Organizations today are investing in new technologies and practices to transform the way they deliver value to their customers. This has become a critical investment area as we move into an era of disruption, and cloud computing plays a vital role in supporting both the technologies and processes driving the digital transformation imperative. Offering greater speed, cloud-based strategies leave more time for companies to focus on building and delivering innovation, value, and differentiation while creating financial efficiency.

While moving to a single public cloud has many benefits, the reality is that for some workloads the public cloud simply doesn’t make sense, or meet requirements for things like control, security or regulatory compliance. As a result, a majority of today’s IT environments are inherently hybrid, comprising of applications deployed on-premises, and in both private and public clouds. Some highly optimized or secure workloads can continue to be deployed in bare metal and virtualized environments. As organizations embrace the public cloud, they may select multiple public clouds in order to take advantage of unique cloud capabilities as well as for optimizing vendors. According to IDC, 70 percent of customers already deploy multicloud environments and 64 percent of applications in a typical IT portfolio today are based in a cloud environment, whether public or private1. Therefore, many organizations are looking to embrace hybrid cloud strategies as the best way to achieve digital transformation.

To succeed with hybrid cloud, operational consistency is critical, and a key to operational consistency is the platform. Hybrid and multicloud users should be able to easily span and interoperate across private and multiple public cloud environments with security and portability. At Red Hat, we believe that the platform technology to achieve this vision is Linux, Linux containers and Kubernetes. Our platforms, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift were designed to lead you to success in your hybrid cloud journey.

The journey starts with Linux

The hybrid cloud journey begins with Linux. Nine of the top 10 public clouds run on Linux. Private cloud technologies, such as Red Hat OpenStack Platform, are based on Linux. Most importantly, container and Kubernetes platforms, such as Red Hat OpenShift, are based on Linux. Linux is like the heart of the cloud, where RHEL is a leading hybrid and multicloud operating system.

The operating system you select in hybrid cloud environments is critical to your success. When operating across on-premises and public cloud environments, you want applications to work the same way. Making sure things like management, compliance and security work the same way across multiple, disparate environments is essential. Having a common operating system powering hybrid cloud environments enables application consistency and portability, meaning that they should behave the same, can be managed using the same tools and processes, and accrue the same benefits regardless of whether they are deployed on-premises or in a public cloud.

For a large number of organizations that already use Linux to run their datacenters and applications, many are also supporting their mission-critical workloads with RHEL. Running some of the most stable virtual and hardware environments, RHEL is designed to be more secure and easy to manage across many environments, with a consistent and long lifecycle. RHEL is backed by the IT industry’s largest commercial open source software ecosystem, comprised of certified third-party software, hardware, and cloud providers. With the certification of RHEL for standards such as Common Criteria, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) and Payment Card Industry (PCI), RHEL is a reliable choice for regulatory and corporate compliance.

Whether the first step is to move a workload from on-premises to a public cloud – or standing up a private cloud environment – users should consider the operating system in which that workload will run. Many companies want to take an existing workload and move it to a cloud environment. There, they want to make sure that they can move it easily and still have the same consistent operations regardless of where they are deploying that application – even if they are moving from bare metal or standalone virtualization. This is why using RHEL as your first step in the cloud journey is so important.

RHEL can simplify the transfer of those first workloads to cloud environments, even before you move to containers. This is why tens of thousands of companies use Red Hat Enterprise Linux in the public cloud today. With RHEL as the foundation for your cloud platform, you can create a more consistent, common operating environment for running applications that span your traditional, virtualized and cloud environments. Applications that are already certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux can run equally well across the cloud environments.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides:

  • Application portability across various cloud and non-cloud environments

  • Operational consistency

  • Robust security to know you can address potential security breaches

  • Consistent internal and regulatory compliance

  • Common updating and management

This week Red Hat announced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, the intelligent operating system for the hybrid and multicloud. Your RHEL 8 software subscription includes Red Hat Insights, a management service for RHEL that encapsulates Red Hat’s decades of experience into a predictive analytics engine, helping to keep your systems running in an optimized and safe manner. Because it’s part of the RHEL subscription, Insights users can have the same experience regardless of where they choose to deploy their operating system.

