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Red Hat Shifts Kubernetes Into High Gear as Linux Advances

Wednesday May 8th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

At Red Hat Summit, OpenShift version 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 are announced, as new foundations on which enterprise applications can be developed and delivered.

When looking at the modern IT landscape, few if any technologies are as pervasive for enterprise application and cloud deployment as Linux. Leading the charge for enterprise Linux has long been Red Hat, which held its annual Red Hat Summit May 7- 9, announcing new Linux and Kubernetes container platform releases.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL) is the first major release of Red Hat's flagship Linux platform since July 2014. The RHEL 8 release benefits from a new web console project that makes it easier for users to manage a system.

Perhaps of even greater interest for enterprise application users is the release of OpenShift 4, which is Red Hat's enterprise distribution of the open source Kubernetes container orchestration system.

"We've built OpenShift to to stand as an abstraction layer, the foundation, the basis of our open hybrid cloud," Ashesh Badani, SVP of cloud platform at Red Hat said during a press conference on May 8.

The History of OpenShift

Red Hat first announced OpenShift back in May 2011. OpenShift was originally based on proprietary technology that Red Hat acquired via the acquisition of Makara in November 2010.

In January 2015, Red Hat announced that it would 'reimagine' OpenStack as a container platform, based on the open source Kubernetes project, that was started by Google and is currently operated as a multi-stakeholder effort at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

"Today, we have over a thousand customers that have adopted the (OpenShift) platform, a thousand customers over that four year time frame, so that in itself is a milestone," Badani said. "But what's also incredible for us to see is the diversity of use cases, with regard to the kinds of workloads that found their way to the platform."

Among the use-cased that Red Hat has seen for OpenShift is the modernization of traditional to modern cloud-native apps. Badani noted that Red Hat has also seen new classes of applications come to OpenShift, including data science and machine learning artificial intelligence workloads. 


"What's even more amazing is we never thought about this platform is being the basis of applications that are fundamentally transforming industries," Badani said. "A great example of that was Volkswagen, who spoke yesterday, about experimenting, creating, you know, brand new ideas, trying to build new applications to address autonomous driving."

OpenShift 4.0

The new OpenShift 4.0 release benefits from new technologies and innovations that Red Hat gained via the acquisitionof CoreOS for $250 million in January 2018.

With OpenShift 4.0 there is an improved installation process that aims to make it easier for organization to get up and running with the platform. The 4.0 platform is powered by CoreOS Linux which is a container optimized flavor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

CoreOS technology is also an enabler for a new set of automation capabilities that have landed in OpenShift 4.0

"The innovation, that CoreOS brought around the operator hub and the operator framework, forms the basis of the OpenShift platform around the automation and the manageability of the platform," Badani said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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