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Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes

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Table of contents

Product overview

What is Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes?

What are the key use cases of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

How does Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management extend the value of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform?

What is the latest version of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

What are the key features in the 2.4 release?

What were the key features in the 2.3 release?

What were the key features in the 2.2 release?

What were the key features in the 2.1 release?

Packaging

Is Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management included as part of the Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus subscription?

What is included as part of the Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus subscription?

What are the pricing options for the standalone Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management subscriptions?

When can I purchase Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management via Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus?

Technical details

Does Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management run as a cloud.redhat.com service or on-site?

How is Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management deployed?

What are the technology specifications for installing Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

Can Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management compare application versions across different clusters and environments? 

Does Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management integrate with other Red Hat solutions? 

Does Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management have an alerting system or provide advanced monitoring for clusters?

Will Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management work in a disconnected environment?

Can Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management run behind an HTTP-proxy that is not disconnected but connected to the internet via a proxy?

Are Red Hat OpenShift managed services such as Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated and Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift also supported?

Does Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management support Kubernetes clusters, including those not based on the OpenShift Container Platform?

Does the interface support role-based access control (RBAC) and filtered views? 

What role, if any, will Apache Hive play or will this product replace Hive?

Can Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management discover a cluster and take control of its resources or must everything always be deployed, controlled, and managed from Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

What is the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management deployment model? Does it install on top of OpenShift Container Platform or Kubernetes? What additional infrastructure must be added?

Will Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management need to exist in a central cluster, considering the deployment architecture? Can it be deployed in two or three different sites and clustered to withstand a disruption to one cluster?

Is it easy to install and configure Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

What do I need for connectivity?

Where can I find more information on Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management?

 

Product overview

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes provides end-to-end management visibility and control to manage your clusters and application life cycle. 

  • This provision includes enhanced security and compliance for your entire Kubernetes domain across multiple datacenters and public clouds. The single view used to manage your Kubernetes clusters easily provisions Red Hat OpenShift® clusters across: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure Government (MAG), bare metal, Red Hat OpenStack® Platform, and VMware vSphere. Existing Red Hat OpenShift clusters like Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated, Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z, IBM Power, Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon, and public cloud Kubernetes clusters like Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Service (GKE)—including on-premise Red Hat OpenShift clusters—can be imported and managed.

Answer: 

Unified multicluster management:

  • Create, update, and delete Kubernetes clusters across multiple private and public clouds. 
  • Search, find, and modify Kubernetes resources across the entire domain.
  • Quickly troubleshoot and resolve issues across a federated domain.

Policy-based governance, risk, and compliance:

  • Set and enforce policies for security, applications, and infrastructure.
  • Visualize detailed auditing on configuration of applications and clusters faster. 
  • Gain immediate visibility into compliance based on your defined standards.

Advanced application life cycle management:

  • Deploy applications at scale. 
  • Deploy applications from multiple sources.
  • Visualize application relationships across clusters faster. 

Measure multicluster observability for health and optimization:

  • Get an overview of cluster health and optimization using customized and out-of-the-box dashboards that store historical metrics data.
  • Sort, filter, and scan performance of individual clusters or aggregated multiclusters.
  • Troubleshoot faster using the dynamic search and visual web terminal capabilities.

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management adds more value to OpenShift Container Platform by extending your OpenShift Container Platform applications into a multicluster environment. Together, OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management deliver the platform and capabilities that are critical to addressing the challenges organizations face across a range of environments, including multiple datacenters and private, hybrid, and public clouds.

Red Hat OpenShift focuses on the single cluster application model and provides an excellent framework for continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD). Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management models applications for multicluster deployment with enterprise features that help ensure both the rapid deployment of an application and the resilience of your infrastructure. Stand up new clusters and let the subscription framework handle the continuous delivery of your applications across all your environments.

Answer: The latest version 2.4, went live November 2021.

Answer: 

Manage Red Hat OpenShift everywhere:

  • Cluster life cycle support: Provision OCP clusters on Microsoft Azure Government more easily and import and manage them. 
  • Extending Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub support: Use Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub on IBM Power and Z, giving these the flexibility to run on your infrastructure of choice.
  • Central Infrastructure Management (CIM) for bare metal deployments (tech preview): Use a self-service model that allows infrastructure owners to provide developers access to bare metal infrastructure resources to provision OpenShift clusters. 
  • Allow policies to be auto-generated and deployed via GitOps from existing Kubernetes configuration and Gatekeeper/Kyverno policies.

