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Fans of Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) will remember last July when Red Hat and Nutanix, two powerhouse open source companies, announced their strategic partnership. Both companies were able to bring what they do best to the table. Nutanix Cloud Platform (NCP) HCI offering based on Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift were now jointly supported on an enterprise level. The announcements didn’t stop there; rather than just supporting the existing software solution stack, both organizations committed to a joint roadmap that required future investments. Current customers can harness a single support system, with both companies working together to overcome any issues they might encounter.

Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix Cloud Platform included the first newly certified hypervisor for Red Hat in 11 years - signaling  a dynamic shift in the virtualization based Kubernetes market. Users were able to immediately support new joint workloads virtualized through Nutanix on either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or OpenShift. The reaction from the market was positive, but the work was merely just beginning. Over the following months, both companies assigned alliance resources to help drive adoption and invested engineering resources into building out the items on the joint roadmap.

A significant milestone of our alliance roadmap was made generally available on August 3rd. With the latest release of OpenShift (version 4.11) the Installer Provisioned Infrastructure (IPI) workflow of deploying OpenShift on NCP is now available and supported by Red Hat. For those unfamiliar with OpenShift’s installation paradigms, for any platform that Red Hat supports, there are three methods of deploying a Kubernetes cluster. The first method is called a User Provisioned Infrastructure (UPI) deployment. UPI allows users to provision their infrastructure pieces and deploy OpenShift on top of them. This method generally allows for much more cluster customization but requires more manual work. The second method, called the Assisted Installer (AI), was recently released by Red Hat at the beginning of 2022. The AI method uses ISO discovery to identify the infrastructure set up by the user to deploy the cluster. The most automated and heavily requested method is called Installer Provisioned Infrastructure or IPI, which I briefly discussed at the beginning of this blog. IPI is an almost fully automated method not only to deploy a cluster but also manage day 2 operations of a cluster. With the release of IPI, both System Administrators and Infrastructure Engineers will save valuable resource time deploying and managing  OpenShift clusters on Nutanix HCI. Not only is this the quickest method of deploying OpenShift but it is also the most efficient for managing Day 2 Operations. See our blog on how to deploy OpenShift on Nutanix AOS using Installer-Provisioned Infrastructure here.

The Red Hat and Nutanix collaboration is more than just one solution offering. The initial terms of the collaboration included Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a supported operating system on top of AHV (Nutanix’s hypervisor) and in May 2022 Nutanix announced a certified content collection for Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform which allows users to automate their Nutanix infrastructure using Red Hat’s automation tools. All of the Red Hat and Nutanix offerings are covered by the joint support model, ensuring the best solutions and services are provided to our customers. The Red Hat and Nutanix partnership continues to grow which means more exciting developments in the months and years to come.

Check out episode 79 of our “Ask an OpenShift Admin” series titled OpenShift and Nutanix: IPI, CSI, and more!” to learn more about the Installer Provisioned Infrastructure (IPI) workflow and deploying OpenShift 4.11 on Nutanix Cloud Platform. In this episode Andy Daniel, Principal Product Manager for Nutanix, discusses the road to OpenShift on Nutanix AHV. You will also see a demonstration of the installation process and explore further integration between the two platforms. You will learn why is IPI/UPI support “important” and why we spent one year developing the capability.


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