The updates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 also include faster and easier deployment and management, enhanced security and improved networking. Application Streams makes it easier for developers to use the latest developer tools and components without impacting the underlying stability of the platform. Moreover, with the announcement of the Red Hat Universal Base Image, RHEL makes it easier to use and create containerized applications that are more stable, more secure and more easily supported across the hybrid cloud.

Most importantly, by using Red Hat Enterprise Linux everywhere, providing you a common operating environment, you are preparing yourself for going to the next phase of the cloud journey.

Next step: Linux containers and Kubernetes

With a stable base of applications running in a hybrid cloud spanning both on-premises and public cloud deployments all running on RHEL, you can move to the next step: cloud-native application deployment using Linux containers and Kubernetes.

OpenShift

OpenShift is the next logical step in your cloud journey, providing the common DevOps operating platform for orchestrating your cloud native and traditional applications across both private and public cloud environments.

OpenShift is the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, built from the base of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to deliver container orchestration and critical developer services at-scale. At a basic level, containers are designed to help you create abstractions at the application level for greater flexibility, speed, and efficiency. How your container runs depend upon the relationship between your host kernel and the user space of the container. This is why the relationship between RHEL and OpenShift is so critical.

OpenShift orchestrates Linux container images across multiple environments. This provides a DevOps environment for quickly developing and deploying microservices-based applications, making it a natural step to take your Red Hat Enterprise Linux workloads and move them to become container and cloud-native. Since your operating system is Linux, OpenShift inherits the benefits as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including security features, third-party hardware and cloud certification, stability and lifecycle manageability.

OpenShift provides a cloud abstraction layer that enables you to implement a hybrid cloud that spans multiple public clouds and private deployments to create a single virtual cloud. This portability and transferability make it easy to move workloads and specific microservices to other OpenShift clusters.

With the release of Red Hat OpenShift 4, Red Hat provides managed OpenShift public cloud services such as OpenShift Dedicated and the newly released Azure Red Hat OpenShift. OpenShift 4 enables you to adopt the best cloud infrastructure for your workload while maintaining the ability to move these workloads among multiple clouds and manage them through a single management pane.

The release of OpenShift 4 takes cloud management to the next step. The new version, which includes Operators – operational knowledge of how to run, maintain and manage an application encoded as software – enables you to manage, update, and run the containerized capabilities on OpenShift just as you would in a public cloud. Operators also enable you to integrate native services from other cloud providers into your OpenShift multicloud environment.

Rich services for hybrid cloud

Now that you have a common environment where you can run and build your applications, you can use new application development services with the same consistency and portability wherever they are hosted. Red Hat offers cloud and certified container services to run with your hybrid cloud environment on OpenShift. It has a rich ecosystem of over 100 ISVs and 150 software images that Red Hat is working to expand. Red Hat also provides cloud-native application development environments with Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces. Many of the emerging cloud services are developed to be tightly coupled with Kubernetes, such as Camel-K technology, which is part of our Red Hat integration and API management offering within OpenShift. We are also improving how to develop Java in Kubernetes native environments with Quarkus, which can increase the performance of Java many fold.

Tapping RHEL 8 as your foundation is the first step on your journey to the cloud and enabling services such as these on your workloads. By adding containers built with the Red Hat Universal Base Image, you have a solid base to deploy your cloud functions. With OpenShift, your journey to the cloud comes full circle. You can scale a deployment across multiple public and private cloud environments while enabling the security features, consistency, certification, and portability your organization depends on and support the next generation of services.

1 IDC, Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide Core and Edge Computing Platforms, 2018, Doc # US44305818, September 2018
 

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