Over the past few years, containers have emerged as a simple and leading way to package applications in a consistent way across multiple environments, be it a laptop, a private or public cloud. To that effect, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform has built on the simplicity offered by containers to deliver what we believe to be the best way to build and run applications across the hybrid cloud with the same consistency of experience.

But the application is only one part of the story. The data that the application generates or consumes is just as (or even more) important and is usually the reason the application exists in the first place. Operators and developers should give serious consideration to the role and location of data for a true hybrid experience to be meaningful.

However, managing data presents a number of challenges. First, it tends to be sticky. Once written to a storage system it can become hard to move it without disrupting applications or end-users, even if it makes economic sense for it to be moved to another location. Second, it tends to proliferate, making it harder to know what data is being generated and where it is being stored. This can make it hard for a business to monetize a valuable asset, and can also cause developers to create multiple integrations into the different sources of data in order to make it useful.

Today, we are excited to announce that Red Hat has acquired NooBaa, which has created software to help businesses manage data across the hybrid cloud while reducing the risk of lock-in. NooBaa can enable data to be written to one location, or move it as necessary while enabling an organization to view their data assets across multiple environments.

NooBaa’s technology enables application developers to define policies for their data and its life cycle by providing an abstraction layer on top of existing object storage systems such as Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Azure Blob Storage in the public cloud or on-premises with Red Hat Ceph Storage. By abstracting the underlying cloud storage infrastructure for developers, NooBaa provides a common set of interfaces and advanced data services for cloud-native applications. Developers can also read and write to a single consistent endpoint without worrying about the underlying storage infrastructure.

We plan to use NooBaa's technology to augment the capabilities of Red Hat’s existing storage portfolio, including Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage by bringing a comprehensive set of data services. We believe that the combination of data resiliency features and greater ease of data migration between cloud providers adds to Red Hat’s value proposition around application portability.

In addition, integration with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform can enable developers to more efficiently create data-driven applications and take advantage of the advanced data services offered by NooBaa. By providing a consistent data experience across platforms, NooBaa is a complement to the application experience offered by OpenShift.

The storage industry has evolved from differentiating on storage services to data access and portability. The addition of NooBaa’s technology and talent pool adds a competitive edge to Red Hat’s offerings tailored to address the needs of developers building tomorrow’s cloud-native applications.

Ranga Rangachari is vice president and general manager of Storage and Hyperconverged Infrastructure at Red Hat.

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