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How Azure Red Hat OpenShift Simplifies Processes to Drive Innovation

The following is the third in a series of blogs about how innovation is necessary for businesses – and how Azure Red Hat OpenShift, a managed offering from Microsoft and Red Hat, enables that innovation. In this third blog, we’re going to go further in-depth about how exactly Azure Red Hat OpenShift enable innovation by simplifying how IT organizations would otherwise operate.

As we’ve highlighted throughout this series, the time for businesses to innovate is now. While not everybody is leveraging the cloud, the reality is that most are in some form, and those that haven’t are being left behind, as shown by Forrester reporting that businesses are now looking to modernize their core business applications.

Containerization is becoming one of the most popular methods to do this, with a StackRox study of IT organizations showing that just 21% of surveyed organizations had containerized less than 10% of their applications. The utilization of containers is changing the way applications are deployed – leveraging containers isn’t necessarily easy, though.

Organizations are leveraging containers – but they need help

In our last blog, we discussed why organizations are now leveraging containers – namely, the speed, simplicity, and portability that they bring, and how that enables innovation. However, we also noted that containers are a relatively new technology, and that generally organizations need a container management platform – most often Kubernetes – to effectively leverage them.

Even running Kubernetes is complicated, though. Most IT organizations don’t have Kubernetes experience at all, and expecting an entire staff to be able to pick it up is unrealistic. This is where container platforms such as OpenShift make a difference. Essentially, the OpenShift platform allows you to automate the deployment, management, and scale of containerized applications and makes it much easier to use than raw Kubernetes through a simpler interface, integrated CI/CD, and security best practices that are automatically implemented. Logging and monitoring are built in, giving operations teams a view to deployments wherever they are.

The result is that OpenShift allows you to deploy and manage containerized applications much easier than you otherwise could through raw Kubernetes. It is also much more intuitive and easier for beginners to pick up – in just a few lines, you can send an application out through the OpenShift command line. As a bonus, it comes with other features too that Kubernetes alone simply doesn’t offer. These features are even more plentiful in the Azure Red Hat OpenShift solution and extend beyond containers.

How Azure Red Hat OpenShift simplifies processes throughout IT

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At its core, Azure Red Hat OpenShift is a managed service offering that enables you to leverage the OpenShift Container Platform and Azure services, hosted on Azure. This means that Azure Red Hat OpenShift simplifies processes across the entire IT organization, going beyond developers (although developers also get some great features). The platform is easy to use, highly scalable, and highly available, coming with a service level agreement of 99.9% uptime.

The simplification is where the Azure side of the offering truly shines. With Azure Red Hat OpenShift hosted on Azure, Azure Active Directory is natively integrated, giving you Azure’s single sign-on process. Through Azure’s part, you also get the same virtual network experience that you would get if you ran pure Azure, meaning that you’re working within your own private network and are not reliant upon collaborating with the rest of the IT organization via the internet.

The scalability shows itself with the ability to extend your on-premises data center into the hosted Azure environment through OpenShift by moving workloads and data. Azure can be utilized when you need additional infrastructure and servers, essentially making it an on-demand data center. You can still keep critical workloads and applications in your data center too, while the ability to seamlessly move applications and workloads around with containers and manage clusters across multiple environments creates less distance between applications and services, reducing network hops and the resulting lag.

As well as that, Azure Red Hat OpenShift includes pre-configured best practices right out of the box, which simplifies processes. As mentioned earlier, security features for managing containers are already implemented, making the adjustment to a container-based world simpler. Security as a whole is emphasized with Azure keeping your workloads on your hosted virtual network, while the managed services mean you have a dedicated team of people that have managed hundreds of environments and have seen all kinds of configurations and approaches to solutions, errors, and issues.

Finally, the managed services support extends beyond security. Through the managed services, the operational overhead is more consistent, and you don’t need experience operating an OpenShift environment to make the most of it. In fact, Red Hat also takes care of the environment platform upgrades, managing the performance and configuring the environment for you.

What this means for developers

Although it may seem complex at first due to the combination of multiple services, development on Azure Red Hat OpenShift is actually quite straightforward once you have a handle of the OpenShift platform.

With the managed offering, application developers don’t need to worry about the environment. They can work on their own application, running it locally by building their own container and then verifying. While developers aren’t typically charged with DevOps, they may have their own environment to work in with Azure Red Hat OpenShift, giving them a sandbox in which to make and validate changes themselves.

The result of this is that developers spend much less time messing with the details on Azure Red Hat OpenShift and are instead able to spend time on developing innovative features and applications and pushing them out.

In the next blog in this series, we’ll look at some of the tools developers get that help them develop those innovative features and applications through Azure Red Hat OpenShift.

Learn more

To read more about Azure Red Hat OpenShift, you can download our guide, Power Innovation with Azure Red Hat OpenShift, by following this link or by following the prompts below.

About the Author

James is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at Perficient, responsible for cloud transformation marketing. He has been at Perficient since January 2019. James is originally from Australia but now calls St. Louis home.

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