Better together:

  • Deploy Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes (Stackrox) Central via governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) Policy (tech preview): Get a consolidated experience by using the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console to deploy Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security (Stackrox) Central server consistently across clusters, using a single policy instead of manually deploying on individual clusters. Also access the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security URL through the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console for an in-depth look at your security metrics. 
  • Support for OpenShift GitOps (ArgoCD) Application Sets: Create application set objects for your clusters that are registered within Argo, directly from the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console. With this feature, we continue to elevate the OpenShift GitOps experience within Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management by allowing centralized deployment for ApplicationSets across the fleet without having to leave your management interface.
  • Send notifications from GRC into AlertManager and other incident management tools. Along with the cluster health metrics, now get centralized alerts for all your policy violations across clusters to the hub, and send notifications to third-party applications such as Slack and PagerDuty. Use these third-party tools as an entry point to your Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management dashboards for faster troubleshooting. 
  • Observability of non-OpenShift clusters: In addition to your OpenShift cluster health metrics, get health metrics from EKS, GKE, AKS, and IKS within Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management giving you an overview of cluster health across your OpenShift cluster fleet and beyond.
  • Service Level Objectives (SLO) can be defined on the Grafana dashboard. Providing well-defined objectives on how a cluster or the platform services, e.g., OpenShift, allow for measuring against these objectives, fostering data-driven decisions on work prioritizations. 
  • Using Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform integration with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management, automate remediation of noncompliant conditions and gather audit information about the clusters to take proactive measures against policy violations detected by Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management.

Management at the edge:

  • Edge management at scale: Provide the scale needed for your edge use cases with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub to manage up to 2,000 clusters along with the IPV6 dual stack support for the managed fleet. These features ensure scalability in low-bandwidth, high-latency connections and disconnected sites.
  • Zero Touch Provisioning (tech preview): Use Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management with Assisted Installer on-premise for high-scale cluster deployment serving telco and edge scenarios.
  • Single-node OpenShift management: Get full management capabilities for your single-node OpenShift clusters essential for your edge use cases.
  • Hub-side policy templating: Reduce the number of policies for high-scale management scenarios by allowing policies to refer to data from resources on the hub. Instead of 1,000 policies, the framework reads a single policy on the hub and substitutes the variable as the policy deploys on the clusters.

Business continuity:

  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub backup and restore: Using a backup solution based on OpenShift API for Data Protection, managed cluster configurations can be backed up and restored in a different hub cluster.
  • Use Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for disaster recovery (DR) across stateful workloads (tech preview): For the stateful apps your business relies on, OpenShift Data Foundation along with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management will ensure you have a robust multisite, multicluster DR strategy. Both OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management foster fast and consistent application DR that protects both application data and application state. While OpenShift Data Foundation ensures your application data volumes (PVs) are consistently and frequently replicated resulting in reduced data loss recovery, DR operators that have Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management automate the DR fail-over and fail-back processes, ensuring that your recovery is fast and error free from manual operations.
  • Persistent volumes replication using VolSync (Scribe) (tech preview): Ensure resilience for the stateful apps your business relies on by ensuring a planned application migration strategy across your clusters. You can also use VolSync to create your own DR solution when working with non-OpenShift Data Foundation storage or varied storage products. 

Answer: 

Manage Red Hat OpenShift everywhere:

  • Cluster life cycle support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform: In addition to the existing function of importing and managing your fleet of OpenShift clusters on Red Hat OpenStack Platform introduced in Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management 2.2, you can now easily provision OpenShift clusters on Red Hat OpenStack Platform directly from the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management user interface. 
  • Import and manage OpenShift Container Platform on IBM Power and Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon. 
  • Discover and import clusters from cloud.redhat.com, available as a tech preview: Use the pull secret to discover and import your clusters from cloud.redhat.com. This feature allows customers to save time by automating the cluster imports in bulk.
  • Scale at the edge: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management continues to expand its scalability targets in order to meet the requirements of edge use cases.
  • Enhance the OpenShift cluster life cycle, available as a tech preview: Features like worker pool scaling provide node autoscaling through cluster hibernation, cluster pools, and cluster sets to define access controls to a group of clusters.

Expand influence in open source:

  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management components are open source in this release, helping to build a stronger community.
  • Integration with OpenShift GitOps has continued based on Argo CD: Extend the SRE use cases for Argo CD applications by adding the ability to view and troubleshoot applications deployed by Argo CD in the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management application topology view.
  • Send additional open policy agent (OPA)/gatekeeper community policies into Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management (out of the box): Get enhanced compliance and configuration management with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management that broadens the production support for the new 20-30 OPA/gatekeeper policies in this release.
  • Multicluster networking with Submariner available as a tech preview: Get rich, multicluster networking capabilities with submariner for application components deployed across multiple clusters, thereby reducing the complexity of deploying application components and networking requirements across clusters.

