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Red Hat Summit 2020: A virtual summit from home

The first-ever Red Hat Virtual Summit saw the company have a limited number of releases than it usually does. It was a different feeling watching Paul Cormier, Red Hat President and CEO deliver his keynote address from his home. Having just taken over the role of President weeks before, we could see that Paul and the Red Hat team were well prepared to take the company forward during these testing times.

"Perhaps more than ever before, the unique needs of every organiation are in sharp focus - some need to scale operations immediately to meet relentless services demand while others seek to strengthen and maintain core IT operations." Paul Cormier, President and CEO, Red Hat.

Now, an interesting announcement by Red Hat was the extension of lifecycles provided to customers. Red Hat understands how COVID-19 is having a big impact on businesses. They are therefore making some changes to product lifecycles to ensure extended availability for their customers during this time, which can be read here.

"Our priority is to provide extensions to our products that would have had an end of maintenance (EOM) phase in the near future so our customers are not forced to perform upgrades or migrations while reeling from the impact of COVID-19."

Red Hat and that other competitor
DSA took part in two media sessions. One with international media and one with media from Asia Pacific. In both sessions, there was one pertinent question that came up, Is Red Hat having a go at their competitor? We shall not name the competitor, but those of you in the industry would know who we are talking about.

In both sessions, we got the same answer. Yes, they are.

Red Hat strongly believes that they are serving open shift community and the open shift community seem to feel the same way about Red Hat as well.

Both companies strongly believe Kubernetes is the future. But Red Hat feels customers want a single control environment that does not require the additional offerings like their competitor.

As the folks of Red Hat put it, "One company has been collaborating with open source for 20 years while the other one is struggling to figure it out but consider it their birth right."

Open Shift Virtualisation
The Red Hat Enterprise Open Source Survey revealed that more than 55% of enterprises surveyed are expecting to increase their use of containerised applications in 2020. While cloud-native applications represent the future of business innovation, many critical production applications remain based in traditional virtual machines (VMs).

OpenShift virtualisation enables IT organisations to bring standard VM-based workloads to Kubernetes, helping eliminate the workflow and development silos that typically exist between traditional and cloud-native application stacks. This makes it easier to migrate and modernise existing applications and services on the industry's most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.

When we spoke to Red Hat executives some time ago in this region, they did say that ASEAN companies are finding it easier to migrate and modernise existing applications via an enterprise Kubernetes platform.

Modernising traditional applications to take advantage of cloud-native advances, like Linux containers, microservices and Kubernetes, is a frequent component of digital transformation. But these efforts can take time, especially if developer and operations teams are building for and maintaining two distinct technology silos. OpenShift virtualisation enables organisations to more effectively implement DevOps practices, helping to enhance productivity and lower costs while continuing application innovation.

OpenShift virtualisation brings a host of enhancements to developers, including:

  • A consistent development experience across VMs, containers and serverless functions as business-critical applications grow to encompass a blend of these technologies. All components of the enterprise application stack, both traditional and new, can be managed directly through Red Hat OpenShift.

  • The ability to modernise VMs or not depending on necessity. VMs can be migrated to OpenShift without the need to fully containerise, enabling them to power mixed applications and be containerised over time (or not).

  • Full support for Windows VMs running older versions of Windows back to 2008 with the capability to refactor them over time to use Windows containers and Windows Server 2019 or be maintained purely as VMs.

Red Hat OpenShift virtualisation is now available as a Technology Preview, with general availability planned for later in 2020. 

OpenShift 4.4 continues the evolution of the Kubernetes platform
Red Hat is introducing OpenShift 4.4, the latest update to the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. This release continues to improve efficiency using the Kubernetes Operators model to automate the OpenShift platform and services that users depend on to deploy their containerised applications. OpenShift 4.4, includes features that IT operations teams and application developers can both appreciate.

One of the key differentiators of OpenShift is the connection that developers have to the platform. OpenShift's unique developer console has changed how developers view and manage their code on a container platform. OpenShift 4.4 adds new metrics and monitoring view so that developers and app operators have better visibility into the performance characteristics of their workloads.

Red Hat continues to improve the developer experience with OpenShift, focusing on delivering workflows that align with how developers work every day. And, more every day, developers are implementing serverless application architectures.

Advance Cluster Management for Kubernetes 
Cloud-native applications running in container environments have very different management requirements than virtual-based environments of the past. These requirements are why we are introducing Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes -- a new management solution designed to help organisations further extend and scale Red Hat OpenShift, the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. 

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes enables organisations to manage their Kubernetes clusters with consistency across the hybrid cloud -- from Red Hat OpenShift deployed on-premises, on bare metal, and on major public cloud providers to native clusters from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure. It provides the visibility, governance and control that organisations need to easily grow and manage containerised environments. Additionally, Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes meets organisations where they are on their application modernisation journey -- whether they are setting up their first containerised environments or require more advanced management features like policy enforcement and governance controls to accelerate container deployments. 

Unlike legacy management tools designed to manage physical servers and virtual machines, Red Hat has developed Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes from the ground up to manage modern container environments. The solution provides organisations with the tools and unified visibility they need to address the complexities of managing in the cloud-native era. 

Simplifying Kubernetes management across the hybrid cloud
Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes provides the tools and capabilities needed to address modern challenges IT organisations face as they work across a range of environments, including:

  • True, unified multi-cluster management: Working with Kubernetes clusters across hybrid environments can be complex as organisations often face multiple management consoles, user interfaces, logins and more. These challenges are often addressed manually and tend to be error-prone when dealing with individual clusters. With Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, users have a single view to create, update, and destroy clusters reliably, consistently, and at-scale across their hybrid cloud deployments running across physical, virtual, private cloud and public cloud environments, and at the edge. This allows organisations to scale applications seamlessly from development to production, helping enable application availability and reduce costs.

  • Policy-based governance, risk and compliance: Centrally set policies to automatically configure and maintain consistency of security controls required by regulatory, industry or corporate standards. Users can enforce compliance policies with each new cluster, at scale, allowing their fleet to grow and remain conformant to governance or corporate standards. 

  • Advanced application lifecycle management enables organisations to use open standards to automate application deployments using placement policies that are integrated into existing CI/CD pipelines and governance controls.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is expected to be available mid-Summer 2020, with Technology Preview availability planned in May.

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