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Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes

Manage cluster sprawl with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubenetes

As you move modern applications from development to production, it often makes sense to have multiple fit-for-purpose Kubernetes clusters to support (CI/CD) of DevOps pipelines. This cluster sprawl continues as you add new clusters configured for specific purposes, such as edge deployments, faster response time, reduced latency, reduced capital expenditures (CapEx), and compliance with data residency requirements. 

Whether your organization is just getting started with a single cluster or already operating in a multicluster environment, you likely face some difficult decisions, such as: 

  • How can you manage the life cycle of multiple clusters regardless of where they reside—on-premise or across public cloud environments, using a single control plane? 
  • How do you get a simplified understanding of your cluster health and the effect it may have on your application availability?
  • How do you automate provisioning and deprovisioning of your clusters?
  • How do you ensure that all of your clusters are compliant with standard and custom policies?
  • How do you get alerted about configuration drift and remediate it?
  • How can you automate the placement of workloads based on capacity and policy?

How Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management supports Red Hat OpenShift and container-based apps

Red Hat® Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes offers end-to-end management, visibility, and control of your cluster and application life cycle, along with improved security and compliance of your entire Kubernetes domain—across multiple datacenters and public cloud environments.

Red Hat OpenShift® is the clear choice for container orchestration, offering a platform for deploying and managing containers in a standard, consistent control plane. Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provide the hybrid cloud management platform and capabilities that address common challenges faced by administrators and site reliability engineers (SREs) as they work across a range of environments such as multiple datacenters and private and public cloud environments that run Kubernetes clusters, including your remote edge sites. Certain industries, such as public sector environments, require strict compliance and U.S. Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) mode support, which Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provides.

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management lets you manage your Kubernetes clusters from one place. Provision new Red Hat OpenShift clusters across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure Government (MAG), bare metal, Red Hat OpenStack® Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, and VMware vSphere. In addition, existing Red Hat OpenShift clusters can be imported and managed, such as Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated, Red Hat OpenShift on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, OpenShift on IBM Z, OpenShift on IBM Power, Red Hat OpenShift on Amazon, and OpenShift on Arm architecture. 

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management can also import and manage your existing public cloud Kubernetes clusters such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management is FIPS-ready.

Key benefits

  • Accelerate application development with self-service provisioning.
  • Free IT teams from manual provisioning  with self-service cluster deployment that automatically delivers applications.
  • Increase application availability with the ability to deploy legacy and cloud-native applications quickly across distributed clusters.
  • Enhance security compliance with centralized policy enforcement across clusters.
  • Reduce operational costs with a unified management interface.

Features and benefits of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management

Multicluster observability for fleet health and optimization

Deliver an enhanced SRE experience with out-of-the-box multicluster dashboards that can store long-term historical data and provide an overview of fleet health and optimization.

Table 1. Features and benefits of multicluster observability

Fleet health monitoringSort, filter, and scan individual clusters and user workloads, as well as aggregated multiclusters with Grafana. Use the open source Thanos project for scalable metrics collection with long-term data retention. Get OpenShift cluster health metrics as well as non-OpenShift clusters such as EKS, GKE, AKS, IKS in the Grafana dashboard.
Customized metrics and dashboardsCustomize Grafana dashboards based on metrics you define and predefined metrics. Define service-level objectives (SLOs) on a cluster or the platform services, measure the performance against them, and dynamically adjust for deeper collection during critical events when root cause analysis requires it.
Dynamic searchUse the graphical console to identify, isolate, and resolve issues affecting distributed workloads and get better controls with configurable data collection for scale and security to limit what we collect from the managed clusters
Analytics through Red Hat Insights for Red Hat OpenShiftGain intelligence on cluster health for your entire managed fleet and take proactive steps and remediation actions as needed based on the analytics provided by Red Hat OpenShift-based telemetry and Red Hat expertise.
Automatic alert forwarding from managed clusters to Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hubRespond and troubleshoot more easily by getting centralized alerts of cluster health metrics and all your policy violations into your third-party tools such as Slack and PagerDuty.

Unified multicluster life cycle management

Create, upgrade, and destroy Kubernetes clusters reliably, consistently, and at scale, using an open source programming model that supports and encourages infrastructure as code (IaC) best practices and design principles.

