Red Hat Advances OpenShift With IBM, Microsoft Integrations

On the first day of the 2018 Red Hat Summit event in San Francisco, Red Hat reveals its future roadmap for CoreOS integration and details new partner efforts with IBM and MIcrosoft.

Red Hat CoreOS Summit

Red Hat kicked off is annual summit in San Francisco on May 8, announcing new partner integrations with IBM and Microsoft, as well as detailing the future direction of its OpenShift Kubernetes container orchestration platform.

Red Hat and Microsoft announced they have partnered for a jointly managed OpenShift container platform in the cloud. Meanwhile IBM is partnering with Red Hat to enable its enterprise applications including WebSphere and DB2 to run in OpenShift. Red Hat is also providing some direction on how it will be integrating technologies from CoreOS, which it acquired for $250 million on Jan. 30.

"We hear a lot about containers in the market now with a lot of companies saying they will offer Kubernetes," Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies at Red Hat, said during a press conference. "Bringing technologies into the enterprise is complex and it takes a lot of resources."

Cormier noted that Red Hat started OpenShift back in 2011 and has been developing the platform ever since. At this point in 2018, Cormier is confident that Red Hat has the platform and the partners to help enterprises fully realize the benefits of containers.

CoreOS integration with OpenShift

Ashesh Badani, General Manager of the Cloud business unit at Red Hat explained how technologies from CoreOS will be integrated into OpenShift. CoreOS originally started out with it self-named Linux distribution (called CoreOS Linux) that was rebranded as container Linux in December 2016.

"To us Container Linux is a fully immutable container optimized operating system for containers," Badani said. "That project is continuing, going forward."

Badani explained that Red Hat will combine elements of its Fedora Project Atomic container optimized Linux distribution and integrating it with Container Linux to create the new Red Hat CoreOS distribution.

"Container Linux was also the foundation of the CoreOS Tectonic distribution of Kubernetes," Badani said.  "We will also provide Red Hat CoreOS now as a deployment option for OpenShift."

As such, Badani noted that OpenShift customers can choose to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as Red Hat CoreOS depending on their needs. Badani emphasized that Red Hat is committed to continuing to support CoreOS customers.

In addition to the Red Hat CoreOS Linux distribution, Badani said that Red Hat will converge the CoreOS Tectonic platform into OpenShift over the next six months. One additional element of the CoreOS platform is the Quay container registry. Badani said that Red Hat will now offer the Red Hat Quay registry as a standalone product offering.


Mike Ferris, vice president of Technical Business Development and Business Architecture at Red Hat explained that relationships with partners to help enable OpenShift, are increasingly important. At the summit Red Hat and IBM announced that IBM will package its middleware technologies including WebSphere and DB2 as certified Red Hat Enterprise Linux containers. 

Microsoft is also extending its partnership with Red Hat, with the new OpenShift on Microsoft Azure service. Ferris said that the new offering is a jointly managed and operated service between Microsoft and Red Hat.

Container Native Virtualization

A common approach to container deployment has been to run containers inside of a virtual machine. Matt Hicks, Senior Vice-President of Engineering at Red Hat announced that Red Hat is now working on Container Native Virtualization, which enables KVM based hypervisors to run inside of containers.

"So the container is running KVM and you can do all the things that can do in Kubernetes because the core component is a container," Hicks said. "KVM virtual machines are just processes at the end of the day, and containers just wrap processes. So we have combined those two capabilities to bring VMs within the environment."

Open Source

During his keynote, Cormier noted that Red Hat is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, powered by open-source innovation, which is continuing in the modern container and cloud-native era.

"While we may think that we have accomplished a lot in that time and changed the world—we have—but I'm telling you, the best is yet to come, now that Linux and open-source software is firmly driving innovation in the enterprise," Cormier said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

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