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Here at Red Hat, we do things because they are the right things to do for our business, our future and our customers. But it never hurts to be acknowledged for them and to spread the word that what works at Red Hat can work for our current and future customers, too.

I’m pleased to note that CNBC has recognized Red Hat for bringing open hybrid cloud to Red Hat IT as part of its annual review of award-winning initiatives.

This acknowledgment springs from our work to move off legacy data centers, retire old and unused applications and architect a hybrid cloud infrastructure with distinct availability and security zones, which allowed us to make changes in the overall stack without disrupting operations in IT or the rest of the business. 

Our open hybrid cloud strategy matches the speed and adaptability demands of digital business, improving the availability, resiliency, and security of digital systems; and reducing operating costs. This project resulted in the shuttering of our legacy data center and the evolution of open hybrid cloud within Red Hat itself. 

Embracing change

Like most companies, we needed to modernize our infrastructure so our engineers could innovate at the speed of today’s digital businesses. This is what we enable our customers to do: operate within an open hybrid cloud reference architecture. 

To get there meant moving away from internal legacy workload environments, migrating and retiring environments and workloads, and building a reference architecture founded on Red Hat’s OpenShift and Ansible. 

We shrunk our IT footprint, became more economical, more efficient, and more effective at empowering engineers to deliver applications and services faster. Our managed platform service now streamlines its operations to be Kubernetes and cloud-native. It also prioritizes product and community features over building customizations. 

All of this resulted in increased reliability and enhanced security for the Products and Global Engineering organizations, decreased cloud spend, and a more economical, efficient, and effective IT solution. 

Success hinged on collaboration 

Our biggest challenge, we noted to CNBC, was to drive collaboration between IT and engineering. Our IT team partnered with colleagues in the Products and Global Engineering teams who would be using the reference architecture the most. 

We did this because, to migrate and retire so many environments and workloads, we needed a solid understanding of the applications inventory and creation process. That level of knowledge existed only in app teams. We approached many migrations on a case-by-case basis so we could learn what app teams needed and give them opportunities to co-create the new offering with IT. 

The symbiotic relationship between IT and engineering not only helped us deliver the open hybrid cloud within our company, but also ensured that each team would continue to operate at its best. 

What we ended up with is a platform that encourages well-architected solutions without blocking innovation. Now, engineering and IT exchange best practices regularly, helping each other find more opportunities to simplify operations, reduce spend, and improve efficiency. 

This, in turn, helps us create and share best practices with our customers who are facing the same hurdles. 

We thank both teams for their dedication to the open source principles of collaboration and transparency. As a result of the project, we shuttered our legacy data center in August 2022 since everything had been migrated out of it. IT started launching new platforms in the hyperconnected data center in July 2021.

The driving innovation

The future, we see, is built upon and powered by an open hybrid cloud.  But before thinking about turning something on, we needed to turn some things off.  

To deliver on the promise of open hybrid cloud within Red Hat, we completed migrations of more than 150 containerized applications and 140 virtualized workloads and dramatically reduced technical debt by retiring more than 150 applications. 

This innovative app-driven approach was necessary for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud strategy. The IT team engaged with internal consulting and engineering teams in a similar manner to how our customers would engage with Red Hat as a partner. 

The consulting team provided a high-level engagement at the start, reviewing IT’s proposed architecture and providing valuable feedback to help IT define and clarify its technical roadmap. The engineering team came in later, providing support with technical challenges IT encountered.

We also partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS), NetApp, SAP, Deloitte, and TEKsystems for support with various application migration strategies. AWS took on the broadest role, as it was involved with more applications than the other vendors. 

The measurable results

Our hybrid cloud transformation resulted in:

  • Retirement of 29% of on-premise applications (more than 150 total).
  • The migration of more than 150 containerized applications and 140 virtualized workloads. 
  • Containerized applications rising to represent 30% of the migrated portfolio. 
  • The team moving from 150 racks of equipment to approximately 30. 

These changes provide the foundation that both IT and the business need to be able to meet Red Hat’s overall strategic goals, including delivering innovation at the edge. 

As Red Hat’s customers continue to innovate with the open hybrid cloud, Red Hat’s own technology teams will now be right there with them–with our own experience to help us both be successful.

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