Better together:

  • Ansible integration with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management: This integration takes OpenShift environments growing tremendously at scale and simplifies connecting these environments to the broader IT ecosystem: Storage, networking, systems of record, configuration management databases (CMDBs), and IT Service Management (ITSM) systems. This integration allows you to use Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to invoke Ansible Playbooks before or after key life cycle actions such as creating and updating applications, creating clusters, and automating tasks like network configurations, application to database connections, load balancers, and firewalls. 
  • Analytics through Insights for OpenShift: Get valuable information and optimize your environment with Red Hat Insights for Red Hat OpenShift. Get detailed best practices and recommendations using the open cluster manager, advisor, health checks, and other services. 
  • Partner expansion for securing workloads: The integration of Black Duck offered by Synopsys permits the Black Duck connector to be installed on every cluster. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management determines if images failed the Black Duck policy checks, increasing the security of application containers.

Answer: 

Manage Red Hat OpenShift system-wide:

  • Import and use a managed OpenShift Container Platform cluster such as Microsoft Azure RedHat OpenShift and OpenShift Dedicated, and manage them using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub.

Multicluster observability:

  • Import custom metrics using multicluster metric aggregation with a customized allowlist. Customize metrics based on predefined metrics and metrics that you define. 
  • Customize and use your Grafana dashboard for fleet management.

Expand and embrace open source:

  • Contribute to and ship OPA as part of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management. Support OPA policies by distributing the OPA engine to the fleet. 
  • Get support for your compliance operator and use it to run OpenSCAP scans against the fleet and review the results in Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management.
  • Provide integration with Argo CD. Take advantage of the fleet information from Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management with Argo CD, making your applications a compliant and more secure cluster fleet. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management integration with Argo CD allows you to expand your applications' cluster footprint quickly and more securely.

Answer: Management of Red Hat OpenShift system-wide:

  • Expanded our cluster life cycle management environment to go beyond the currently supported public cloud providers—AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform—by providing Red Hat OpenShift cluster deployments on bare metal, both physical and virtual, and on VMware vSphere virtual infrastructure. 

Automation with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform:

  • For the release of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management 2.1, Ansible Automation Platform was integrated for application life cycle management as a technology preview. 

Enhanced observability: 

  • Enhanced the site reliability engineering experience. By collecting Prometheus metrics in a scalable architecture and providing out-of-the-box multicluster dashboards, you can store long-term historical data to get an overview of multicluster health and optimization. Grafana provides ad hoc exploration of all your clusters integrated within the cluster view. Integration with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management gives users access to more than 100 metrics, for an in-depth look at cluster health and optimization. 

A simplified way to create applications: 

  • Version 2.1 improved the experience of creating applications, making it more efficient to create and deploy them from your development toolchains. Using an intuitive form, with contextual help, you can create an app to define components without YAML. You can locate the applications using placement rules along with their subscribed channels. Version 2.1 improved the cluster topology view by adding a visual cluster topology resource status to identify the status of any resources associated with your application.
  • Increased out-of-the-box security policies such as certificate management, and distributing the certificates to the cluster fleet, and capturing information like the certificate expiration. 

Integration with OPA: 

  • OPA has distributed OPA policies to the entire cluster fleet. OPA policies can be enforced at runtime and receive notifications of violations to the OPA policy. 
  • Open source repository has allowed imported policy examples from the open source community and Red Hat supported policies from a public GitHub repository

Packaging

Answer: Yes. We recently announced that Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus and Red Hat Cluster Management are part of the subscription. Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus provides a single hybrid cloud platform for enterprises to build, deploy, run, manage, automate, and secure intelligent applications at scale. Building on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a solution trusted by global, industry-leading companies, delivers an enterprise Kubernetes system for migrating existing workloads to cloud environments. To learn more about Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, read this datasheet. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is available for purchase using a unique SKU. Entitlement to Kubernetes clusters acquired separately from Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus will require entitlement through a standalone Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes SKU, this includes entitlement for supported managed OpenShift offerings as well as select non-OpenShift-based managed Kubernetes offerings (see supported offerings in the technical details section.)

Answer: Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus includes:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform: A complete set of services that helps developers code applications with speed while providing flexibility and efficiency for IT operations teams.
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes: A solution that provides Kubernetes-native security to enhance infrastructure and workload security through the entire application life cycle.
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes: Provides extended visibility of your entire Kubernetes domain with built-in governance and application life cycle management capabilities.
  • Red Hat Quay is an open source registry platform for managing content across global datacenter and cloud environments, focusing on cloud-native and DevSecOps development models and environments. 

