Red Hat, AWS Extend OpenShift Alliance


Red Hat this week reveals it has extended its alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to include a managed Red Hat OpenShift service that the two companies will jointly provide.

Based on Kubernetes, the Red Hat OpenShift application development and deployment platform is at the core of the hybrid cloud computing strategy that Red Hat and its parent company, IBM, are betting will drive the next wave of enterprise computing.

Under the terms of the expanded alliance with AWS, the two companies are making available a managed Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA) that is more tightly integrated with the AWS Console.

That offering enables customers to subscribe to Red Hat OpenShift services, which will appear on the same bill IT organizations receive for the other AWS services they consume. There are no up-front investments required to use ROSA, and IT teams only pay for the container clusters and nodes they actually consume.

Sathish Balakrishnan, vice president of hosted platforms for Red Hat, says this managed service offering is similar to a managed service offering that Red Hat offers jointly with Microsoft. Demand for managed services has increased significantly because developers have accelerated the rate at which cloud-native applications are being built, even though Kubernetes management expertise among internal IT operations teams remains in short supply.

At the same time, many IT organizations are now looking to standardize on a single Kubernetes-based platform that provides a higher level of abstraction and spans multiple clouds and on-premises IT environments, including edge computing platforms. As IT environments become more distributed, the need to rely on an external IT services provider to manage it only increases, Balakrishnan says. A common layer of abstraction will also make it easier for IT organizations to shift workloads from one cloud provider to another as business and technology considerations warrant.

Ultimately, organizations of all sizes will soon have to decide the degree to which they want to manage IT infrastructure themselves. In theory, the more they rely on an external service provider, the more internal resources they should be able to devote to new application development and deployment. Of course, there’s never been a shortage of managed service providers (MSPs). The thing that is changing most is that IT vendors are now providing these managed services themselves. Each IT organization that decides to rely more on an external service provider will need to decide if it makes sense to rely on a service provided by a vendor – that is optimized for that single vendor – versus relying on a third-party MSP capable of aggregating multiple services.

In the meantime, the rate at which cloud-native applications are being deployed across an extended enterprise is only going to increase as the overall global economy continues to steadily improve. The major IT issue of the day, now, is determining how best to achieve that goal in an era when the global economy has never been more dependent on software.

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