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Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 Gains AWS Service Broker Integration and More

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Red Hat released the latest iteration of its container orchestration and management platform on Nov. 16 with the general availability of OpenShift 3.7.

Among the new capabilities that have landed in OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 are AWS Service Broker integration, Service catalog, template broker and a preview of Prometheus container monitoring.

Mike Barrett, OpenShift product manager at Red Hat, told ServerWatch that OpenShift 3.7 is based on Kubernetes 1.7.6. The upstream open-source project released the Kubernetes 1.7 milestone on June 30. The most recent upstream mainline release is Kubernetes 1.8, which debuted on Sept. 29.

“We are a strong part of the Kubernetes community and so we are deeply involved with each Kubernetes release,” Barrett said. “We then take that release and further soak it in our QE test environments and our OpenShift Online clusters.”

Barrett added that during the hardening process, Red Hat does thorough testing and integration to flush out additional bugs that customers in production environments would typically hit. Red Hat then puts those bug fixes in the current release of Kubernetes upstream and then back ports them to the version of OpenShift that Red Hat is shipping.

“It’s not unusual for us to find 50-100+ bugs from the upstream release that could impact our customers, so we want to get it more stabilized before it goes to them,” Barrett said.

AWS Service Brokers

With OpenShift 3.7 Red Hat has added Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Brokers, which enable users to connect and consume services running on Amazon’s public cloud.

“The work began with the Open Service Broker API, which was a joint project between the Kubernetes community and Cloud Foundry community,” Brian Gracely, director, OpenShift Product Strategy, Red Hat, told ServerWatch. “This created the Kubernetes Service Catalog SIG, which was focused on making it run natively on Kubernetes, as well as the possibility to expand what types of service brokers could be integrated. This significantly expands the scope of OpenShift.”

Gracely added that in previous OpenShift releases, Red Hat focused heavily on expanding the application types that could run on the platform.

“The combination of the OpenShift Service Catalog and Service Brokers now allows customers to easily integrated 3rd-party services with their existing containerized applications,” Gracely said. “We demonstrated this capability at Red Hat Summit with AWS, showcasing how this will be integrated with several of their existing application services.”

With a few clicks, AWS services can be provisioned and bound to applications running on OpenShift, which is a great way for organizations to begin building hybrid cloud applications, Gracely said. He added that Red Hat has also made it possible to integrate other types of Service Brokers. This includes OpenShift Templates, Ansible Playbook Bundles and future third-party services.

“This allows customers to maintain (and expand) their investment in Ansible technology and skills. It also allows us to easily plug in new technologies as they emerge in the community and marketplace,” Gracely said.

OpenShift 3.7 also provides integration with the Red Hat Container Native Storage 3.6 release, which is based on the open-source Gluster project. Garrett explained that from a business model or pricing point of view, a customer purchases Red Hat Container-Native Storage as an add-on to OpenShift. From a integration point of view, it is integrated.

“If you have purchased Container-Native Storage, OpenShift is smart enough to see and use it,” Barrett said. “We have modified the OpenShift installer to offer options for you to install Container-Native Storage inside of OpenShift at first cluster stand up.”

He also noted that Red Hat has added options for customers to automatically have OpenShift offer the CNS storage to tenants for their applications as well as use CNS for the core framework components inside of OpenShift itself. Barrett said that with CNS offering S3, file, and block storage, it’s easy to get a OpenShift cluster up without worrying about where the persistent layer is going to come from.

Looking Ahead to 2018 for OpenShift

Looking forward to 2018, Red Hat has big plans for OpenShift. Barrett said that 2018 is looking to be the year Red Hat introduces a few new technologies in OpenShift, some as tech preview or alpha implementations and others as production quality additions.

Among the new projects that Barrett mentioned are in progress for OpenShift are:

  • Windows containers and higher-performance SQL Server on Linux with Microsoft
  • The Istio service mesh for new microservices application patterns and routing automations?
  • Integrating OpenWhisk with Kubernetes for function-based (serverless) computing
  • Further automations in NetworkPolicy to allow for a broader adoption of network flow control?
  • The incorporation of the Grafeas and Kritis open source projects into the upstreams as a better way to support attestation
  • The cluster registry from the multi-cluster working group and steps towards federation?
  • More lightweight and secure container runtimes that fit in a more cohesive manner with larger orchestration platforms
  • Better combination options and deployment patterns for hypervisor and container-based workloads.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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