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Enterprises operating across multiple geographies have traditionally managed their on-premise systems differently from those on public clouds. This infrastructure covers more than compute, storage and networking—in addition to hardware, it includes firmware, operating systems and the application platform, as well as the software packages needed by applications. The skills, tools and processes needed to manage these systems are quite different and can create complexity, increase costs and reduce agility. For instance, the tools needed by product teams focused on accelerated delivery are different from tools needed by security teams for vulnerability detection or breach protection. And doing all of this with an on-premise platform can create additional complexity, not only in the integration of various components, but also in their updates and life cycle management.

On-premise infrastructure requires organizations to acquire, install, configure and update these systems across their entire life cycle. Hardware system administrators also need to deal with the complexities involved with supporting development teams with application platform engineering tooling. Furthermore, lack of a single pane view of systems can increase potential security risks due to gaps between different teams, tools and processes across layers of hardware and software.

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift provides a single pane view of clusters and applications  by leveraging / harnessing the power of disparte tools needed by various teams (developers, sys admins, security). Deploying these tools through the operator framework can significantly increase their adoption rate and bring agility. 

Use cases

Here are some of the use cases that that can be addressed with Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift include:

  • Mission-critical applications: Companies requiring high levels of security, control and performance for their applications can deploy and run their workloads on APEX Cloud Platform in an on-premise environment
  • Near/Heavy Edge computing: Companies can extend their Red Hat OpenShift environments to edge locations with APEX Cloud Platform, enabling low-latency access to applications and services at remote sites. See blog on why edge computing is needed
  • Sovereign / Private AI: Companies looking to use AI with their private data can benefit from deploying the complete solution on-premise with APEX Cloud Platform
  • Hosting virtualized applications: Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization - an included feature of Red Hat OpenShift -  provides customers with a more efficient way to migrate and manage their existing traditional VM workloads using a modern application platform. OpenShift simplifies the migration process of VMs with Red Hat’s free Migration Toolkit for Virtualization (MTV). Migration can also be streamlined through the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform (AAP), training and a wide ecosystem of partner consulting services. Customers can preserve their existing virtualization investments while taking advantage of the simplicity and speed of a cloud-native hybrid cloud application platform
  • Private cloud: Dell APEX Cloud Platform for OpenShift allows companies to keep their applications and data on-premises for security, privacy or control reasons


APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift simplifies how companies can deploy and manage on-premise systems without worrying about underlying infrastructure, enabling customers to quickly deploy applications, build and maintain Red Hat OpenShift clusters.

Overview of the Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

Figure 1. Overview of the Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

Here are some of the key advantages of APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift:

  • Simplified deployments: Customers can more quickly deploy Red Hat OpenShift clusters with pre-configured software
  • Automated upgrades: Red Hat OpenShift upgrades are automated so clusters use the latest stable release
  • Integrated security features: Integrated security features like network isolation and encryption help protect applications and data
  • Multi-tenancy: Multi-tenancy allows separate namespaces for different teams within organizations within the company
  • DevOps: Integration with popular DevOps tools, such as Jenkins and GitHub, makes it easier to automate application deployment

Components of Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift is designed collaboratively between Dell and Red Hat to optimize and extend Red Hat OpenShift deployments on-premises. APEX Cloud Platform uses a two-layer architecture, with storage and compute separated for optimal usage. The separation allows the two separate components: compute and storage to scale independently.

Logical view of APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

Figure 2. Logical view of APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift


Red Hat OpenShift is deployed on bare metal compute nodes with a minimum of four compute nodes that increases the resiliency of the control plane. This deployment enables customers to take advantage of Red Hat OpenShift features, including Red Hat OpenShift Virtualization, for running virtual machines (VMs), Knative for serverless, and RHEL guest host licenses.

These compute nodes consist of Dell MC-760 or MC-660 servers, single or dual-socket enterprise rack servers in a 1U or 2U form factor. This provides highly performance  compute using 16th generation servers for demanding workloads, powered by Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia GPUs.


Dell PowerFlex, a software-defined infrastructure based solution, provides the storage for Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift. PowerFlex supports a number of tools including PowerFlex REST API, PowerFlex Ansible modules, Dell Container Storage Modules (CSM) and CSI drivers.

Schematic diagram for APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift.

Figure 3. Schematic diagram for APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

Figure 3 shows the physical architecture of the APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift. Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift compute layer setup is configured with four Dell APEX MC-760 nodes.

Dell's Cloud Platform Foundation software allows sys admins to use the Red Hat OpenShift console to manage the underlying infrastructure. This enables companies to manage additional infrastructure without increasing the team size. The integrated testing performed by Dell engineering provides customer Operations teams with confidence and a much simpler process of testing and applying firmware and driver updates.

Figure 4 shows the cluster lifecycle management with Cloud Foundation Platform Software.

Schematic diagram for cluster lifecycle management

Figure 4. Schematic diagram for cluster lifecycle management

Benefits of APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift

APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift provides an easy way for customers to take advantage of Red Hat OpenShift clusters. It simplifies operations for customers with automated patches and upgrades, integrated monitoring and logging tools and advanced security features. With more seamless data mobility and management across hybrid clouds, customers can run workloads at the right location that meet their performance, cost and security requirements.

With Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift, businesses can focus on adding business value rather than spending effort on deeply technical platform integration  and life cycle management. A single consolidated workflow for all updates helps remove toil by reducing the need for time spent on manual updates and operational overhead.

Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift provides the following benefits.

  • Simplified scalability: anchored by the extreme high performance of Dell Powerflex combined with the enterprise call power of OpenShift; allows scalability to meet the customer's needs. From small minimally sized units of 4 compute nodes and 4 storage nodes providing 256 cores of compute power to massive environments with hundreds of nodes and tens of thousands of cores
  • Supported by companies with long histories of security, trust, performance and financial stability: Dell and Red Hat are two of the most trusted companies in the technology industry
  • Improve Workload portability: Dell APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift simplifies hybrid cloud management to help organizations move workloads between on-premise and public cloud environments as needed
  • Red Hat OpenShift on bare metal: Instead of deploying Red Hat OpenShift on a 3rd party hypervisor, Red Hat OpenShift is deployed on high performance Dell bare metal hardware, streamlining and simplifying the architecture. This provides more efficient resource use, improves support and accountability, simplifies troubleshooting and helps reduce management overhead
  • Continuously validated state: Dell APEX Cloud Platform for OpenShift automates integration and life cycle management, so the platform remains in a consistently validated state
  • Update health checks: The security development life cycle provides updates that are thoroughly tested and validated before implementation, reducing potential update failures
  • Optimized storage: With optimized and consistent storage across the Red Hat OpenShift ecosystem, there are no storage silos, helping improve operational efficiency

Check out APEX Cloud Platform for Red Hat OpenShift architecture or visit Red Hat Architecture Center for an entire catalog of solutions that are all built off of successful customer deployments for hybrid cloud.

About the author

Ishu Verma is Technical Evangelist at Red Hat focused on emerging technologies like edge computing, IoT and AI/ML. He and fellow open source hackers work on building solutions with next-gen open source technologies. Before joining Red Hat in 2015, Verma worked at Intel on IoT Gateways and building end-to-end IoT solutions with partners. He has been a speaker and panelist at IoT World Congress, DevConf, Embedded Linux Forum, Red Hat Summit and other on-site and virtual forums. He lives in the valley of sun, Arizona.

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