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From "smart" manufacturing equipment to the latest and greatest mobile devices, modern IT is increasingly facing more and more demands at the edge of enterprise networks. Edge computing is very much real, as a recent survey by Analysys Mason calls out the concept as a top strategic priority for many organizations.

The requirements of edge computing, however, differ from traditional datacenter systems, especially when it comes to management. Just as virtualization management tools struggled to adapt to the rigors of cloud-native computing, edge computing necessitates a new way of looking at infrastructure management - flexibility, scalability and reliability are key characteristics of successful edge technologies, and management solutions must extend these concepts. The recently launched Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes is built with the demands of not only cloud-native computing, but also edge deployments in mind, addressing a broad variety of needs for modern computing strategies. 

Manage thousands of edge sites on a single control plane 

Edge computing meets customers where they are, and an increase in the scale and volume can mean thousands of edge deployments live across the country, if not the world. These applications range from AI/ML workloads to telemetry, and will be most likely containerized/cloud-native and built for speed and footprint. But before any of this, there needs to be a solid backbone upon which to build - almost across the board for all edge deployments, this foundation will be Linux. 

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is already the keystone for Red Hat’s entire hybrid cloud portfolio, with edge being no different. With the intelligence of Red Hat Insights built-in to the platform, RHEL is able to help IT operations teams identify, analyze and remediate potential issues at scale before they blossom into full-fledged problems. This could be a common misconfiguration issue or an unpatched vulnerability; either way, RHEL and Red Hat Insights brings a level of intelligence to the operating system that edge computing needs,  

Building on top of Linux is cloud-native infrastructure, most commonly Kubernetes - for more than 2,000 enterprises globally, this is synonymous with Red Hat OpenShiftT As OpenShift runs these apps, Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes helps contribute to making highly scaled-out edge architectures as manageable, consistent, compliant and secure as standard datacenter deployments. 

It allows organizations to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters and enable multi-cluster application deployments across hybrid clouds. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes enables organizations to scale cloud-native applications from development to production across hybrid clouds, all managed from a single point of control to keep systems up and running and help keep systems secure and properly regulated.

Consistent governance for new and existing clusters

While the capabilities of edge computing are beneficial on the surface, these deployments become much more complicated as policies shift and footprints expand. Uniformity becomes a necessity to consistently, more securely and reliably pushing out clusters. Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes helps accomplish these goals in an automated way, defining edge clusters and helping to deploy the appropriate application resources. As businesses, such as retail stores, deploy new locations to process data locally, Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes helps to make sure these new deployments are standardized to keep clusters uniform across a business’s footprint.

Respond quickly and effectively to security threats 

As organizations deploy clusters across multiple clouds and management complexity increases, security controls can become inconsistent across environments and verifying the compliance of software components adds to this challenge. RHEL provides a solid foundation with enhanced security controls to build from, while Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes brings the capability to centrally set policies for the automatic configuration of managed components across hybrid clouds. This enables IT operations teams to better maintain compliance with industry or regulatory standards. These policies can be enforced at scale with each new cluster, enabling rapid growth without greatly impacting an organization’s IT security footprint. The built-in policy driven automation helps enhance security, governance and multi-cluster and application lifecycle management for OpenShift deployments to help reduce response time to critical security threats.

As organizations continue to expand datacenters to the edge, having the proper infrastructure in place has surpassed being a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. The combined power of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes with Red Hat’s suite of offerings, such as Red Hat OpenShift 4.5, builds the foundational elements of a successful edge deployment, incorporating several imperatives to prepare your technology for the future. 

Learn more about Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes to see if it’s the right fit for your organization.

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