A series of press conferences at Red Hat Summit in Boston on May 2nd revealed some new advances by Red Hat in the application development space.
Harry Mower, Senior Director for Developer Tools and programs, stated: "When Linux started, it was a commodity environment. Linux and open source have moved from commodity to where the innovation is. If you're going to live open source you need to live open source."
Red Hat's goal is to be able to run any application in any environment with no lock-in and to make open source technologies consumable by customers via their new OpenShift.io environment, now accessible via a developer preview. Mower stated the OpenShift.io strategy is to foster an end-to-end development environment for cloud-native apps built on open source. "We have tried to solve 3 problems our customers have," he announced:
1. "They have to go through the pain of issue management, bug tracking, code and development environment, and pipelines. Many have dedicated teams to work on this. We wanted to simplify this process.
2. Get developers up and running faster and get containers simple and usable.
3. We asked developers how confident they were in their decisions and technology and found only 25% said they were. We want to enable developers and teams to be more confident about their decisions and technology choices."
How does OpenShift.io address these issues?
"We've provided everything development needs to plan, code and deploy apps," Mower said.
This includes an integrated tool chain, planning and analyzing tools to create space and collaborate and unique features to containerize work environments with pre-canned development stacks. OpenShift.io is intended to provide the integrate pipeline capabilities to make it easier to set up apps and environments, create Jenkins files, etc. and takes out the pain of getting started by using a wizard template process.
"We also provide an end-to-end dashboard view of the system so you can see how the code performed and how the team is working in production. The concept is based on machine learning, and artificial intelligence systems - it's been a 15 year journey to gather the right elements. We can scan code for recommended or unsafe packages or unsafe ones." Red Hat also includes a new set of runtimes known as Microservers Runtimes for OpenShift.This involves framework support for key runtimes such as Spring Boot, Node.js, Vert.x, Eclipse MicroProfile and Java EE. OpenStack.io can also build on existing services.
Mower: "A couple things about our vision for OpenShift.io. Customers tell us how much time and money they spend to integrate all their tools. Want them to have an option to not spend time and money and focus on creating software to make their business better. With .io you have the option to start by not having to set up anything. We know some customers won't like that.
We will offer an extensibility model to integrate best of breed products. Tools in the toolchain core to the business. People will want to run on premise and not exclusively in the cloud. That being said, we think over time people will get sick of doing this. Customers I've talked to over the years say, 'We'd rather have you do this for us.' As it becomes more of a commodity people won't want to extend it. The dev process will change; the things you integrate today will be less common going forward."
At the close of the session, the Red Hat team was asked: "What are you doing to support legacy code moving to the cloud?"
Mower and Paul Cormier, President of Products and Technologies replied that they have a portfolio of desktop tools which can provide a method for containerizing apps to move them to a container development kit / JBoss studio. You can then move these apps into OpenShift. They also offer a general purpose migration tool called Windup which allows legacy apps to be moved to JBoss EAP and can also help migrate into the cloud itself. OpenShift Runtimes can also assist with the process.Mower announced: "Everything on OpenShift.io is open source - you can pull everything down and run it locally. And if it runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux it will run in OpenShift... this is the first step in the line, and we plan to do a lot more."
Scott Matteson is a senior systems administrator and freelance technical writer who also performs consulting work for small organizations. He resides in the Greater Boston area with his wife and three children.