Today, 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 containerized applications. OpenShift 4.4, includes features that IT operations teams and application developers can both appreciate.

The Kubernetes Platform You Can Depend On

OpenShift 4.4 builds upon the stability of Kubernetes 1.17. It also includes improvements in core platform capabilities around compute, networking and storage.

The descheduler is a convenient new tool for OpenShift admins to re-balance the distribution of workloads (Pods) across an OpenShift customer for better efficiency and utilization. OpenShift 4.4 also upgrades the ingress controller implementation to use HAProxy 2.0. With HAProxy 2.0, customers get higher performance ingress for their Kubernetes-hosted applications, including end-to-end HTTP/2 support and more scalable multi-threading, delivering improved security and response for applications. HAProxy 2.0 improves performance across the board, from the reduction of the time it takes to produce ACL unique-id allocations – reduced from minutes to seconds (from complexity of O(N^2) to O(NlogN)) on large installations – to its ability to process up to three times the requests per second. 

With an eye to emerging edge use cases, OpenShift 4.4 adds support for Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). SCTP enables multiple IP addresses for a fault-tolerant connection (multihoming). OpenShift 4.4 also introduces storage enhancements with Persistent Volume (PV) re-size, snapshot, restore and clone capabilities. These are important for developers building stateful applications and administrators managing their deployments in production. 

Consistent Experience Across the Hybrid Cloud

The use of the Kubernetes Operator model in OpenShift has helped Red Hat improve the installation experience for OpenShift. The installation of the complete infrastructure, from operating system (Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS) to end-user services, reduces the overhead required to install OpenShift in the hybrid cloud. With OpenShift 4.4, that self-guided installation experience now includes support for deployment with full-stack automation (IPI) on Red Hat Virtualization (RHV). 

In addition, the release enables the pre-existing infrastructure install experience (UPI) for Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Microsoft Azure. Another enhancement to the OpenShift installer is improved support for DNS forwarding. The OpenShift 4.4 release allows OpenShift DNS to resolve name queries for endpoints using DNS servers outside the cluster, helping to more easily incorporate OpenShift as the container platform underlying your hybrid cloud.

OpenShift administrators will find that features of the 4.4 release continue to improve the access to operational functions that you need every day. These enhancements start with new metrics dashboards. Since the use of Kubernetes Operators is central to OpenShift 4, monitoring visibility has also been extended to include Red Hat operators. OpenShift is a platform for multiple applications in the hybrid cloud, and, as such, Red Hat is now providing cost management features for OpenShift clusters, combining both a view of workload and cloud compute spend in one tool. OpenShift Cost Management gives visibility to how each namespace is using resources and shows the costs associated with each project.

Developers Matter!

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 a 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.

Using OpenShift Serverless, developers can build event-driven applications and services to run across the range of hybrid cloud infrastructures. These serverless applications can be triggered by a number of event sources and scaled up from and back down to zero to handle load as required. Developers can use any language or runtime to build their applications into standard container images because OpenShift Serverless launches normal Kubernetes Pods. Based on the Knative project, OpenShift Serverless capabilities are non-proprietary and can run across any hybrid cloud infrastructure target. We are excited to announce that OpenShift Serverless is now generally available (GA) and supported, with Eventing capabilities being promoted to Technology Preview and becoming GA soon.

Taking the Helm

Helm is a popular tool for developers to package, install and update applications on Kubernetes. With the introduction of Helm 3, the Helm community has addressed some of the underlying security concerns with previous versions, most prominently by removing Tiller. OpenShift 4.4 includes support for Helm 3, including making Helm charts visible and available in the OpenShift Console’s developer catalog. 

To further improve how developers work every day, OpenShift Pipelines has now moved into Tech Preview. Based on the open-source Tekton project, OpenShift Pipelines is a CI/CD add-on to OpenShift which provides a Kubernetes-native way to create CI/CD pipelines that are portable across Kubernetes platforms and run on-demand in containers. As an alternative to Jenkins, OpenShift Pipelines provides a cloud-native CI/CD experience that is built for containers and Kubernetes to streamline and automate application delivery for developers. 

We are also announcing the Developer Preview of OpenShift Builds. With OpenShift Builds, developers can build lean images from application source code and binaries using many Kubernetes tools (such as Source-2-Image, Buildah, Cloud Native Buildpacks, etc.) on OpenShift and other Kuberentes platforms. Our vision for container-native development uses OpenShift Pipelines to provide completed OpenShift Builds into OpenShift Serverless, Kubernetes deployments, Helm charts and other tools, to form a platform that is home to all of your apps, no matter what style app you are building.

Red Hat’s Enterprise Kubernetes Platform

As the OpenShift user base continues to expand, the sophistication of the applications deployed on the platform demand that OpenShift continues to evolve. With OpenShift 4.4, Red Hat continues to push the Kubernetes platform to new heights. With each release, OpenShift continues to enable the future of container deployment, supporting the needs of IT operations and developers alike. If you haven’t looked at OpenShift as your Kubernetes platform, now might be a good time to try it out and learn more. Take a few minutes to visit and find out why so many users/customers trust OpenShift for their Kubernetes platform.