IBM subsidiary Red Hat has some big announcements this week from its virtual summit that could spell new opportunities for channel partners.
New OpenShift capabilities to a new version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are among the updates unveiled at the virtual summit, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday.
Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier told CRN just before the summit that channel partners are key to Red Hat growing its share of the cloud market, especially in the midmarket.
“It‘s our fastest-growing segment right now,” Cormier told CRN. “And that‘s what’s really good for the partners as well because, for us, that’s a big partner-led segment. We’ve got over 200,000 customers.There’s no way that we can cover directly 200,000 customers.”
IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has touted Red Hat OpenShift as a cornerstone of the Big Blue’s cloud strategy. And IBM Senior Vice President of Cloud and Data Platform Rob Thoma told CRN recently that IBM Red Hat OpenShift is driving a “big uptick” in partner engagement, even though both companies maintain separate channel partner programs.
For Perficient, an IBM Platinum Business partner and a Red Hat Premier partner, Red Hat technologies have been in a “good number” of transformation-type initiatives sold to customers, said Vishal Rajpal, area vice president of API and cloud platform solutions at the St. Louis-based company.
“Open-source solutions are powerful tools to help meet shifting expectations as customer needs and industries continue to evolve,” Rajpal said. “The health-care, financial services and retail industry verticals represent Perficient’s biggest opportunity to grow our Red Hat business. There is a considerable amount of application and infrastructure modernization happening in those industries, in addition to newer business models to support a post-COVID era, which are driving that growth.”
Here are the four biggest updates from Red Hat Virtual Summit.
New OpenShift Capabilities
Red Hat unveiled three new OpenShift capabilities, each with different levels of availability.
A management tool for application programming interfaces (APIs) meant to improve delivery of API-first microservices-based applications is generally available as an add-on to Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated and Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS, according to the company.
Red Hat OpenShift Streams for Apache Kafka is in developer preview, with general availability expected later this year. The tool allows development teams to incorporate streaming data into hybrid cloud applications, according to the company.
And Red Hat OpenShift Data Science is in beta as an add-on for OpenShift Dedicated and Red Hat OpenShift Service, with general availability planned for later this year. Data Science is meant to speed up development, training and testing of machine learning models without the associated infrastructure demands, according to the company.
StackRox Tech Used For Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus
Red Hat said that it plans to release a new edition of Red Hat OpenShift Platform during the second quarter. Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus is designed for development, security and operations across the hybrid cloud. Platform Plus extends security and tool compliance capabilities and has management and automation capabilities to allow for consistency throughout the software supply chain, according to the company. Platform Plus introduces Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes, a tool built from technology from recent Red Hat acquisition StackRox.
Platform Plus also brings in Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes and Red Hat Quay.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 Coming
Version 8.4 of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform will enter general availability in “the coming weeks,” according to the company.
This version adds new Linux container, deployment and management capabilities scaled for edge computing. Updates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s open standards-based container engine Podman should help with image standardization and control as well as container management across hybrid clouds from a central point.
Updates to Image Builder should help media installation for bare metal and help IT teams maintain a common foundation across disconnected edge environments. Red Hat Universal Base Image is enhanced to maintain the Red Hat Enterprise Linux production-grade security and efficiency for containers at the application level. And Red Hat Insights Subscriptions updates allow for more flexibility for cloud-based applications and a better view of subscription deployment and reporting.
Red Hat Insights Expanded
An expansion to Red Hat Insights, the company’s predictive analytics offering, is available now. Insights offers visibility across platforms and fragmented, siloed tools. Insights has been expanded across Red Hat OpenShift and Ansible Automation Platform, with the aim of reducing friction across IT and business organizations. Insights Cost Management and Subscriptions are meant to provide simple views of OpenShift costs by project or team.
Insights also has new capabilities with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including better threat intelligence and improved notifications, according to the company.