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Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options

By Jack M. Germain
Jan 18, 2017 3:15 PM PT

Red Hat on Wednesday announced the general availability of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4.

Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform Expands Cloud Options

This latest version helps organizations better embrace new Linux container technologies that can deliver innovative business applications and services without sacrificing existing IT investments.

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 provides a platform for innovation without giving up existing mission-critical workloads. It offers dynamic storage provisioning for both traditional and cloud-native applications, as well as multitenant capabilities that can support multiple applications, teams and deployment processes in a hybrid cloud environment.

Today's enterprises are must balance management of their existing application portfolios with the goal of making it easier for developers to build new applications, observed Brian Gracely, director of product strategy for OpenShift at Red Hat.

The new release focuses on three complex areas for enterprises: managing storage; isolating resources for multiple groups (multitenancy); and the ability to consistently run applications on multiple cloud environments (public or private).

"Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 builds on the momentum of both the Kubernetes and Docker projects, which are helping developers use containers to modernize existing applications and build new cloud-native microservices," Gracely told LinuxInsider.

OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 makes storage provisioning easier for developers and operators, and it enhances how the platform can be used to provide multitenant resources to multiple groups within an organization. Additionally, it continues to codify the best practices needed to deploy a consistent container platform across any cloud environment, such as AWS, Azure, GCP, OpenStack or VMware.

Pushes Cloud Benefits

The new platform advances the process of creating and deploying applications by addressing the growing storage needs of applications across the hybrid cloud for enterprises. It allows for coexistence of modern and future-forward workloads on a single, enterprise-ready platform.

The new OpenShift Container Platform and service gives Red Hat customers an easy way to adopt and use Google Cloud as a public of hybrid cloud environment, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"It will be a welcome addition in many or most enterprise IT shops, especially those that are active employing or exploring container solutions," he told LinuxInsider.

"Since Red Hat will act as the service provider of the new offering, customers should also be able to seamlessly integrate OpenShift support with their other Red Hat products and services," King pointed out.

The new release also provides an enterprise-ready version of Kubernetes 1.4 and the Docker container runtime, which will help customers roll out new services more quickly with the backing of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 integrates architectures, processes and services to enable delivery of critical business applications, whether legacy or cloud-native, and containerized workloads.

Open Source and Linux Innovation

Kubernetes is becoming the de facto standard for orchestrating and managing Linux containers. OpenShift is delivering the leading enterprise-ready platform built on Kubernetes, noted Red Hat's Gracely.

"Kubernetes is one of the fastest-growing open source projects, with contributors from cloud providers, independent software vendors and [individual and business] end-users," he said. "It has become a project that has done an excellent job of considering and addressing the needs of many different groups with many types of application needs."

Both Red Hat and Google are pushing for innovation. Both companies are among the market's most proactive and innovative supporters of open source and Linux solutions.

"The pair's collaboration on this new service is a no-brainer that could eventually lead to Red Hat and Google finding or creating further innovative open source offerings," said Pund-IT's King.

Features and Benefits

Among the new capabilities in the latest version of OpenShift Container Platform:

  • Next-level container storage with support for dynamic storage provisioning -- This allows multiple storage types and multitier storage exposure in Kubernetes;
  • Container-native storage enabled by Red Hat Gluster Storage -- This now supports dynamic provisioning and push button deployment for stateful and stateless applications;
  • Software-defined, highly available and scalable storage solution -- This provides access across on-premises and public cloud environments for more cost efficiency over traditional hardware-based or cloud-only storage services;
  • Enhanced multitenancy through more simplified management of projects -- This feature is powered by Kubernetes namespaces in a single Kubernetes cluster. Applications can run fully isolated and share resources on a single Kubernetes cluster in OpenShift Container Platform.

More Supplements

The OpenShift Container Platform upgrade adds the capacity to search for projects and project details, manage project membership, and more via a more streamlined Web console. This capability facilitates working with multiple projects across dispersed teams.

Another enhancement is the multitenancy feature that provides application development teams with their own cloud-like application environment. It lets them build and deploy customer-facing or internal applications using DevOps processes that are isolated from one another.

Also available in the new release are new hybrid cloud reference architectures for running Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform on OpenStack, VMware, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Engine and Microsoft Azure. These guides help walk a user through deployment across public and private clouds, virtual machines and bare metal.

"It also drastically simplifies how developers can access storage resources, allowing developers to dynamically provision storage resources/capacity with the click of a button -- effectively self-service for developers. It also allows developers to feel confident that the resources required for their applications will be properly isolated from other resource needs in the platform," said Red Hat's Gracely.

Orchestration Backbone

The foundation for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.4 is the open source Kubernetes Project community. Kubernetes 1.4 features alpha support for expanded cluster federation APIs.

It enables multiple clusters federated across a hybrid environment. Red Hat engineers view this feature as a key component to enabling hybrid cloud deployments in the enterprise.

The latest version of OpenShift is available now via the Red Hat Customer Portal. It offers community innovation as hardened, production-grade features.

Ensuring Customer Health

Red Hat's platform is vital to the success of The Vitality Group's global initiative and reward program, according to CIO Neil Adamson.

This program is a key component of how the company envisions the future of health, he said.

"Advanced services for our customers can only be delivered by embracing next-generation technologies, particularly those provided through the open source communities that drive Linux containers, Kubernetes and IoT," said Adamson.

Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform provides his company with the best of these communities while still delivering a stable, more secure foundation that help "reap the benefits of open source innovation while lessening the risks often inherent to emerging technologies."

The latest platform features will further support application development in the cloud. Container solutions are being adopted rapidly for many core IT tasks, including app development projects and processes, according to King, who noted that "being able to seamlessly deploy containers in a widely and easily accessible environment like Google Cloud should simplify development tasks."


Jack M. Germain has been writing about computer technology since the early days of the Apple II and the PC. He still has his original IBM PC-Jr and a few other legacy DOS and Windows boxes. He left shareware programs behind for the open source world of the Linux desktop. He runs several versions of Windows and Linux OSes and often cannot decide whether to grab his tablet, netbook or Android smartphone instead of using his desktop or laptop gear. You can connect with him on Google+.


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