Red Hat Updates OpenShift Container Platform with New Service Catalog


Red Hat, an American multinational software company, recently released an update of its OpenShift container platform on August 9. This update provides users with capacities which are taken from open-source Kubernetes 1.6 release. This is Red Hat’s quarterly update of the OpenShift platform. This update brings in a lot of changes but the major one is an addition of a Service Catalog which will help IT or third-party vendors in creating connections to internal or external services.

This shows that in recent years, OpenShift has mainly become a Red Hat distribution of Kubernetes. The OpenShift is largely responsible for providing enterprise-grade container management and orchestration system to organizations. The previous update of OpenShift, i.e. OpenShift 3.5, rolled out on April 13, 2017. That particular update was based upon the Kubernetes 1.5 milestone.

This new update, OpenShift Container Platform 3.6, is based on “Kubernetes 1.6”. This Kubernetes 1.6 was released on March 28, 2017. The major feature of the update was the incorporation of the “etcd 3.0”, which is an open-source distributed key-value store. This integration provided improved scale.

About Red Hat

Red Hat, Inc. is a multinational software company whose major work is to provide open source software products to business communities. The company was founded in 1993 by Bob Young and Marc Ewing. The company has its headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and has offices worldwide. Red Hat provides a lot of services like storage, operating system platforms. Consulting services, training and support is also given by this software company.

They also provide middleware, applications, management products, etc. Red Hat has obtained a lot of software product codebases that are protected by trademarks or belong to big companies by acquisitions and business mergers. Then it releases these software products under open source license which allows developers to examine and further update them.

Red Hat is associated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is its business operating system. It is also associated with middleware vendor, JBoss, which is an open-source enterprise. After Intel, Red Hat is the second largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel version 4.5. Red Hat also creates and contributes to a lot of free software programs and projects. It is part of projects and initiatives like “One laptop per child” initiative, Dogtail, MRG, Opensource.com, Red Hat Exchange, Open Shift, Open Stack, etc. It has also created a subsidiary named “Red Hat India” to provide all the services and support to its Indian consumers.

About OpenShift

OpenShift is a software product made by Red Hat, Inc. It first released six years ago on May 4, 2011. This software product’s main job is container-based software deployment and management. In simple words, it is just the supported distribution of Kubernetes using the Docker containers along with DevOps tools. It is used for accelerated application development.

OpenShift is of four types-

  • OpenShift Origin- It is used in OpenShift Online, OpenShift Dedicated, and OpenShift Container Platform as a community project. It presents an open source application container platform. It is controlled by the application lifecycle management functionality and DevOps tooling.
  • OpenShift Online- It is the public cloud application development and hosting service made by Red Hat. It contains frameworks, databases and a lot of different languages through “catridges”, which are pre-built. They run under “gears”. Developers can use the OpenShift Cartridge application programming interface and add or change languages, databases, etc.
  • OpenShift Dedicated- It is the private cluster offering controlled by Red Hat. It is built within a center of application containers which are powered by Docker. It runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the orchestration and management is supplied by Kubernetes. It is available in different market places like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • OpenShift Container Platform- This was previously named as OpenShift Enterprise. It is Red Hat’s OpenShift platform-as-a-service product. It also runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and managed by Kubernetes.

Details of OpenShift Container Platform 3.6 Update

On August 9, 2017, Red Hat announced the launch of a new incremental update of the OpenShift Container platform, i.e. the 3.6 version. It is Red Hat’s enterprise-grade Kubernetes container application platform. According to big organizations like Copel Telecom, cloud-native applications are the path to digital transformation. We don’t absolutely deny that but there are major other IT issues like greater application security, compliance and service consistency.

The answers to these issues must also be found. The new OpenShift Container Platform 3.6 uses the new PCI-DSS applicability guide and also possesses fine-grained network policy and control and with the help of these it will look forward to solving all the above stated problems. The new container platform has features which will help deliver uniform applications across both hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. The full form of PCI-DSS is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This sets perfect practices and requirements for securely storing and processing all payment card information.

New Features of the OpenShift Container Platform 3.6

This new Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform 3.6 is based on Kubernetes 1.6 and runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and also the integrated docker container. The big changes that come to the platform after the update are explained below. As you all must be knowing that security is too important in this digital world.

The chances of important data getting leaked are more nowadays. Irrespective of the fact that modern, cloud-native applications exhibit better facilities and innovations yet they are equally sensitive to security as the old, traditional apps. This is the reason why the new update of Red Hat’s OpenShift Container platform focuses on helping companies pull off more secure operations at both the container and the host operating system level.

  • It has introduced a new PCI DSS product applicability guide, which as you must know, helps in making companies understand the ways to accept, process, store or transmit credit card information.
  • It has also introduced two new brilliant features, i.e. Secrets encryption and image signing. Secrets encryption helps in complete encryption of secrets and save them in rear storage to keep it safe and secure. It allows administrators to force signature usage on image content in projects which actually saves projects from piracy and keeps it secure.
  • A lot of improvement has been made to Network Policy, which gives better control to the administrators and they can check what information the applications are transferring as well as the network resources they expose.
  • The introduction of “Service Broker and Service Catalog”. They help the users to search, prepare and attach application services to their OpenShift applications. This works regardless of the service running in their data center or public cloud.
  • The new OpenShift Template Broker helps the users to choose OpenShift Templates using the new Service Catalog. This helps in distributing multi-container application services in OpenShift.
  • Another useful feature is “Ansible Playbook Broker”. This allows the use of Ansible Playbooks for distributing application services on OpenShift. It also helps in sticking together the applications, irrespective of the place they came from, i.e. OpenShift cluster or public cloud, etc.
  • The new merged installation of Container Native Storage which is built with Red Hat Gluster Storage brings forward a new three way replicated storage for the OpenShift registry.

Conclusion:

We discussed about all the new features of the update but the feature that stood out was the introduction of the new “Service Catalog”. It allows developers to enter and find pre-configured connectors. This works regardless of whether they were an internal connector to an Oracle database or an external one to a public cloud service from AWS or Azure. This feature is only out for preview and will be released later this year. Thank you all for devoting your precious time in reading this article. I hope the information was helpful.

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