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BOSTON -- The storage news at this week's Red Hat Summit covered three major areas of focus for the open source software vendor: DevOps, containers and hybrid cloud.
Red Hat did the integration work necessary to enable developers who use its OpenShift Container Platform to provision and deploy Red Hat Gluster Storage in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Gluster would run within OpenShift on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, with Amazon Elastic Block Store "underneath the covers," according to Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager of storage at Red Hat.
The Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, which integrates the Docker runtime and Kubernetes orchestration engine, was already integrated to work with the Gluster distributed file system in on-premises environments. OpenShift and Gluster could also run in the public cloud, each on its own. But Gluster wasn't integrated to work with OpenShift on AWS until now, Rangachari said.
"Customers who are running OpenShift for the first time will have a consistent storage substrate, regardless of whether they're running on physical environments or AWS," Rangachari said. "In a DevOps world, the developers don't want to be bothered with all the nuances of their storage infrastructure. They just want [storage] to be as invisible as possible."
The subscription transaction is between the customer and Red Hat, which takes care of the payment on the back end to AWS, according to Rangachari.
New reference architecture
Ranga Rangacharivice president and general manager of storage, Red Hat
Red Hat also released a reference architecture for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.5 with Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.2 on AWS. The company is also making available an Ansible Playbook, built around the automation and management tool that Red Hat acquired in 2015, to assist developers building a Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform cluster on AWS with Red Hat Gluster Storage.
Rangachari said the company plans to extend support for Red Hat Gluster Storage in OpenShift to Google and Microsoft Azure clouds to further facilitate the portability of containerized applications with consistent storage. He said as containerized applications become more stateful, with the storage and the application tightly coupled, developers do not want to have to write a new application for a different cloud.
Open hybrid cloud
Rangachari said as part of its strategy to help customers with an "open hybrid cloud journey," Red Hat is providing the technical tools to allow the customers to move from one public cloud vendor to another, if they choose.
David Floyer, CTO and co-founder of Wikibon Inc., in Marlborough, Mass., said enterprises with international operations might need to use multiple public clouds if they have constraints about moving data. But the notion of moving data from one cloud to another cloud is "for the birds, unless it's been properly tested, and all the vendors have gotten together and tested it."
"Once you put the data somewhere, that's it," he said.
But Floyer said Red Hat's integration work with OpenShift and Gluster on AWS is a "good trend," offering customers "tested systems where all the pieces are guaranteed or pretested beforehand."
Sky Italia uses Red Hat Gluster Storage in OpenShift on premises for a video encoding project. Davide Gandino, over-the-top (OTT) and cloud processing and delivery manager at Sky Italia in Milan, said the OpenShift-Gluster option on AWS would not be helpful with his organization's use cases. Although, he said he can see the potential benefits for scaling out storage in the cloud.
"You don't have any limit," he said. "If you scale in the cloud, it's easier. You can do it in minutes, maybe."
Red Hat Tuesday also extended its strategic alliance with AWS that will give customers direct access to AWS offerings from the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform console. The AWS products include the Amazon Aurora MySQL-compatible relational database engine, Amazon Redshift data warehouse, Amazon Elastic MapReduce managed Hadoop framework, Amazon Athena interactive query service, Amazon CloudFront global content delivery network and Elastic Load Balancing.
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