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On the third and final day of Summit, there were plenty more infrastructure talks to be had. Thursday’s sessions shared how enterprises can build private clouds with Red Hat® OpenStack® Platform and Red Hat CloudForms, kick off digital transformation with containers, and automate their infrastructures with Ansible by Red Hat and Amazon Web Services (AWS).  

OpenStack lightning talks
The first infrastructure session on day 3 lived by its name and was truly lightning fast. Jonathan Gershater, senior product marketing manager at Red Hat, kicked off the discussion by going into 5 reasons why enterprises that are exploring Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) private clouds should choose Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Before he got into those selling points, Gershater shared that when a business is going through the process of selecting OpenStack, the routes to consider are: which vendors to choose, whether to download bits from upstream, and whether to do it yourself.

Jonathan Gershater gives five reasons to choose Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Five reasons to choose OpenStack:

  1. Red Hat supports the entire stack: Kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor, Linux® operating systems, OpenStack distribution, and certified guest operating systems. When there’s a problem in another operating system, there’s an OpenStack compatibility to solve it.
  2. Security Features: OpenStack runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which, has common criteria certification. Community co-development models can help enterprises end up with stronger software.
  3. Upstream contributions: Red Hat is a leader in open source contributions. When customers ask for OpenStack features, we can propose them upstream and create change for our customers and the larger community.
  4. Cloud management and Red Hat Ceph Storage: When you get Red Hat OpenStack, you also get 64TB of Ceph Storage and CloudForms, which manages Openstack and Red Hat Virtualization and works with Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware, containers, AWS, Azure, and Google Compute Engine (GCE). CloudForms can build a hybrid cloud, managing OpenStack and the other solutions in your enterprise.
  5. It runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers 10-year life-cycle support, performance, hardware certification, and the stability and reliability that many enterprises have come to rely on.

Next up, Bob Callaway, technical director of the Partner Innovation team at Red Hat, and Donna DeCapite, principal staff scientist at SAS Institute, discussed SAS on OpenStack. DeCapite talked about how SAS deployed their microservices using OpenStack to build out a visual investigative product, which runs on a SAS Viya platform, as well as a containerized SAS architecture that was built by request for customers.

Callaway then tackled digital transformation: Like, what the heck does it actually mean? It’s a buzzword, but what’s underlying it? Callaway explained that it’s about breaking down walls between departments and capabilities in IT, and bringing them together. What Red Hat tries to do is put our technology underneath Red Hat Enterprise Linux KVM and Red Hat Ceph Storage. As a result, Red Hat offers great capabilities in those products that are accessible through OpenStack APIs, and also partners’ technology. An open framework gives enterprises the ability to swap capabilities or get their hands dirty. It’s a great infrastructure for moving to a cloud-native architecture.

With containers, there’s even more acceleration possibilities for developers to provide a standard format for providing the business value that they’ve been tasked to achieve. Enterprises are moving faster, but Callaway, likening IT infrastructure to a car, asserted that you have to trust that the tires are good, and that the transmission and engine are solid. Red Hat invests time in making sure the vehicle is sound, helping businesses go as fast as they need.

AWS and Ansible: Automating a scalable (and repeatable) architecture
Ansible by Red Hat and Amazon Web Services go really well together, creating a powerful technology and web services combination for a force multiplier. Ansible can be used to define, deploy, and manage many AWS services. Also, once AWS-based application environments are described within Ansible by Red Hat, users can deploy them again and again, scaling out to many instances across regions, yielding consistent results every time. Neat, right?


Timothy Appnel, principal product manager for Ansible by Red Hat, kicked off his presentation by sharing Ansible’s core concepts: it’s simple, powerful, and agentless (as well as datacenter-less and serverless). Ansible benefits from being built around Red Hat Enterprise Linux on an Amazon EC2 network. With Ansible, there’s a focus around best practices—not just for Amazon, but also for the tools that are being used, the cache layers, etc. One of the ways that you create these best practices is by working closely together.

Next, David Duncan, partner solutions architect for AWS, went on to share how the batteries are included for an Ansible and AWS integration. What he means is, out of the box, Ansible has dynamic EC2 inventory support and nearly 100 modules supporting AWS capabilities. Additionally, it contains database modules and provisioning in AWS and in the control plane, which allows users to contribute from there.

Appnel circled things back and discussed the integration between Ansible and Ansible Tower by Red Hat. Ansible Tower sits on top of the core technology and lets you scale your use of Ansible across large organizations, create reports and a dynamic inventory, provision callbacks, and more. He talked about the integration between Ansible and CloudForms to deliver services across your hybrid cloud, including management and self-provisioning.

Ryan Brown, senior software engineer for Ansible, wrapped up the discussion by walking through a few demos of Ansible Tower on AWS to provision a web app, demonstrate an Ansible playbook, and show a workflow template feature.

The combination of Ansible and AWS offers enterprises the power to improve current processes, optimize IT through automation and the creation of playbooks, and scale out infrastructures to allow for continued technological growth and innovation.

That’s a wrap
Thanks for tuning in to our coverage of the many informative, inspiring, and innovative infrastructure sessions at Red Hat Summit 2017. We hope to see you next year in San Francisco for Red Hat Summit 2018, happening May 8-10.

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