10 big announcements from Red Hat Summit 2022

IBM subsidiary Red Hat used its annual summit event to whet the appetite of developers for the upcoming latest version of their operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux and to provide more information about the new features of RHEL 9 around edge computing, security and automation .

The Red Hat Summit, held virtually and in person in Boston this week, also included announcements for the Raleigh, NC-based company’s OpenShift container software suite, more validated patterns to accelerate building edge architectures, and updates to Ansible -Automation platform.

The summit also shared the calendar with Red Hat parent company IBM’s annual think event, which was also held virtually and in Boston.

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According to Red Hat, more than 5,000 certified partner applications are provided by hundreds of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). These applications focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, development operations (DevOps), networking, and other areas.

Red Hat has proven to be a key enabler of IBM’s hybrid cloud growth strategy, with the tech giant reporting a 21 percent year-over-year increase in Red Hat revenue in its latest quarterly earnings report.

IBM’s consulting division has doubled its Red Hat-related signings year over year, with the Red Hat practice amassing a nearly $4.5 billion book of business from inception to date.

Recently appointed Red Hat channel chief Stefanie Chiras told CRN in an interview earlier this year that technologies that enable edge computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are some of the key technology partners the company will invest in.

Here’s what you need to know.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 GA is coming

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9 operating system will be generally available “in the coming weeks,” according to the company.

RHEL 9 promises a more consistent experience across the open hybrid cloud, from bare metal servers to public clouds and enterprise network edges. Customers have the option to choose the underlying architecture, application provider, or cloud provider depending on their business.

This latest RHEL release is based on CentOS Stream, the continuously released Linux distribution that precedes RHEL. By building on CentOS Stream, the broader RHEL ecosystem, including partners, has an easier time providing feedback, code and feature updates, according to Red Hat.

RHEL 9 Edge features

According to Red Hat, when RHEL 9 becomes generally available, it will include improvements for edge computing.

According to Red Hat, RHEL 9 will offer comprehensive edge management as a service. This service enables users to monitor and scale remote deployments with greater security and control functionality. Users get zero-touch provisioning, system health visibility, and more responsive vulnerability mitigation from a single interface.

According to Red Hat, the latest RHEL version will also have automatic container rollback with the integrated container management technology Podman. Podman can automatically detect when a newly upgraded container fails to start and then roll back the container to the previous working version.

RHEL 9 also features a new image builder service that works with custom file systems and major cloud providers and virtualization technologies including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and VMware.

Another key feature, according to Red Hat, is a simplified installer for remotely deploying systems with greater security at the edge or in a centralized data center. RHL 9 will have a FIDO Device Onboarding (FDO) technology preview to reduce time and cost for edge deployments and a gnome-kiosk mode for graphical environments with only essential components.

Security features of RHEL 9

According to Red Hat, RHEL 9 promises protection against hardware-level security vulnerabilities such as Specter and Meltdown.

The operating system is able to help user-space processes create areas of memory inaccessible to malicious code, and RHEL 9 provides Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) readiness, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other customer collateral needs.

The RHEL 9 Integrity Measurement Architecture (IMA) digital hashes and signatures create a new way for users to detect fraudulent infrastructure changes, the company says.

New automation with RHEL 9

The new version of RHEL has an expanded set of system roles that can provide an automated workflow for specific configurations.

RHEL 9 provides system roles for Postfix, High Availability Cluster, Firewall, Microsoft SQL Server, Web Console and more.

Kernel live patching from the RHEL web console will allow IT operations teams to apply updates to large, distributed system deployments without having to access command-line tools, Red Hat said. This should simplify the way teams tackle problems from the core data center, through multiple clouds, to the edge.

Ken Goetz, Red Hat’s vice president of customer success, told CRN in a recent interview that the company has introduced new dynamic skills paths for partner training, including infrastructure modernization, IT automation, migrations, upgrades, container management, acceleration paths of application development and other use cases.

New Edge Partners

Red Hat announced two new edge partners in its ecosystem during the Summit.

Red Hat certified systems now work with edge computers from OnLogic of South Burlington, Vt., whose offerings include small, fanless industrial computers and powerful, rugged computers capable of handling artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads.

Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) Element modules are now certified for RHEL 8 and 9.

RHEL Edge Systems certification is also available to help partners drive customer interest in Edge. According to Red Hat, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Lenovo and other partners offer RHEL Edge certified technology and expertise.

Red Hat OpenShift updates

Red Hat announced updates to its OpenShift container software suite, including more consistent functionality from edge to core to cloud with OpenShift Platform Plus.

Red Hat OpenShift 4.10, released in March, features zero-touch deployment aimed at enabling repeatable, automated setup of edge systems. Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) includes factory operations for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

According to Red Hat, manufacturers can preload relocatable OpenShift clusters on preferred hardware, giving customers a fully functional, preloaded cluster for faster deployment of Radio Access Networks (RANs).

Other OpenShift Edge updates include topology management with Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management. According to Red Hat, users can manage single-node OpenShift clusters, remote worker nodes, and compact three-node clusters. An Advanced Cluster Management Hub cluster can provision and manage 2,000 single-node OpenShift clusters.

New validated patterns

Red Hat Edge has received new validated patterns for IT teams that need to quickly build edge architectures.

Included is a medical diagnostic pattern that uses Git (GitOps) operations to help healthcare providers ingest, analyze, and act on medical images and data.

According to Red Hat, a multicloud GitOps pattern is aimed at organizations running workloads on different clusters in different public or private clouds.

Ansible updates

Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform features a new automation mesh visualization that shows where automations are running to provide scale where it’s needed.

According to Red Hat, users can scale capacity as edge environments grow and bring automation closer to edge workflows.

According to Red Hat, the recent re-architecture of the Ansible Automation Platform should also simplify scalable automation deployment across hybrid clouds and edge environments.

In December, Ansible Automation Platform 2.1 became available, with functionality around automation scaling, various environment connections and new developer tools for automation content.

GM collaboration

Red Hat announced a collaboration with General Motors to expand the ecosystem for the IBM subsidiary’s in-vehicle operating system, which is a Linux OS foundation for GM’s Ultifi software platform, which will be released in 2023.

Red Hat’s cloud-native, enterprise-ready, open-source operating system promises to accelerate vehicle application updates with ongoing security certification, according to the company. As a Linux-based system, Ultifi should be usable for almost all GM developers, suppliers and developers.

The integrated software will support infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems, body controls, connectivity and other safety-related and non-safety-related apps in the vehicle, according to Red Hat.

Kyndryl partnership

IBM subsidiary Red Hat and recent IBM spin-off Kyndryl announced a strategic partnership and integrated services and solutions based on the Ansible Automation Platform.

Kyndryl — formerly IBM’s managed infrastructure services business — will use Ansible Automation Platform as its primary enterprise automation solution for its infrastructure services, according to a statement.

New York-based Kyndryl becomes the leading service provider for Ansible Automation Platform. It already runs tens of millions of automations and manages more than 500,000 customer endpoints worldwide. Together, Kyndryl and Red Hat support approximately 900 customers worldwide.

Red Hat and Kyndryl will work together to build new storage and network automation capabilities across the Kyndryl services team. The two companies will also establish an Ansible Innovation Center to jointly develop services and jointly develop playbooks, enablement and support.

According to the company, Kyndryl service providers have more than 5,000 Red Hat certifications and accreditations to date.

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