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Many organizations face numerous challenges when modernizing their applications or migrating from on-premises applications to cloud-native microservices.  This can include challenges such as deploying and managing their applications at scale, increased network complexity, managing costs and ensuring security.

Red Hat and F5 are collaborating to deliver enhanced networking and security services using Red Hat OpenShift to deploy technology from F5 Distributed Cloud.  This technical collaboration aims to provide organizations with a more seamless multi and hybrid cloud application experience, providing more consistent performance and optimized security capabilities across various environments.

Let’s see how Red Hat and F5 help customers solve challenges related to cloud migration and application modernization.

Scalability

Applications need to handle increased traffic and workload demands in real-time, without manual intervention. Customers who want to migrate applications from an on-premises OpenShift deployment to the cloud, can take advantage of a managed Red Hat OpenShift offering, such as Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA).

ROSA deploys natively in AWS and allows organizations to only use the resources they need when deploying applications. F5 Distributed Cloud’s Customer Edge (CE) software offers flexibility on how routing is distributed across a multicloud fabric.

By deploying this CE software with Red Hat OpenShift clusters, organizations can achieve better scalability and performance for their applications. The CE software is natively connected on the platform between on-premises and cloud-native clusters in ROSA.

This enables applications to operate in either environment with reduced disruptions. For instance, an application could be served by an on-premises OpenShift cluster and then migrated, or scaled, to ROSA as needed, without interrupting service.

Connectivity

Providing more secure and reliable connectivity between disparate environments can be a challenge, particularly in complex environments with multiple tiers and dependencies.

F5 Distributed Cloud Services simplify the deployment of complex network environments by abstracting away the underlying infrastructure, providing a single pane of glass for managing network and security policies across multiple locations.

By deploying CE software in each location running OpenShift clusters, organizations are able to connect disparate environments, whether they are on-premises or in a cloud provider such as AWS, without needing to manually provision networking services.

Controlling cloud costs

Uncontrolled costs due to overprovisioning or underutilization are also a common concern. It is imperative to have a clear plan for highly sought, and expensive, capacity types (such as GPU instances) in order to have what you need when you need it by reserving capacity with your public cloud provider.

With F5 Distributed Cloud and OpenShift, organizations can help control their cloud costs by targeting and automating the deployment of services where and when they need, without the operational overhead of manually managing complex network environments.

F5 Distributed Cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) model offers continuous updates and maintenance, which reduces the overhead typically associated with managing infrastructure.

Security

Cloud-native architectures introduce their own unique set of security challenges that can be difficult to navigate. Red Hat OpenShift and F5 Distributed Cloud provide robust security-focused features for cloud-native applications.

While Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes helps better secure containerized applications running on OpenShift or other Kubernetes environments, F5 Distributed Cloud enables deployment of Web Application Firewall (WAF), API security, distributed denial of service (DDOS) mitigation, bot defense and network firewalls delivered via SaaS, or delivered locally through CE software.

Reduce operational complexity

Fig 1. Reduce operational complexity

Next, let’s see how this solution can help solve challenges in some specific industries.

Example 1:  Financial services compliance and scalability

A  financial services company faces stringent regulatory requirements for data security and privacy, so certain workloads must remain on-premises. Even so, however, they also need to scale their operations during peak periods.

With Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security, which is included with Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, organizations can enhance the security of their containers, no matter where they are running. 

Solution: The company can use OpenShift to manage their cloud-native applications on-premises to help address compliance requirements and protect sensitive data. During peak demand, the customer can leverage F5 Distributed Cloud to scale out to public clouds, like AWS, using the same tools and policies across both environments. This not only complies with regulatory standards, but also optimizes resource utilization and costs by scaling resources on-demand.

Example 2: Patient data management for healthcare providers

A large healthcare provider needs to manage large volumes of sensitive patient data, while complying with regulatory requirements. They also need to deploy applications across multiple environments, from on-premise data centers to public clouds and edge devices, such as MRI/CT machines and forward-deployed computers for local decisions in hospitals or clinics.

Solution: The company can use OpenShift and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes to manage OpenShift clusters in many environments through a single pane of glass, while enforcing policy and security standards. F5 Distributed Cloud can help transmit sensitive data from one environment to the next, enabling the provider to extend applications that require scalability, while also meeting regulatory requirements.

Example 3: Manufacturing analytics

A manufacturing company uses IoT devices, Controllers, Scada and PLC data consumption across its factories to gather data used for real-time decision making and to improve overall equipment efficiency. It then sends that data to a public cloud for deeper analysis and long-term storage.

Solution: To provide lower-latency response times within its factories and help reduce ingress/egress costs associated with hyperscalers, the company can use OpenShift for local data processing and decisions. With F5 Distributed Cloud, they can extend and scale their applications to a managed OpenShift offering on a public cloud, such as ROSA, to enable more advanced analytics and long-term data storage. This hybrid approach can allow the company to more effectively scale their data, optimizing its manufacturing processes and lowering overall costs.

Wrap up

Red Hat and F5’s collaboration offers a powerful platform for companies looking to simplify operational complexity and modernize their applications. Red Hat OpenShift provides a more consistent, security-optimized hybrid cloud application platform for modern applications, while F5 simplifies complex networking, allowing organizations to deliver their applications to customers with greater ease and agility.

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Über den Autor

George James came to Red Hat with more than 20 years of experience in IT for financial services companies. He specializes in network and Windows automation with Ansible.

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