Red Hat tightened integration between its OpenStack Platform and OpenShift Container Platform to make it easier to manage both and allow for enterprises to run their Kubernetes-orchestrated container deployments directly on bare metal.
The move is part of Red Hat’s updated OpenStack Platform 14. That platform is the vendor’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering. Platform 14 is based on the latest OpenStack Rocky release.
Joe Fernandes, vice president of product for cloud platforms at Red Hat, said the tighter integration of the two platforms was driven by interest from its customers for a more unified approach to managing both. “We have some customers that have already hacked together a way to do this, but now we are doing it for them,” he explained.
The update basically makes it easier to install and run OpenShift on OpenStack. “It’s more of a push button deployment now where you can not only stand up OpenStack but also fully functioning OpenShift on top,” Fernandes said.
OpenShift is Red Hat’s open source container platform that uses Kubernetes to support the deployment of containers in a multi-cloud environment. The company last month updated the platform with key components from its $250 million acquisition of CoreOS.
Fernandes explained that one of the OpenStack Platform updates is the use of Kuryr as a networking connection for container workloads or Kubernetes pods into OpenStack Neutron. This allows for the removal of a networking layer that previously existed between those two environments that has to traverse into an SDN control layer. “Now the VMs and containers can use the same SDN so you can avoid the overlay on top of an overlay that reduced performance,” Fernandes explained.
Kuryr is a container networking plugin that delivers the OpenStack Neutron networking into containers.
The integration also allows for Red Hat customers to more easily deploy Kubernetes-orchestrated container pods on bare metal hardware. Fernandes explained that enterprises are looking to this route as a way to manage cluster sprawl. This is typically when an enterprise has multiple container clusters being spread across its infrastructure with many of those clusters running just a handful of applications each.
“They are looking to reign that in,” Fernandes said. He noted that sprawl has become an issue as people have become more comfortable running containers. This has typically led to the procurement of more virtual machines (VMs) to house those containers as virtualized environments have made VM procurement an easy process. Fernandes said that many of those organizations would be better served tapping into their bare metal environments for those container deployments, but have lacked a similar level of automation for those environments that are readily available for VMs.
Bare metal deployments don’t use typical VMs that are part of cloud deployments to house containers. This allows for better performance as there is no speed overhead lost to running a VM. A number of organizations that operate in the high-performance computing (HPC) world have cited the speed hit of using containers in a cloud environment as detrimental to some of their work.
The latest OpenStack Rocky release is also focused more on bare metal deployments. It uses the OpenStack Ironic sub-project for provisioning workloads onto bare metal servers. Those are servers that don’t come with a particular operating system pre-loaded. Ironic is one of the fastest growing OpenStack projects.
“We made enhancements to Ironic to make it easier to run OpenShift on bare metal,” Fernandes said.
The deployment of container platforms directly onto bare metal has started to gain traction. As an example, IBM earlier this year started offering native Kubernetes support through a managed service model running on bare metal cloud infrastructure. The move allows organizations to eek out higher performance from their container deployments.
Speaking of IBM, Red Hat’s latest updates come under the shadow of IBM’s pending $34 billion acquisition of the company. That deal, which was announced late last month, was tied to the growth of multi-cloud use in enterprise deployments and the increased use of Kubernetes to orchestrate container deployments.
Fernandes explained that Red Hat’s latest updates show that it remains focused on bolstering its open source and multi-cloud efforts.