Red Hat debuts OpenShift 4, tips hat at hybrid clouds

Red Hat opened up OpenShift into the hybrid cloud this week, as it unveiled the first update of its container platform in three years.

The soon-to-be-part-of-IBM Linux vendor described OpenShift 4 as “Kubernetes for the Enterprise”, and “designed for diverse environments”. It was previously offered as on-prem or as a Red Hat hosted service.

Microsoft, at its Build conference, announced earlier this week that it would be offering OpenShift on Azure – while diplomatically not mentioning the as yet-unannounced 4.0 moniker – but Red Hat took the wraps of 4.0, saying it will be available in the next month.

Red Hat said yesterday that it “anticipated” support in the coming months from “major public cloud vendors” including “Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, private cloud platforms powered by Red Hat OpenStack, virtualization platforms like VMWare and Red Hat Virtualization and even on bare-metal infrastructure.”

Red Hat acknowledge that OpenShift customers “have multiple clusters and in many cases those clusters are deployed across multiple cloud or on-premise infrastructure footprints”  said it would include a new “unified hybrid cloud console” in OpenShift.

As for what it is customers will be deploying, whether on-prem or across the cloud, in its release, Red Hat described it as “the only enterprise Kubernetes offering built on the backbone of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, backed by the open source expertise, compatible ecosystem, and leadership of Red Hat.” In fact, you get the benefit of two OS’s, in the shape of the just available RHEL 8 and “Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS, an OpenShift-specific embedded variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.” Red Hat bought CoreOS almost a year and a half ago.

Other new features include serverless functionality via KEDA, announced earlier this week, as well as the Google-spawned Knative. Meanwhile, the OpenShift Service Mesh combines “Istio, Jaeger, and Kiali projects as a single capability that encodes communication logic for microservices-based application architectures, freeing developer teams to focus on business-add logic.”

Red Hat has also introduced a certification programme for Kubernetes Operators, the packaged services which can take care of  “sometimes routine, mundane and complex” tasks needed to run an application on Kubernetes. One of the first certified operators is Instana’s Automatic Application Monitoring Operators, which promises automatic full-stack visibility and the collection of end-to-end traces of every user request.

Away from the core tech, Red Hat trumpeted a “full-stack install and upgrade experience” which “unifies operations across the layers of the platform, to provide full stack automation from the underlying infrastructure, to the RHEL OS, to the OpenShift Kubernetes platform and its integrated services.”