Every technology event or conference offers insight into the future of IT. Few, however, rival the breadth of digital business impact or the passion among the attendees that Red Hat displayed this week. After only a few hours on the floor and talking with attendees, I am reassured not only that IBM is making a wise move with the acquisition, but also that Red Hat is incredibly well positioned to address the challenges of modern IT.
But before we get too much into what all the announcements mean, let’s review some of what happened. Here is a quick overview of some of the key announcements.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8: Red Hat augments its operating system to increase its accessibility with a new web console and capabilities such as Red Hat Insights, which leverages predictive analytics to help proactively identify and remediate IT issues, and Red Hat Smart Management offering on-premises systems and cloud management services for distributed, hybrid cloud RHEL deployments. RHEL 8 also offers enhanced capabilities for container-based environments with integrated containerized tooling and Red Hat Universal Image, a userspace image derived from RHEL offering a standard foundation for building Red Hat certified Linux containers across a broad range of deployment options.
- OpenShift 4: Red Hat has supercharged its solution for Kubernetes container-based environments with more extensive management capabilities for multi-cluster and multi-cloud environments. OpenShift 4 also adds support for Operators, incredibly powerful tools to automate core IT functions, such as installation, upgrades, and scaling. Additionally, Red Hat announced that OpenShift is available on Microsoft Azure as a service with consumption-based pricing, furthering the reach of OpenShift into the modern enterprise.
These are just a few of the announcements last week, but identifying a trajectory for Red Hat’s innovation isn’t very difficult. A few big themes jump out, including:
- Red Hat is helping to make container-based development and Kubernetes dramatically easier for larger enterprises with massive, multi-cloud infrastructure deployments.
- Red Hat is making RHEL, container-based development, and Kubernetes more accessible for organizations that are not traditionally Linux users.
- Red Hat is integrating intelligence and automation to enable organizations to maximize the value of their application modernization and digital transformation activities.
Red Hat wants to make application modernization via Kubernetes accessible to every business, not just the startup, but the massive enterprise as well, and not just the traditional Red Hat user either.
If we believe that every company is, or will become, a digital company, and if success in the modern data-driven economy requires digital transformation, then companies will become more and more driven by the developers. The increased influence of the developer will change infrastructure management and design. Kubernetes offers us a window into this future and could be poised for rampant adoption.
Also, if we think about the trajectory infrastructure management has been on for both the data center and public cloud services, we have seen a transition to more automation and more control higher up the stack. IT doesn’t have the time to manage each individual widget anymore. Nearly a quarter (24%) of line of business executives consider IT a business inhibitor, and speed of IT service delivery is a top reason why. Modern IT is too big for manual processes. If it is manual, it is too slow. With Red Hat’s Operator framework combined with container-based application development, IT organizations can achieve the efficiency boost they need so desperately while automating infrastructure management at the container level versus manually configuring each component.
All this combined with Red Hat’s goal to make Kubernetes more accessible means application modernization could very likely experience a surge in the next few years. Which is good for Red Hat, and now IBM as well. All in all, these new innovations reaffirm Red Hat’s position as a key provider of enterprise level solutions that transformed enterprise organizations can use to build their digital futures.