Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, January 22, 2021
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OpenShift Gets an Automation Upgrade 

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As the OpenShift platform becomes the centerpiece of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy, the company’s Red Hat unit is integrating its Ansible automation suite into OpenShift to help combine cloud-native and legacy infrastructure.

The idea is to preserve existing infrastructure while allowing customers to upgrade to cloud-based delivery of distributed applications and other hybrid cloud services.

Red Hat, which acquired Ansible in 2015, said the integration of its IT automation and DevOps platform with its cluster manager for Kubernetes running on OpenShift would help eliminate development and workflow siloes encountered among bare-metal servers, virtual machines and cloud-native clusters.

Separately, Red Hat announced Ansible and other enterprise automation platform upgrades aimed at expanding hybrid cloud integrations.

Red Hat launched its cluster manager in July to help users scale OpenShift deployments across hybrid clouds. The combination of the automation platform and cluster manager working in tandem would help “refine” existing infrastructure for future cloud-native deployments aimed at upgrading applications.

Many users “cannot afford to simply leave existing IT systems behind, given the investments and critical workloads based on these resources,” Red Hat said. Hence, “many IT teams are forced to split technology stacks and silo teams to address these disparate workflows, each requiring separate tools and strategies.”

Integrating the automation tool with OpenShift would allow enterprises to use Ansible for managing infrastructure as well as application deployment, added Joe Fitzgerald, Red Hat’s vice president for management.

The IBM unit also notes that enterprise customers moving more workloads to hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure, including virtual machines and application containers, require management tools spanning public, private, hosted and edge deployments.

The integrations support IBM’s continuing emphasis on hybrid cloud deployments, including the company’s spinoff of its IT unit to focus on an AI-driven hybrid cloud strategy largely based on Red Hat OpenShift.

Combining an automation tool with a cluster manager would help streamline IT workflows and assist with the “handoffs” between legacy and cloud-native deployments, the IBM unit added. The resulting control plane running across OpenShift clusters launches automation tools that can be used to deploy updates, configurations or scale server resources.

The integration also draws on Kubernetes functionality that among other capabilities can call upon the automation platform to handle tasks running outside a Kubernetes cluster.

Red Hat also said Tuesday (Oct. 13) the latest version of its Ansible automation platform is scheduled for release in November. Connector technology for its automation services will begin previewing next month.

Meanwhile, the latest version of Ansible includes new content collections—a directory structure and tooling used to consume content from that structure. The new collections cover OpenShift, Kubernetes Core and the VMware vSphere REST API.

Red Hat said its Automation Hub now includes more than 60 content collections.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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