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Red Hat Summit elevates open source innovation

The world's open source IT community is well acquainted with the Red Hat Summit — a collaborative forum hosted by one of the world's preeminent names in open source enterprise solutions. Held in early May over three days in Boston, Red Hat Summit 2019 attracted a range of participants, from career professionals to enthusiasts alike, including developers, engineers, IT administrators, consultants and analysts.

Co-sponsors WWT and Intel® were among the main Summit exhibitors. As close technology partners, we were there to gauge the latest trends, see what products were creating the most buzz, and take measure of the present state of all things open source.

We'd like to highlight three key takeaways from the Summit:

  • The huge interest in Red Hat's new containerization solution;
  • Some novel approaches to provisioning bare metal servers; and
  • The advantages of Red Hat's Virtual Central Office (VCO) platform.

Let's dig into each.

1. Modernizing the data center with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform

A significant portion of the summit was dedicated to containerization, and attendees expressed keen interest in the technology. Yet many still are trying to understand what containerization is, where it can fit into their operation, and how it can help transform the data center to keep them competitive.

Containers provide an OS-level virtualization method to deploy and run distributed applications and microservices with minimal overhead, using few resources. A lighter alternative to full machine virtualization, a container encapsulates an application in its own operating environment.

Recognizing the advantages and market potential of this approach, WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is currently testing and validating the containerization platform developed by Intel and Red Hat. Collaborating to simplify data center modernization, Intel and Red Hat co-developed Intel Select Solutions® for Red Hat's OpenShift Container Platform.

For those unfamiliar, Intel Select Solutions provides a validated reference architecture that uses verified hardware and software stacks optimized across compute, storage and network for certain workloads. Intel developed Intel Select Solutions in collaboration with leading providers of data center products and services — all of them longtime Intel industry partners. With OpenShift, enterprise customers can accelerate and automate the development and deployment of new applications, gaining new agility to develop even more apps and features.

WWT is currently investigating new containerization applications in the ATC using Intel Xeon® Scalable processors. To meet the ever-rising workload demands of the future, those Red Hat OpenShift solutions will eventually be adapted for the new 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Plus, the addition of Intel Optane™ DC persistent memory will help deliver higher bandwidth and lower latency as persistent storage becomes increasingly critical, especially at the edge.

2. The flexibility and simplicity of Bare Metal Provisioning

The most common way to provide computing infrastructure is through the use of virtual machines. But there are times when certain workloads require the full power of a physical machine. Current provisioning methods for devices are often inadequate, and new provisioning models are needed. That's where WWT's Bare Metal Provisioning Solution comes in.

Using our Bare Metal Provisioning Solution, users can select specific stacks and operating systems of their choice and provision them across a vendor-neutral ecosystem of hardware using the DMTF Redfish standard. Unlike other provisioning options, WWT's Bare Metal Provisioning Solution is completely hardware-agnostic, giving customers their choice of platforms to use.

Red Hat is currently working on a number of projects that will accelerate adoption of OpenShift on bare metal servers. Red Hat's Cloud Management BU to determine how we can streamline bare metal provisioning to the extent it mimics the ease of provisioning customers experience in public cloud environments.

Our ATC engineers are also exploring ways to better optimize and streamline customer workload deployments in the data center and at the edge. Through the ATC, customers can build and test comprehensive solutions leveraging different IaaS and PaaS solutions on the latest Intel hardware.

WWT also has plans to integrate our Bare Metal Provisioning Solution with other emerging Red Hat products such as Ansible Tower and Insights. This is a shared vision WWT, Red Hat, XLAB and Intel have to give customers unprecedented control over their infrastructure.

Beyond that, WWT is pursuing applications and partnering opportunities that extend to mobile edge computing, such as our recent engagement with MobiledgeX.

3. Improving agility and reducing costs with Red Hat's Virtual Central Office Platform

Red Hat's VCO software augments cloud and container platforms with tools for advanced automation and management. These enable users to create virtual central offices with network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Businesses that migrate to virtual central office services enjoy greater agility and reduced costs as they're able to deliver an improved customer experience.

Red Hat's VCO software is being validated and certified on hardware packaged by WWT to create scalable, tested and deployment-ready virtual office configurations for a wide range of business customers. We are currently designing and testing these systems in the ATC and readying new configurations for deployment later in 2019.

A unified open source solution available in the ATC

In conclusion, a successful Red Hat Summit 2019 confirmed what we already knew. That Red Hat is highly successful at tying its products together in an integrated suite that addresses the full lifecycle of customer needs. The "glue" that connects those diverse individual offerings is the Red Hat Ansible suite of automation software products.

WWT invites you to come see all these open source innovations from Red Hat, Intel and many more in our ATC. Schedule an in-person or virtual demo to learn more about our Bare Metal Provisioning Solution, or check out the wide array of Ansible trainings we offer.