Answer: Pricing for Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management subscriptions uses the same metric as OpenShift Container Platform and OpenShift Platform Plus per core pair. Similarly, only the worker nodes are licensed. For example, if a client is buying 2,000 core pairs of OpenShift Container Platform, adding Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to the entire fleet requires 2,000 core pairs of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management. This pricing policy also applies to renewals.

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management via Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus is available for purchase. Please contact your Red Hat account representative for more details.

 

Answer: Yes. Request an evaluation.

 

Technical details

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management installs and runs on Red Hat OpenShift, so customers can take advantage of it wherever they run their OpenShift clusters.

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management is deployed using an operator and runs on OpenShift Container Platform 4.6.x, 4.8.x, and above, and manages 3.11, 4.6.x, 4.8.x, and above.

Answer: Hub cluster:

  • Operator-based installation
  • Available on OperatorHub.io
  • Requires Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.6.x, 4.8.x and above

Managed clusters (Learn more: Support Matrix):

  • Full life cycle management: Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.6.x, 4.8.x and above:
    • Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure Government (MAG), VMware vSphere, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, and bare metal.

Import and manage: 

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.11
  • Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power 
  • Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z
  • Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud 
  • Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon
  • Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift
  • Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated

Limited life cycle support for managed Kubernetes clusters:

  • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)
  • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS)
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provides observability, application life cycle management, and policy-based management of imported clusters.
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provides full cluster life cycle management (create, upgrade, destroy) with additional security compliance capability for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform clusters.

High-availability:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform availability zone supported
  • Limitation for search component based on RedisGraph

Resource requirements:

  • 3 masters, 3 infrastructure nodes, 6 vCPU and 16GB RAM

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management customers can compare application resources using the application topology view with GitOps via subscription and channel. For example, customers can compare how an application is configured in development, cluster A, compared to quality assurance, cluster B.

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management supports pre-hooks and post-hooks to Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform inside the application builder engine. The OpenShift Container Platform cluster creation or cluster upgrade actions also support the integration of the Ansible Automation Platform and can trigger Ansible job templates before or after each of the cluster actions (cluster create, or cluster upgrade). The Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management policy engine also integrates with the Ansible Automation Platform and upon policy violations can trigger Ansible job templates to remediate the violated conditions.

Answer: Yes. With the integration of Grafana and AlertManager on the centralized hub cluster, you can create alerts based on specific user issues that will trigger. Red Hat uses Grafana and Thanos integration to query the object store and provide visibility into clusters for monitoring.

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management runs as an operator on Red Hat OpenShift and can be deployed in a disconnected environment.

Answer: Customers can configure a global load balancer that will incorporate the proxy configuration therein. There are additional steps documented for HTTP proxy configuration.

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management manages Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated and Azure Red Hat OpenShift but not the underlying infrastructure.

Answer: The latest Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management 2.4 release can support the import and management of managed clusters like Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud , IBM Power, Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon, Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift, OpenShift Dedicated, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS), and Google Kubernetes Service (GKE). Red Hat can create, upgrade, and destroy OpenShift Container Platform clusters on AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, bare metal, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, and VMware vSphere.

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management is backed by OpenShift Container Platform for RBAC. Permissions set through the OpenShift Container Platform will transfer to Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management.

Answer:Hive is the application programming interface (API) that Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management uses to deploy OpenShift Container Platform clusters on infrastructure like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Azure Government, OpenStack, bare metal, and VMWare vSphere.

Answer: Yes. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management allows you to discover the cluster resources and import existing clusters. There is no need to synchronize or update a managed cluster. The spoke controllers run automatically to ensure the state is always current on the hub.

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management only runs on OpenShift Container Platform. It installs as an operator via the Operator Hub. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management runs on a three master, two worker cluster with minimum node sizing at 6 vCPU and 16GB RAM.

Answer: The Operator hub is configured to be highly available for DR with a minimum configuration of three master nodes. There is not currently a hub failover implemented out-of-the-box, but various methods are available to recover and failover an OpenShift Container Platform cluster.

Answer: You can complete an end-to-end installation in a matter of minutes. It is installed as an operator through the Operator Hub, on top of Red Hat OpenShift 4.6.x, 4.8.x, and above.

Answer: Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management uses an https-based web interface. The remote-managed clusters communicate with the hub over a transport layer security (TLS)-secured channel in its own namespace with its own certificates.

Answer: To learn more about Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management and request access for a tech preview, visit our website at redhat.com/clustermanagement.