpenShift Local, which provides a way for developers to deploy applications locally, Red Hat OpenShift Lab, for team development environments, and Red Hat Container Platform, the production version formerly known as OpenShift Enterprise by Red Hat.

JBoss, the J2EE server Red Hat acquired a decade ago now comes bundled with various tools such as Jenkins, Maven, and the Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio.  JBoss EAP7 also has a smaller footprint to make it more appropriate for microservices-oriented applications.

Red Hat makes a point of its’ co-engineering” message, in which it insists that the operating system and other tools should be built together. In fact,  Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, Paul Cormier told a briefing with Asian media that “Containers are Linux…and in order to be a container vendor, you have to be a commercial Linux vendor. It’s Linux in a different form factor. Just like a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) VM running on top of VMware is still a RHEL, it’s the same thing with containers. If you’re going to be a container vendor, you’re going to do Linux. It’s just the way it is.”

And yet, the summit included a panel on changes that need to be made to the 14-year-old Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  Gunnar Hellekson, product director for Red Hat told the audience that the operating system had had a good run, but in many ways it was “getting in the way” for companies. Because of it’s large number of dependencies and slow update cycle, it wasn’t unusual for an application or piece of hardware to be specific to a particular minor version, causing conflicts.

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst also said that despite competition from free open source alternatives, the company had no intention of moving to a managed hosting model. “What we’re good at is open source software and we think we have a lot of opportunities in many more categories to get involved in open source software products,” he said, pointing to segments such as big data and software defined networking. “We would much rather focus on that and work with partners to offer managed services.”

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