Red Hat Updates Enterprise Container Platform

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 3.3 debuts as the company backs the new OCID project to build a new container engine for Kubernetes.

Red Hat

Red Hat announced on Sept. 22 OpenShift Container Platform 3.3 as well as a new project called Open Container Initiative Daemon (OCID) in a bid to optimize enterprise container deployments in production.

OpenShift Container Platform 3.3—Red Hat's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering—is the latest evolution of a product that Red Hat rebranded in July. It was formerly known as OpenShift Enterprise. OpenShift underwent an overhaul in version 3, becoming a container-based system using the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system.

Among the core elements in OpenShift Container Platform 3.3 is Kubernetes 1.3, which was released in July.

Red Hat also integrated the Docker Engine, though it isn't using the most recent 1.12 release. Instead, OpenShift Container Platform 3.3 uses Docker 1.10, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), along with Red Hat's patches and backported fixes, said Joe Fernandes, director of product management for OpenShift at Red Hat. Red Hat also ships the latest Docker 1.12 packages in RHEL for users who want to use newer features of Docker, he said.

"We will update OpenShift to Docker 1.12 when Kubernetes supports it, likely in the Kubernetes 1.4/OpenShift 3.4 release, which will be out later this year," Fernandes told eWEEK.

The big new feature in Docker 1.12 is swarm mode, which provides integrated clustering and container orchestration capabilities. Fernandes said that Red Hat currently has no plans on using Docker Swarm, as Red Hat is focused on Kubernetes to provide scalable, enterprise-ready container orchestration and management.

Red Hat did a thorough assessment of the container orchestration landscape before it chose to back Kubernetes, according to Fernandes. Red Hat's assessment found that Kubernetes has advantages in the areas of integrated service discovery, declarative health management, scheduling capabilities and storage orchestration support for running stateful applications. Kubernetes originally was a Google project, but is now run under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which itself is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

"Today Red Hat is second only to Google in contributions and provides an enterprise distribution of Kubernetes in OpenShift, but Kubernetes is also backed by a strong community of vendors and committers, and by CNCF as the neutral governance body," Fernandes said. "While other container orchestration solutions like Swarm, Mesos and others exist, we are happy with our decision and feel that Kubernetes is becoming a de facto standard for container orchestration in the industry."

Networking is also part of the OpenShift Container Platform. Fernandes explained that OpenShift provides an integrated, software-defined networking (SDN) solution based on Open vSwitch and VXLAN that provides multitenant container networking.

"Multitenant means that customers can run multiple applications on the platform and have them isolated from each other via Kubernetes namespaces," he said. "OpenShift also works with our SDN partners to integrate their SDN solutions with OpenShift as an alternative via the Kubernetes container networking interface."

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.