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Here’s how Red Hat will integrate CoreOS with OpenShift after its $250M acquisition

By Patrick Martlew
Thu 10 May 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Red Hat has announced roadmap on how it plans to integrate CoreOS technology - including Tectonic, Quay and Container Linux - with its container and Kubernetes-based solution portfolio, including OpenShift.

Red Hat acquired CoreOS in January for (USD) $250 million, describing them as an innovator and leader in Kubernetes and container-native solutions.

There has since been a question around how the company planned to integrate the technology inherited from CoreOS into its own OpenShift platform, which the company addressed at its annual Red Hat forum in San Francisco.

The company says the CoreOS technology will be integrated with OpenShift to drive hybrid cloud-native services, powering a fully-automated Linux container platform stack, from the operating system to application services, across the hybrid cloud.

Red Hat says one of these integrations include the use of CoreOS’s Tectonic and Container Linux products, which will be positioned to drive automation at every layer of the cloud-native stack.

This automation will extend to Red Hat’s independent software vendor (ISV) ecosystem, serving to simplify application and service delivery on top of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform across hybrid environments with the simplicity of public clouds.

Speaking at Red Hat Summit, GM for the cloud business unit Ashesh Badani says, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome CoreOS to the Red Hat family.

It’s been three months since we made the acquisition and they have brought a great burst of passion and energy and they have injected that into Red Hat.”

OpenShift automated operations

Tectonic, CoreOS’ enterprise Kubernetes solution, offered a useful way to manage large Kubernetes footprints through automated “over-the-air” updates.

This feature is designed to provide a simpler way for IT managers to roll out updates to entire Tectonic clusters and underlying Container Linux hosts all via an automated process.

Now, Red Hat plans to integrate this capability with OpenShift, which it says will make managing Kubernetes deployments at-scale easier, with the vast majority of routine maintenance tasks performed automatically, lessening the need for constant administrator action.

The Operator Framework

CoreOS also established the concept of “operators” within Kubernetes, which are application-specific controllers that extend the Kubernetes API to create, configure, and manage instances of complex stateful applications on behalf of a Kubernetes user.

This effectively takes the “human knowledge” of managing a Kubernetes application and builds it into software, with an aim of making typically challenging workloads easier to deploy and maintain on Kubernetes.

The Operator concept is now encapsulated by the Operator Framework open source project, which was announced at KubeCon Europe 2018.

Building on this initiative, Red Hat has announced that the OpenShift Container Platform will use this project for the benefit of Red Hat’s ISV ecosystem, allowing them to bring cloud services, like messaging, big data, analytics, and more, to the hybrid cloud.

Red Hat says this will help ISVs address a broader set of enterprise deployment models while avoiding cloud lock-in.

The company also intends to extend its existing ISV certification program to encompass the automation capabilities provided by the Operator Framework.

Bringing Container Linux to Red Hat OpenShift

One of the most notable features of CoreOS’s container Linux solution is its container-optimised Linux host that includes automated, “over-the-air” updates, to keep large deployments up to date more easily.

Built around an existing community, Container Linux plans to retain its vision of providing a free, fast-moving, and automated container host while also providing content options from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora ecosystem, with a supported variant being provided under the name Red Hat CoreOS.

Red Hat CoreOS is expected to integrate concepts, technology, and the user experience of Container Linux and is intended to ultimately supersede Atomic Host and function as Red Hat’s container-centric operating system. Red Hat CoreOS is also expected to provide the foundation for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat OpenShift Online, and Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated.

Red Hat says its OpenShift Container Platform will also continue to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Red Hat Quay and OpenShift

Red Hat says it recognises that many of its OpenShift customers have used CoreOS Quay as their enterprise registry solution over the past few years.

As a result, the company is now directly offering Quay Enterprise and Quay.io for customers who require more comprehensive enterprise-grade registry capabilities.

Quay includes automated geographic replication, integrated security scanning with Clair, image time machine for viewing history and allows users to perform rollbacks and automated pruning.

Quay is now added to the Red Hat portfolio, available both as an enterprise software solution and as a hosted service at Quay.io, with future enhancements and continued OpenShift integration to come.

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