Table 2. Features and benefits of unified multicluster life cycle management

Cluster life cycle managementGain Day 1 experience with cluster life cycle management using the open source Hive application programming interface (API). Create and upgrade new Red Hat OpenShiftclusters, or import existing OpenShiftand managed Kubernetes clusters, using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console.
Cloud providers supportedRed Hat Advanced Cluster Management supports the creation of OpenShift clusters on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure Government, bare metal, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, and VMware vSphere.
Enhanced cluster life cycle management (TP)Take advantage of features such as worker pool scaling with autoscale configuration, cluster hibernate, and resume via cluster pools to help deploy clusters quickly and cluster sets to more easily define access controls to a group of clusters.
Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform integrationAs part of the integration, supercharge your playbooks with straight-forward, security-focused, and Ansible-native access across your Kubernetes fleet powered by the robust multicluster management layer provided by Red Hat Multicluster Engine and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management, with the stolostron.core Ansible Collection. Invoke Ansible within Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for cluster life cycle management using pre- and post-hooks.
Multicluster networking with SubmarinerGet rich multicluster networking capabilities with Submariner for application components deployed across multiple clusters. Reduce the complexity of deploying application components and networking requirements across clusters.
Hosted control planes (TP)Host and provision containerized OpenShift control planes at scale, which solves for cost, footprint, time to provision, and portability across cloud environments with strong separation of concerns between management and workloads.
Central infrastructure management (CIM) for bare-metal deploymentsUse a self-service model that allows infrastructure owners to provide developers access to bare-metal infrastructure resources to provision OpenShift clusters.

Policy-based governance, risk, and compliance

Apply a policy-based governance approach to automatically monitor and ensure desired best practices configuration state for controls related to security, resiliency, and software engineering so that these controls are operated to industry compliance standards or self-imposed corporate standards.

Table 3. Features and benefits of policy-based governance, risk, and compliance

Out-of-the-box policy templates for security, resiliency, and configuration managementUse prebuilt policy templates to enforce policy on Kubernetes configuration (e.g., etcd encryption), identity and access management (IAM), certificate management, and deploy and configure operators such as Compliance Operator, Gatekeeper/Open Policy Agent (OPA), and Container Security Operator across your clusters. Implement policy-based governance via GitOps to meet internal and external standards using the open source policy collection repository.
Governance and risk dashboardUse the governance and risk dashboard to view and manage security risks and policy violations in all of your clusters and applications. Get details on violation history. Drill down into violation details by centrally accessing details from managed clusters from the Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management hub.
Customized policy violation viewsCustomize policies for various compliance standards, governance dashboard views, and views for most-affected controls for specific standards.
Open source extensible policy framework and policy collection repositoryDevelop custom policy controllers and policies and integrate them for centralized management into the governance and risk dashboard. Take advantage of the collaborative upstream policy contributions, using the policy collection repository.
Integration with Gatekeeper and Open Policy Agent (OPA)Get a fully supported Gatekeeper and OPA operator that supports deployment of the Gatekeeper operator to your fleet using compliance policy. Initiate Gatekeeper controls across your fleet to enforce various OPA policies. Centrally view and drill down into violations for all your Gatekeeper and OPA policies.
Integration with Kyverno PolicySetsGet enhanced admission control capabilities and mutating capabilities with Kyverno PolicySets. Generate and validate Kubernetes resources with the Kyverno integration
Integration with OpenShift Compliance OperatorDeploy OpenShift Compliance Operator at scale across your fleet, using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to enforce various security profiles for compliance standards such as the E8 Essential scan. Centrally view and drill down into violations for all of these security profiles.
Ansible Automation Platform integrationUse Ansible Automation Platform integration with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to automate remediation of noncompliant conditions and gather audit information about the clusters for analysis to promote proactive measures against policy violations detected by Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management.
Deploy Red Hat Advanced Cluster SecurityCentral via governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) policy (TP)

Get a consolidated experience by using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console to deploy Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security (StackRox) Central server consistently across clusters by creating a single policy through a user-friendly interface.

Policy generatorAllow policies to be auto-generated and deployed via OpenShift GitOps from existing Kubernetes configuration, Gatekeeper, and Kyverno policies.
Stronger security and edge scalability using templatized policiesGet stronger security with Gatekeeper Mutating Webhooks, which implements controls around updating nonconformant resources and can be coupled with policy templating for additional encryption with secrets management integration.
More efficient policy management through PolicySetsGroup policies for specific purposes (e.g., OpenShiftPlus deployment, ACM Hardening, managed cluster-hardening, grouping Gatekeeper policies, PCIStoreFront, HIPAA backend, etc.). This ensures an enhanced user-friendly experience of organizing, managing, and enforcing policies or policy sets for clusters at scale. Pre-configured PolicySets are available via GitOps as a starting point to use this feature.
Integrity of policiesEnable integrity for policies by signing them with Sigstore integration.

