Red Hat Summit 2021: Red Hat Applies Integration Expertise to Operational Digitization Complexities

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Red Hat takes its managed services offering to the next level by operationalizing the complex digitization process, showcasing OpenShift’s expertise in integration and API management

• Red Hat OpenShift includes deeper integrations with key services including container security, insights and observability, and a consolidated automation platform which now includes Ansible

The Red Hat Summit conference illustrated how an integration company helps customers’ tackle the challenges behind operational digitization of app modernization. Specifically, through a consolidated platform that includes best-of-breed API management and mature streaming technology for connecting real-time data between apps and backend systems.

Complex operational requirements are a major deterrent in business transformations. IT buyers must overcome the challenge of assembling solutions that combine and orchestrate both the business software and the infrastructure on which that software runs. Although providers of switching, server, storage, virtualization, and cloud software technology have begun rolling out new solutions supporting better operational provisioning, no single vendor is yet capable of managing the entire lifecycle of this amalgamation.

During its mega annual conference, Red Hat highlighted the increased role of its managed services in helping customers navigate those hurdles, from refactoring applications to infrastructure configurations and backend systems integration and connectivity. Initially released two years ago as OpenShift Dedicated, Red Hat added three new managed cloud services (API management, Streams for Apache Kafka, and Data Science) highlighting its strengths in integration. Additionally, Red Hat is honing OpenShift platform’s hybrid cloud strategy through deeper integrations with key services including container security (StackRox), observability (Insights), and a more consolidated automation platform (Ansible). (Please see Red Hat Summit 2021: How an Integration Vendor Transforms Enterprises.)

Red Hat OpenShift plays into a larger market segment GlobalData calls application and platform lifecycle management (APLM), representing a growing and highly competitive IT market segment. The term reflects the convergence of several technologies and technology initiatives, including modern application development platforms, hybrid cloud environments that integrate private cloud architectures with one or more public clouds, and the orchestration, automation, securing, and integration of business and IT systems. Together, all of these aim to support increasingly complex distributed systems under a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CICD) model, which ultimately affect business outcomes and associated customer experiences.

Red Hat recognizes the need for a lifecycle-complete cloud platform that supports customer and partner development, deployment, hosting, and management, as demonstrated via Red Hat OpenShift integrations with IBM Cloud Paks which enhance its Kubernetes service. Through Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management (ACM) for Kubernetes, Red Hat re-evaluated its cloud-native management, allowing organizations to further extend and scale Red Hat OpenShift with enterprise-grade management capabilities across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, as well as delivering built-in policy-driven automation for security, governance and multi-cluster and application lifecycle management for OpenShift deployments.

As vendors embrace APLM opportunities, some are rolling out new and more flexible models for delivering and managing IT solutions on behalf of their customers, such as Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK). These evolving delivery and management models extend to hybrid and multi-cloud solutions, as well as associated tools for infrastructure and application management; they include vendor-managed private/hybrid cloud, vendor-hosted, and pay-per-use solutions.

Executives strongly emphasized Red Hat’s OSS advantage among vendors competing for enterprises’ digital transformation investments, a point validated by Red Hat’s $34 billion acquisition by IBM and subsequent integration accomplishments including OpenShift and IBM Cloud Paks. While officials have always maintained plans to operate the companies separately, a continued consolidation of brain trust between the industry’s two middleware heavyweights will be more advantageous to customers while setting up IBM and Red Hat to be more competitive in the hotly contested hybrid cloud market. Collaborative efforts between the two organizations would be particularly fruitful in staying ahead of the competition in emerging markets such as intelligent automation and observability.

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