The annual Red Hat Summit was held in San Francisco this past week and covered a wide array of topics including API management, application development/delivery/platforms, business automation, containers, data and analytics, DevOps, emerging technologies, hybrid cloud infrastructure, infrastructure modernization and optimization, mobility and security.

Every summit involves new announcements and developments pertaining to the open source world. Here are five key takeaways from this year’s event:

1.Red Hat is bringing container-native virtualization technology to Red Hat Cloud Suite

Red Hat states: “container-native virtualization enables developers to work with virtual machines in the same way that they would work with Linux container-based applications. This means that developers can create and add virtualized applications to their projects from the OpenShift Service Catalog as they would with containerized apps – the resulting application can then run side-by-side with cloud-native workloads on Red Hat OpenShift.”This is significant because as enterprise IT evolves the need to rapidly create, distribute and administer applications is becoming a priority of paramount importance. The separated ecosystems of virtual machines versus containers can hamper application deployments due to complexity, cost and integration challenges. Container-native virtualization helps to modernize, application development “to pull traditional workloads in VMs into the same workflow as containerized applications, helping them to deliver new, composite applications while cutting complexities at the same time.”

2.Red Hat and Microsoft further their unlikely alliance

Microsoft and Red Hat are working to link their OpenShift and Azure cloud ecosystems in order to help further the capabilities of developers to run container-based applications.

This move is intended to help pave the way towards expanding cloud horizons in the future. Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, said that “Gartner predicts that, by 2020, more than 50% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 20% today.”The goal of both organizations is to joint engineer OpenShift on Azure to make container management simpler for customers. This will be managed and supported by both Microsoft and Red Hat.

Red Hat OpenShift on Azure is designed to provide better flexibility to move apps between environments (both on-premises and cloud), faster speed and increased productivity by leveraging Azure services such as Cosmos DB and Machine Learning. In addition, container management capabilities will extend across Windows and Linux containers and methods to integrate Microsoft SQL server with OpenShift. In fact, SQL Server will be supported as a Red Hat container for development on OpenShift on Azure, and Microsoft Visual Studio tools can be used with Red Hat to work with .NET and Java frameworks.

3.IBM and Red Hat evolve their associated cloud strategies

Red Hat and IBM are expanding their relationship to focus on combining their technologies in private and public clouds for the benefit of their customers. Namely, the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and IBM Cloud Private are being tied more closely together.

According to Cormier:

“The agreement builds on IBM’s recent move to re-engineer its entire software portfolio with containers, including WebSphere, MQ Series and Db2. Container technologies are fast becoming a safe and reliable way to move applications across multiple IT footprints, from existing data centers to the public cloud and vice versa.”

What this means is that customers can shift their technological investments to the hybrid cloud platform more easily since IBM Cloud Private and Red Hat OpenShift can serve as a shared foundation. This can streamline the process of building and deploying containerized applications which can leverage cloud-based services IBM provides in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

IBM Cloud Private also offers “a self-service catalogue, deployment engine and operational management on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform across all footprints of the hybrid cloud including the IBM public cloud.” IBM PowerAI will also now be available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Consultant and implementation services are offered via the IBM Garage and Red Hat Consulting.

4.Red Hat is integrating CoreOS with OpenShift

CoreOS (also known as Tectonic, a Kubernetes solution) is used with Red Hat containers in order to utilize the hybrid cloud to deploy apps. By integrating CoreOS automation with OpenShift, Red Hat seeks to simplify public cloud deployments as well as enhance private cloud security.

Ashesh Badanivice, president and general manager of OpenShift at Red Hat, stated that: “Tectonic and Container Linux will help drive automation at every layer of the cloud-native stack, backed by Red Hat’s commitment to enterprise-grade stability and support. This automation will extend to Red Hat’s robust independent software vendor (ISV) ecosystem, enabling them to more easily deliver and maintain applications and services on top of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform across hybrid environments with the simplicity of public clouds.”Added benefits include easier upgrades via automation along with the advanced application development features of OpenShift to help manage deployments more effectively.

5.Red Hat is adding Kubernetes Operators to OpenShift

Kubernetes Operators involves cloud-native features and these are being added to OpenShift to help deliver cloud-native applications and services more easily to hybrid and multi-cloud environments. The goal here is for “services to ‘just work’ across any cloud where Kubernetes runs.”

According to Badanivice, “Operators on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform launches with broad industry support. At launch, more than 60 software partners have committed support for the Kubernetes Operator Framework initiative introduced by Red Hat.”Further the service automation entailed with this endeavor “can improve the lives of both developers and operations teams, enabling Kubernetes applications to function like cloud services, from self-healing and self-provisioning capabilities to easier management and maintenance at production-scale.”

Red Hat is also working to help developers test and validate Operators against Red Hat OpenShift to ensure applications will be part of the Red Hat ecosystem and will work as expected.