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It’s that time again: the time we announce the latest updates and new features in Red Hat Runtimes. The latest release, now available, builds on the work we have done over the past year to create cloud-native, modern applications, with a focus on our work in advancing Java.

Red Hat Runtimes is a part of the Red Hat Application Services portfolio and is a set of products, tools and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications that offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks for highly-distributed cloud architectures, such as microservices or serverless applications. We make updates on a regular basis to meet changing customer demands while providing them with the technology necessary to make business-critical decisions while remaining innovative, competitive and flexible. Check out the rest of the post to learn more about the most recent updates to Red Hat Runtimes.

Quarkus Native Compilation

Updates to the Red Hat build of Quarkus, the Kubernetes-native Java framework that allows Java developers to build container-first applications, continues to be a focus. We have been working on the Quarkus native compilation feature, which works to allow all users to run Quarkus in native mode, rather than in a traditional Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Starting in mid-October, building Quarkus native apps in conjunction with the Mandrel project is expected to be fully supported. The Mandrel Project is the downstream distribution of GraalVM which helps to power the Red Hat build of Quarkus, and will give native compilation support and provide a place for Quarkus to land new features in GraalVM.

Mandrel was created to establish the downstream open source distribution of GraalVM, to better support our Red Hat customers while also remaining true to our upstream commitment. We work hand-in-hand with both the upstream and downstream communities to advance open source technologies in a way that makes sense for everybody.

For Quarkus, one of the most important parts of GraalVM is its native-image feature that produces native executables, a key feature to make Java competitive in cloud-native workloads. With Mandrel, we are able to have GraalVM bundled on top of OpenJDK 11. Mandrel can be described as a regular OpenJDK with a specially packaged GraalVM image. This is important for Quarkus users because developers can use GraalVM to compile their Quarkus apps down to native binaries, to further optimize for the cloud and Kubernetes.

With Quarkus and its Kubernetes-first approach, Java developers can continue to use their existing skills to significantly reduce cloud costs and improve application performance as they transition to the cloud, while also benefiting from Quarkus’ focus on developer productivity with features like live coding, support for both reactive and imperative programming models, and a wide variety of extensions to connect with existing systems and frameworks.

Red Hat Data Grid

This Red Hat Runtimes release also brings a number of new features to Red Hat Data Grid. One of the most important new features is the addition of cross site replication support for Data Grid clusters that run within Red Hat OpenShift.

This gives users the ability to have synchronized pools of data across multiple geographically-dispersed OpenShift clusters, which is key to being able to run an app locally in many regions, maximizing performance for the end users regardless of location, and with failover capability if a datacenter drops off the net. The Data Grid Operator will also have the capability to autoscale cluster nodes in OpenShift up or down, depending on memory consumption of the individual nodes.

This release of Red Hat Data Grid furthers Red Hat’s commitment to an open hybrid cloud. Red Hat Data Grid is designed with the goal of allowing it to be used on premises, in public clouds, and in private clouds.

Red Hat Build of OpenJDK

Support for the Java Flight Recorder is new in this release of the Red Hat build of OpenJDK 8. This has been available in OpenJDK 11 to date, so Red Hat partnered with the OpenJDK community to provide this feature in OpenJDK 8.

Java Flight Recorder enables developers and operations teams to observe and produce reports for in-production Java applications, effectively doing the job of numerous other smaller utilities like jhat, jmap, or jps across your Java application landscape. Combined with Mission Control, it enables the capture and reporting of a wide range of data, including garbage collection analysis, thread data, locks, networking and memory usage, making it a very useful tool for both developers and operations teams.

Additional Updates

We are also happy to note that the latest version of Red Hat Runtimes brings our support of Spring Boot up to version 2.2.6. We’ve also extended the support lifecycle of several components: Thorntail and Eclipse Vert.x 3.x are extended through May 2021, and the Red Hat build of OpenJDK 8 is extended through May 2026. This gives customers additional time to migrate applications to more recent versions of these runtimes.

These updates advance the work Red Hat has been doing to continue to bring Java into the future of cloud-native app development, while working toward our commitment of creating tools for developers that spark joy, increase productivity and help remain competitive and innovative. These features, and more, are now available in Red Hat Runtimes, and available to customers through the Red Hat Customer Portal.


About the author

James Falkner is a technology evangelist, teacher, learner, author and dedicated to open source and open computing. He works at Red Hat as a technical marketing director for Red Hat's cloud native application runtimes and loves learning from others, and occasionally teaching at conferences. He's been doing this for the last two decades, and is a Computer Engineering graduate of the University of Florida.