Red Hat OpenShift 4.2: Kubernetes for the hybrid-cloud developer

Red Hat, via OpenShift, wants to help developers build the new model hybrid cloud.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

I've said before that Red Hat wants OpenShift to be the hybrid-cloud platform. Now, with its latest release, Red Hat OpenShift 4.2, Red Hat is doubling down on this plan. 

As Ashesh Badani, Red Hat's senior vice president of Cloud Platforms, said in a statement:

"We continue to prioritize making the next generation of enterprise open-source technologies like Kubernetes even more accessible to developers while also keeping administrator priorities in balance. With these goals in mind, OpenShift 4.2 delivers on features to help customers accelerate application development and delivery."

In OpenShift 4.2, Red Hat makes it easier than ever to set up and manage Kubernetes -- the heart of the new hybrid-cloud model. With it, developers can focus on building enterprise applications without deep Kubernetes expertise.

It does this by adding ready-to-use developer services. These include service mesh, serverless execution, and cloud-native continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. Specifically, there are:

  • Red Hat OpenShift Service Mesh, based on the Istio, Kiali, and Jaeger projects and enhanced via Kubernetes Operators, simplifies the development, deployment, and management of microservices-based applications on OpenShift. 
  • Red Hat OpenShift Serverless, based on Knative and available as a Technology Preview, helps to lower costs by running applications that can scale down to zero while remaining responsive to user requests and then scaling up on-demand. 
  • Red Hat OpenShift Pipelines, in Developer Preview and available as a Kubernetes Operator, runs each step of the CI/CD pipeline in its own container, allowing each step to scale independently to meet changing demands.

It also includes Red Hat CodeReady Containers. These enable you to install a pre-built OpenShift environment on a laptop for local development. With this, programmers can get up to speed on Kubernetes programming. It's more than just containers, though. CodeReady also gives you a framework, which ties together container development tools with a local cluster. Then, once you've built out container-based, cloud-native applications, you'll be ready to deploy to an OpenShift testbed environment.

For developers, OpenShift 4.2 boasts the following features:

  • Web Console with a developer perspective so developers can focus on what matters to them, surfacing only information and configurations developers need to know. An enhanced UI for application topology and application builds makes it easier for developers to build, deploy, and visualize containerized applications and cluster resources.
  • Odo, a developer-focused command-line interface that simplifies application development on OpenShift. Using a "git push" style interaction, this CLI helps developers who don't know how Kubernetes creates applications on OpenShift -- without needing to understand the details of Kubernetes operations.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Connector for Microsoft Visual Studio Code, JetBrains IDE (including IntelliJ), and Eclipse Desktop IDE makes it easier to plug into existing developer pipelines. Developers can develop, build, debug, and deploy their applications on OpenShift without leaving their favorite coding IDE.
  • Red Hat OpenShift Deployment Extension for Microsoft Azure DevOps. Users of this DevOps toolchain can now deploy their built applications to Azure Red Hat OpenShift or any other OpenShift cluster directly from Microsoft Azure DevOps.

As you might guess from OpenShift's Azure support, OpenShift 4.2 runs across multiple platforms. With it, you can more easily install and run the OpenShift Container Platform across many different clouds. These include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and private clouds like OpenStack. This release also includes migration tools to make it easier to upgrade from OpenShift 3 to 4.

This latest release also includes improved Container Storage Interface (CSI) drivers. With these, third-party storage providers have a more consistent way to plug into the Kubernetes deployments. OpenShift 4.2 also supports OpenShift Container Storage 4, a beta Gluster-based software-defined storage program. 

Red Hat OpenShift 4.2 will be available in the coming weeks. You can try it out at try.openshift.com.

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