Advanced application life cycle management

Use open standards and deploy applications using placement rules that are integrated into existing CI/CD pipelines and governance controls.

Table 4. Features and benefits of advanced application life cycle management

Application topology viewGet wider visibility of the application topology and quickly view the health of service endpoints and pods with all the connected dependencies like image versions, associated placement rules, Kubernetes resources, and ConfigMaps, no matter if your application was created within Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management, Red Hat OpenShift, or Flux.
Channels and subscriptionsAutomatically deploy applications to specific clusters by subscribing to different workload (resource) channels such as GitHub, Helm repository, and ObjectStore types.
Placement rulesRapidly deploy workloads across your fleet, or only to specific clusters, on the basis of placement rule definitions and time windows to control when and where your applications are being deployed.
Ansible Automation Platform integrationAutomate everything outside of Kubernetes with your application deployments through pre and post-hook Ansible jobs. For example, automate and configure networking, databases, load balancers, and firewalls with Ansible Automation Platform integration.
Application builderIntuitive application creation experience using a form-based input with contextual help to guide you in defining your application components without dealing directly with YAML.
OpenShift GitOps/Argo CD integrationUse Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to allow OpenShift GitOps/Argo CD to automatically deliver content as clusters come online or get imported. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management policies work in tandem with Argo CD to make sure compliance and configuration are managed and maintained at scale for tighter CI/CD alignment. View and troubleshoot applications deployed by Argo CD in the Advanced Cluster Management application topology view. Create application set objects for your clusters that are registered within Argo, directly from Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management console.

Edge management at scale

With single-node OpenShift clusters and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management, continuously scale while enabling availability in high-latency, low-bandwidth edge use cases.

Table 5. Features and benefits of edge management at scale

Enhanced scalabilityThe number of single-node OpenShift clusters managed by a single Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management  hub is 2,500. Additionally, the IPV6 dual stack support simplifies the management of a scaled out edge architecture. These features ensure scalability in low-bandwidth, high-latency connections and disconnected sites.
Zero-touch provisioningUse Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management with Assisted Installer on-premise for high-scale cluster deployment serving telco and edge scenarios.
Single-node OpenShift managementGet full management capabilities for your single-node OpenShift clusters essential for your edge use cases.
Hub-side policy templatingReduce the number of policies for high-scale management scenarios by allowing them to refer to data from resources on the hub.

Business continuity

Use Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management along with the broader Red Hat portfolio to ensure the applications and stateful applications your business relies on are always up and running.

Table 6. Features and benefits of business continuity

Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management Hub backup and restoreBack up your managed cluster configurations more securely and restore them in a different hub cluster, using a backup solution based on OpenShift API for Data Protection.
Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation for disaster recovery (DR) (TP)Provide a robust multisite, multicluster disaster recovery (DR) strategy for your stateful applications using OpenShift Data Foundation and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management. OpenShift Data Foundation ensures your application data volumes and persistent volumes (PVs) are consistently and frequently replicated. DR operators that are set up with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management can automate the DR failover and failback processes asynchronously with Regional-DR for minimal recovery point objective (RPO) or synchronously with Metro-DR for no RPO at all.
PV replication using volSyncEnsure resilience for the stateful applications your business relies on by providing a planned application migration strategy across your clusters. You can also use volSync to create your own DR solution when working with alternative vendors’ storage or heterogeneous storage products.

Technical specifications for Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management

Hub cluster 

  • Operator-based installation
  • Available on 
  • Requires Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, 4.8.x and above

Managed clusters 

  • Full life cycle management: any version of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.8 and above: 
    • Red Hat OpenShift on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure Government , VMware vSphere, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, and bare metal
  • Import and manage: 
  • Limited life cycle support for managed Kubernetes clusters: 
    • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) 
    • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) 
    • IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service (IKS) 
    • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provides observability, application life cycle management, and policy-based management of imported clusters.
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management provides full cluster life cycle management (create, upgrade, destroy) with additional security compliance capability for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform clusters.

High availability 

  • Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform availability zone supported 
  • Limitation for search component based on RedisGraph

Resource requirements 

  • 3 masters, 3 infrastructure nodes, 6 vCPU, and 16GB RAM
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