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Edge computing with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® is an operating system (OS) that provides a consistent, flexible, and security-focused platform, enabling faster data delivery and helping drive new innovations for your enterprise workloads at the edge. The streamlined platform helps efficiently manage your edge systems through a centralized interface–connecting data and devices at the source–giving you the insights you need for intelligent, real-time business decisions.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux puts a consistent layer on inconsistent edge environments, enabling you to confidently scale edge workloads with reliable updates and intelligent rollbacks. It provides supported access to open source innovation by representing your requirements upstream, as well as stable, efficient updates at the edge. IT teams can also extend hybrid cloud infrastructures and control hundreds of thousands of nodes.

Edge: A TL;DR

Edge computing distributes compute resources to the endpoints of a network, while leveraging centralized resources when needed. It’s a solution to the problem of needing to quickly provide actionable insights based on time-sensitive data.

The demand for data-centric innovation requires enterprises to operate at the closest point of data generation. To do this, organizations are transforming the traditional datacenter to a decentralized computing model, also known as edge computing.

Enterprises benefit by being better able to process data, support latency-sensitive applications, bridge legacy systems, modernize applications and mobile networks (like 5G), and use technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) analysis to identify trends and offer better products and services. 

When organizations standardize their infrastructure on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, they can reduce the complexity and security risks that come with workloads at the edge. It can also lower the cost of overall maintenance, produce shorter innovation cycles, and improve uptime.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux opens up the option to standardize on a full portfolio of capabilities that goes beyond the OS, such as container orchestration with Red Hat OpenShift, automation with Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform, management, middleware, storage, and an ecosystem of technology partners and services–delivering a fully optimized edge solution.  

 

 

There are a lot of challenges that come with deploying mini server rooms on lightweight hardware all over the world. Enterprises should consider how they might encounter some (or all) of the following edge deployment challenges based on their business needs:

  • Scalability: edge deployments require hundreds of thousands of nodes and clusters to be managed in locations where there are limited to no IT staff, such as an oil rig, high speed train, ATMs, and airplanes. This requires a centralized way to deploy and manage them.

  • Interoperability: interoperability within a multi-vendor hardware and software environment is essential for managing and replicating highly complex solutions. A flexible platform also allows workloads to be portable to the edge. 

  • Consistency:edge sites should be managed and updated in a consistent and secure way to avoid data breaches and take-over remote systems. Consistency in standardization of hardware and software can help simplify deployment and provide repeatable systems for infrastructure operations teams.

  • Security:edge deployments require both physical and digital security to protect data and business. A layered, defense-in-depth security approach takes advantage of the capabilities of each layer in their environment–from physical hardware to applications–as well as the development and operations processes in between.

An OS that can simplify deployments, operations, workload portability, and reduce complexity is ideal for pushing workloads to the edge. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is built for enterprise workloads requiring long-term stability and security across a broad ecosystem of certified hardware, software, cloud, and service providers. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation for all our software solutions. So when you’re ready to improve your edge deployments with automation or containerized microservices, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is ready as your enterprise open source OS.

Using Image Builder, IT teams can quickly create, deploy, and easily maintain custom edge-optimized OS images over the life of the system. Image Builder is provided by Red Hat Enterprise Linux and contains everything needed to run edge workloads in specific places. These images can be customized for unique edge workloads, helping keep edge deployments consistent, scalable, more secure, and compliant.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux's edge management helps securely manage and scale deployments at the edge, providing control and peace of mind at every state of an edge system’s life. The benefits of zero-touch provisioning, system health visibility, and quick security remediations are available from a single interface.

OS image updates are staged in the background of every edge device, ensuring workloads run uninterrupted and reducing latency typically associated with manual updating/patching. This remote device update mirroring allows each install to happen during scheduled downtime or when device owners choose to apply them. It’s an approach that can scale across hundreds of thousands of edge devices and improve workload resiliency by always applying a stable update.

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, edge systems with low bandwidth or limited intermittent connectivity can maintain uptime and stay secure with delta updates via rpm-ostree. The data-reducing package system only transfers updated bits (known as deltas) for app updates, instead of the entire OS. This reserves app networking resources and increases the overall reliability of edge systems.

Create custom health checks using the greenboot framework that automatically runs during the startup process. These checks make sure apps, services, and programs running on the OS are operating as they should across every edge device. And when a health check fails, the OS will revert to the previous state to prevent system failures. Intelligent rollbacks with Red Hat Enterprise Linux keep things operational—improving resiliency and reducing the number of professionals sent into the field.

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