Gone are the days when IT decisions were black and white.

The lines are blurred today. Virtualization and container platforms have started to converge. DevOps has taken on a central role as mediator between developers and system admins. Kubernetes has emerged as a platform for both infrastructure and applications. CIOs think in terms of on-prem and cloud deployments. Clearly, the operative word has changed from ‘or’ to ‘and’. This imperative is one of the drivers fueling the rise of hybrid cloud technologies.

Recently, Joe Brockmeier wrote a great blog post on the value of enterprise open source technologies. I’d like to extend that discussion to the value of open source in the era of the hybrid cloud.

We find that application portability is core to the value that enterprises seek from adopting a hybrid cloud approach. In speaking with some of the most innovative companies across every geography and industry vertical, one common theme seems to emerge - open source is the heart of their successful journey to the open hybrid cloud.

The Red Hat way

Given how intertwined the core value of open source is to the hybrid cloud, it should come as no surprise that Red Hat is all in on the open hybrid cloud vision. From Red Hat Enterprise Linux and storage to middleware, management, and Red Hat OpenShift, every engineering, marketing, and partner decision is filtered through the lens of the value we bring to customers on their hybrid cloud journey.

A highly desirable side effect of open source is customer choice. For instance, today at Red Hat Summit, we demoed Red Hat’s vision for our next generation on-premises hybrid cloud infrastructure that could run containers and VMs, Windows and Linux, side by side even on the same physical server. Expected to become available commercially in the coming months, this solution aims to simplify both the application development and infrastructure management experience on-premises by providing a single hyperconverged platform on bare metal server configurations. In addition to offering choice, it reduces the time and effort to operationalize, maintain, and upgrade, on-premises infrastructure.

Another example of Red Hat’s leadership in the hybrid cloud space is the focus of data portability that lies at the heart of application portability. Many enterprises lack the skill or will to migrate data across cloud boundaries or to stitch together a data fabric to allow for application portability. They look to hybrid cloud vendors to provide an abstraction layer that not only makes data ubiquitous but also invisible. All this while preserving data integrity, compliance, and security through business-level policies. No mean task.

This was the motivation of Red Hat’s acquisition of NooBaa to abstract the details of multiple data sources - possibly spread out in multiple clouds across the world - and make it appear as a unified storage substrate to the end customer. In other words, NooBaa helps make the geography of data, history.

In addition, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) permeate the IT landscape, in the form of workloads and features of infrastructure platforms, the relationship between data and storage becomes even more interesting. We are building highly scalable compute and software-defined storage platforms to support the next generation of AI and ML innovation.

Open Source as a trusted adviser.

Time and time again, Red Hat has invested in supporting industry-wide standards, when other vendors are satisfied with the sugar high of meeting time-to-market imperatives at the cost of interoperability.

This is a major reason customers see us as a trusted advisor, willing to stick it out with them in the long run.

Take container storage for instance. Linux containers are great but they do not provide persistence and portability all on their own. While some storage vendors are busy building point solutions to solve only a subset of problems for enterprises looking to move applications to containers, Red Hat has taken a holistic approach.

Since the early days of containers, Red Hat has invested in building a highly scalable container storage solution, that is not only based on the Kubernetes orchestration system but also affords customers portability across on-prem and cloud deployments. This approach is designed to help customers plan their hybrid cloud strategy systematically rather than playing whack-a-mole as new challenges arise.

Just as Red Hat has been instrumental in bringing Linux to the enterprise, we are now helping lead the charge to make Kubernetes enterprise grade and consumable for the hybrid cloud. As the puck moves towards operators for smoother management and automation of large scale container environments, Red Hat is already investing upstream in the Rook operators for storage.

Continue the conversation
This week at Red Hat Summit, we have on display some of the latest breakthroughs in open hybrid cloud technologies. If you missed us in Boston, or just want more, you can continue the conversation at Cephalocon or KubeCon in Barcelona later this month. We hope to see you there.

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