Doing Great Things Together

October 17, 2018 — Red Hat’s North American Partner Conference (NAPC) was held in National Harbor, Maryland last week with several hundred partners in attendance. Congratulations to Red Hat on celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. This year’s theme was “Stronger Together.” The theme is a testament of the value that partners bring to Red Hat and reiterates the importance of partners to Red Hat’s continued growth over the past 66 quarters. Partners from all over North America came together to collaborate and strategize around technologies such as containers, hybrid cloud, automation and management and application development.

A recent survey from Forrester shows 74% of enterprises are going with a hybrid/multi-cloud strategy today. Does this change how we approach application development and deployment? Probably. Does this create more complexities for us to deal with? Most likely. How can we reduce manual tasks, speed time to market and disrupt with innovation? The answer to this is automation, containers and hybrid cloud. It’s no secret that open source technologies are driving innovation today. What makes Red Hat unique is they have found a way to commercialize these technologies to bring the future to the enterprise. Let’s look at a few of the technologies which are causing disruption.

Ansible

Automation has become mission critical and should be a primary focus regardless of where you run your applications. Yesterday’s tools don’t meet the requirement for today’s management and automation needs. Whether you’re provisioning resources, performing application deployment or configuration management of your infrastructure or applications, Ansible is fast becoming the automation language of choice. If you are struggling with repetitive tasks that slow down progress and need to improve efficiencies, Ansible is simple, easy to use and agentless. Ansible is an open source community project sponsored by Red Hat that allows you to turn tasks into playbooks that reduce complexities. Ansible has support for Windows and Linux OS across physical, virtual, cloud and network environments and ships with hundreds of modules to support a variety of tasks.

If you need to scale automation and manage complex environments with a centralized model, Ansible Tower is the way to go. Tower is an enterprise framework for controlling, managing and securing your Ansible automation and provides a UI and RESTful API.

OpenShift

Containers are becoming key building blocks for application portability and are driving the next generation of application development. However, production worthy applications typically require more than one container and those containers need to be deployed across more than one host. This is where Kubernetes comes in as the orchestrator. Early on, Red Hat embraced Kubernetes as the orchestration engine for OpenShift and to this day is the #2 contributor of Kubernetes behind Google. It turns out that Red Hat made a good bet on Kubernetes as it has become the industry standard and the pace of innovation in Kubernetes continues to march forward.

OpenShift Container Platform is Red Hat’s enterprise-ready container management platform based on Docker and Kubernetes, built to bring developers and IT operations teams together to deliver secure and reliable containerized applications across infrastructures. The platform is pluggable to enable integrations with third party services to provide customers with choice and flexibility. For those who don’t need all the features offered in the platform, Red Hat has released OpenShift Container Engine which is a minimal configuration of OpenShift Container Platform. It doesn’t include advanced management, advanced networking and DevOps capabilities that ship with the platform version. However, there is an upgrade path for those who wish to utilize the more advanced features.

OpenShift is available to run on OpenStack, VMware, AWS, GCP and Azure or platforms that support RHEL 7. In addition, there are public cloud service offerings, OpenShift Dedicated and OpenShift Online.

CloudForms

Advancements in technology and organizational demands are making hybrid cloud a reality for many businesses today. However, customers struggle to manage all these heterogeneous environments. In addition, organizations are seeking ways to reduce vendor lock-in, reduce CAPEX investments and take advantage of commodity servers. Red Hat CloudForms offers unified management for hybrid environments, providing a consistent cross-platform experience that lets enterprises speed service delivery and maintain complete operational and life-cycle management. CloudForms allows self-service capabilities for provisioning, managing and ensuring compliance across these environments. Take advantage of this unified experience that allows for improved service levels while retaining operational control.

What to Do?

This is typically one of the first questions that customers ask when dealing with the choice of open source versus paid-for solutions. Why should I buy the commercial product versus using the open source offering that is available at no cost? The decision is primarily based on support. However, there are other advantages such as obtaining upgrades, additional features such as integrating monitoring/logging, secrets management, authentication, security and governance, as well as continuous innovation. This model typically fosters lower technical skills.

Some organizations have in-depth expertise in-house and don’t mind piecing all these open source components together, but it does add complexity and management overhead. After all, our goal is to reduce complexities and gain efficiencies, right? Ultimately, the decision should be based on the needs of your organization.

Bringing the Value to Customers

Industries are being disrupted by emerging technologies. Although organizations understand this, few are making the move towards digital transformation. Why? Because it’s not easy. Red Hat has done a great job of taking open source projects and developing enterprise-ready solutions that reduce complexities, improve efficiencies and enable faster innovation. However, organizations still require guidance and the expertise of a great partner who can help design and deploy these solutions. Reach out to us at info@groupwaretech.com and let’s discuss how we can help you along your journey.

 

Daryl Harrington is Groupware Technology’s Director of Cloud Solutions.  

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