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Red Hat Forum event report – Ansible and Containers dominate

I’ve just returned from a very warm Frankfurt where I was able to experience ISC on the opening day. This was courtesy of Red Hat who were holding their EMEA Partner Conference which was the main reason for me being there. This blog is about that event as I’m sure there will be plenty of ones written about ISC over the coming days. The Red Hat PC is a biennial event which brings Red Hat and it’s partner organisations together for feedback, training, planning and some celebrations too.

It’s wonderful to see an important open source company in such rude health and on the back of OCF’s recent promotion to top level Premier Partner status (indeed, we are the only partner in the UK to hold this position in the Cloud vertical) it was good to be able to attend, meet up with Red Hatters and other familiar faces from partner organisations and give feedback on the various challenges OCF has faced since the last EMEA conference in 2015.

Of course, these conferences are usually the places to go to get an idea for what’s coming up on the journey ahead and I attended several valuable sessions on the products that interest us, specifically those belonging to Red Hat’s Cloud Suite.

There were two big “takeaways”, to use the Americanism, from this event:

  1. Ansible everywhere – this Red Hat acquisition from 2015 is being or mostly already has been, integrated into Red Hat’s products. In some cases, such as Satellite 6, there is an expectation that it will eventually usurp puppet as the default configuration management tool in that product. This is expected and understandable – I have found it a wonderfully simple tool and simplicity is a valued prize in the increasingly complex world of computing. OpenStack’s TripleO deployment tool has already seen some playbooks added for carrying out basic tasks and we should expect to see deeper integration in the next releases.

 

  1. Containers everywhere – “Can we put this in a container?” seems to be the question on everyone’s lips these days and the product lines from Red Hat are no different. We should expect to see the containerization of the OpenStack control plane by default soon, removing lots of upgrade pain points and hopefully making the process of maintaining a private or hybrid cloud even easier. There is still a strong perception from vendors entering the market perhaps a little early, that OpenStack and cloud in general is “too hard”. Things have come on in leaps and bounds since the early days thanks to a significant focus on deployment tooling. Perhaps more interesting is the complete de-coupling of services from each other, allowing users to run isolated instances of, for example, a glance image store or cinder block volume service without the requirement for keystone authentication.

Microsoft played a visible role at the event too and it was good to see a formerly openly hostile company working together to respond to customer’s requirements and focus on integrating their Azure offering with Red Hat products and vice versa.

Finally, Red Hat also run labs and exams during the conference and it was good to be able to add CloudForms certification to OCF’s portfolio of skills offerings.

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