Coming off a quarterly earnings report that shattered expectations, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst believes his company is as well-positioned to capitalize on the shift to cloud computing as it ever has been. On Tuesday, the company reported a 19 percent increase in both revenue and net income to $677 million and $73 million, respectively, during its first fiscal quarter of the year. The surge of interest in hybrid cloud approaches to IT infrastructure management has been a good thing for
Red Hat. Companies that have been slow to move to the cloud and currently manage data centers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux see Red Hat as a partner that can help them manage that transition. That's especially true as Red Hat improves the integration of its products with those of the big cloud providers, like it did last month in making some of Amazon Web Services' products available to customers of its OpenShift product.
Red Hat has launched what it claims is the first open source hyper-converged infrastructure product on the market. Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) combines a number of Red Hat software products that can be deployed on recommended server hardware. The foundation is the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system (OS). This is host to Red Hat Virtualization, the company's KVM-based hypervisor environment, while storage comes from Red Hat Gluster Storage. The whole is provisioned and configured using Red Hat's Ansible management software. Hyper-converged infrastructure has been a rising star in the datacentre in the past couple of years. It combines compute and storage with a hypervisor, often as a hardware bundle, but sometimes, as in this case, as a software product. The key advantages of hyper-converged infrastructure are that it allows for relatively simple deployment of compute and storage capacity, usually tailored to a specific virtualization environment. Scaling is also usually a simple matter of adding extra nodes in a grid-like fashion.
The British Army's Information Application Services (IAS) team delivers large corporate applications, hosting and web services that provide support to military families, veterans and more. Facing support and compatability issues with their legacy stack, the IAS team migrated its private cloud environment to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ansible Tower by Red Hat for automation and orchestration. With the new Ansible automation-based system, the Army has accelerated its pace of change by 75 percent. Upgrades that used to take a day can now be achieved with high availability in less than two hours, and can be scheduled after hours. Emergency patches that used to take approximately three days can be implemented in a matter of hours. Overall, delivering changes is now four times faster.
Bain & Company partnered with Red Hat to survey 449 U.S. executives and IT leaders across industries on the future role of containers. The survey found that the most digitally mature firms invest in technology that delivers adaptability, resilience, speed and the ability to use analytics for better-informed decisions that improve the customer experience and operations. Among the most digitally advanced traditional enterprises, all report that they consider their architectures to be agile, adaptable and scalable, vs. only 16% of those that are least advanced. When comparing more and less digitally mature companies, our survey showed that investment varies dramatically in cloud-based architecture, data access and advanced analytics (machine learning, Big Data), infrastructure optimization technologies, and modern application development and deployment platforms such as containers. Container adoption is expected to grow across all phases of the application life cycle (development, testing and production), with the growth being most dramatic in production. Some perceived hurdles to adoption include security issues, the impression that most workloads cannot be containerized (i.e., applicability) and worries about the lack of enterprise-grade persistent storage options.
Many enterprises have now reached a stage where managing the scale of their IT infrastructures is becoming a challenge second only to increasing the speed of provisioning. Among management technologies, automation is one of the most powerful. But automation is not merely a technology choice. First and foremost, it's a business choice. Without automation, supporting the growth of your business can be increasingly complex, to the point of becoming impossible beyond a certain scale. Here are four key reasons why automation is critical to managing a large-scale IT environment: Less waste, less complexity, less mistakes, less uncertainty.