So you’re still using Red Hat OpenShift 3 in your production environment, and everything is running smoothly. “Why should I update to Red Hat OpenShift 4? Version 3 works just fine,” you might say. 

Maintenance Support for Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 ends June 2022, followed by a final two-year end-of-life phase. You might not be sure how to start your migration to Red Hat OpenShift 4 or understand what it offers. In this post, we’ll walk you through some new features and benefits to help you get started.

What’s new?

This version provides many new features, including:

  • A more prescriptive installation process: simplified and streamlined for convenience

  • Enhanced platform security, updates, and scaling: better security and ability to meet business demands

  • Cloud-specific integrations: support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments

  • Integrated monitoring, Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh and Red Hat OpenShift Serverless: portability, consistency, and improved controls

  • CodeReady Portfolio for Developers: built for software developers, providing the tools they need for the jobs they do.

Red Hat OpenShift 4 uses Operators to streamline many processes you may already be familiar with, including the configuration of clusters and installation of services. In addition, instead of running separate Ansible playbooks for installation, Day 2 operations and cluster updates, a combination of Operators and cluster features now handle several tasks, reducing the time spent developing those playbooks.

Red Hat OpenShift 4 also provides the opportunity to move away from traditional continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to a more cloud-native based model, designed for containers and Kubernetes instead of virtual machines. 

This new Pipeline-as-a-Service (PaaS) requires little to no operations overhead, is kept isolated from other pipelines, has improved life-cycle management and uses native Kubernetes resources. Cloud-native CI/CD pipelines are scalable, on-demand, more secure and more flexible.

Stepping up application support

Application support received some upgrades too, including the addition of Red Hat OpenShift Serverless, featuring built-in revision control, traffic management and on-demand scalability. 

In addition, Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh can connect, manage and observe microservices-based applications using a combination of open-source tools, and can also integrate communication policies, reduce application code complexities and provide behavioral insight into services. Finally, Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization accelerates application delivery through a single management control plane that provides the capability to develop, manage and deploy legacy applications alongside containerized applications.

Why migrate?

Customers who have migrated from Red Hat OpenShift 3 to 4 have reported the following benefits:

  • Immutable and automated infrastructure supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS

  • Operator frameworks that help automate both common and complex configurations

  • Support for stateless and stateful applications

  • Improved productivity with a standardized development environment and self-service provisioning.

Learn more

The move to Red Hat OpenShift 4 is more than just a platform upgrade; it’s an organizational journey that can positively impact both people and processes and encourage a more container-friendly mindset. 

Learn more about how Red Hat can help your organization get started on migrating from Red Hat OpenShift 3 to 4 today. Prefer to see our Red Hat Consulting experts walk you through the benefits of Red Hat OpenShift 4? Watch our webinar recording.

About the authors

Chris Peters is a Container Application and Development Architect with the Migration and Modernization team within Red Hat Consulting. He is a software engineer with experience in application development, release engineering, DevOps, and cloud-native development. As a Red Hat Architect, Peters assists customers with their container adoption journey. He is a Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Application Development.

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Joe D’Andrea is a Cloud Architect with Red Hat's North American Solutions and Technology Practice, where they help customers implement their Red Hat OpenShift infrastructure and advocate for Red Hat's OpenShift migration and modernization efforts.

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