Industry use cases of OpenShift

OpenShift is a cloud development Platform as a Service (PaaS) developed by Red Hat. It is an open-source development platform, which enables developers to develop and deploy their applications on cloud infrastructure. It is very helpful in developing cloud-enabled services. This tutorial will help you understand OpenShift and how it can be used in the existing infrastructure. All the examples and code snippets used in this tutorial are tested and working code, which can be simply used in any OpenShift setup by changing the current defined names and variables.

Virtualization

In general, virtualization can be defined as the creation of a virtual system rather than a physical or actual version of anything starting from a system, storage, or operating system. The main goal of virtualization is to make the IT infrastructure more scalable and reliable. The concept of virtualization has been in existence for decades and with the evolution of the IT industry today, it can be applied to a wide range of layers starting from System level, Hardware-level, to Server level virtualization.

How It Works

It can be described as a technology in which an application or operating system is abstracted from its actual physical layer. One key use of virtualization technology is server virtualization, which uses a software called hypervisor to abstract the layer from the underlying hardware. The performance of an operating system running on virtualization is as good as when it is running on the physical hardware. However, the concept of virtualization is popular as most of the systems and applications running do not require the use of the underlying hardware.

Physical vs Virtual Architecture

Types of Virtualization

  • Application Virtualization − In this method, the application is abstracted from the underlying operating system. This method is very useful in which the application can be run in isolation without being dependent on the operating system underneath.
  • Desktop Virtualization − This method is used to reduce the workstation load in which one can access the desktop remotely, using a thin client at the desk. In this method, the desktops are mostly run in a datacenter. A classic example can be a Virtual Desktop Image (VDI) which is used in most of organizations.
  • Data Virtualization − It is a method of abstracting and getting away from the traditional method of data and data management.
  • Server Virtualization − In this method, server-related resources are virtualized which includes the physical server, process, and operating system. The software which enables this abstraction is often referred to as the hypervisor.
  • Storage Virtualization − It is the process of pooling multiple storage devices into a single storage device that is managed from a single central console.
  • Network Virtualization − It is the method in which all available network resources are combined by splitting up the available bandwidth and channels, each of which is independent of each other.

OpenShift

OpenShift is a cloud-enabled application Platform as a Service (PaaS). It’s an open-source technology that helps organizations move their traditional application infrastructure and platform from physical, virtual mediums to the cloud.

OpenShift supports a very large variety of applications, which can be easily developed and deployed on the OpenShift cloud platform. OpenShift basically supports three kinds of platforms for the developers and users.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

In this format, the service provider provides hardware-level virtual machines with some pre-defined virtual hardware configuration. There are multiple competitors in this space starting from AWS Google Cloud, Rackspace, and many more.

The main drawback of having IaaS after a long procedure of setup and investment is that one is still responsible for installing and maintaining the operating system and server packages, managing the network of infrastructure, and taking care of the basic system administration.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

With SaaS, one has the least worry about the underlying infrastructure. It is as simple as plug-and-play, wherein the user just has to sign up for the services and start using them. The main drawback with this setup is, one can only perform a minimal amount of customization, which is allowed by the service provider. One of the most common examples of SaaS is Gmail, where the user just needs to log in and start using it. The user can also make some minor modifications to his account. However, it is not very useful from the developer’s point of view.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

It can be considered as a middle layer between SaaS and IaaS. The primary target of PaaS evaluation is for developers in which the development environment can be spin up with a few commands. These environments are designed in such a way that they can satisfy all the development needs, right from having a web application server with a database. To do this, you just require a single command and the service provider does the stuff for you.

Why Use OpenShift?

OpenShift provides a common platform for enterprise units to host their applications on the cloud without worrying about the underlying operating system. This makes it very easy to use, develop, and deploy applications on the cloud. One of the key features is, it provides managed hardware and network resources for all kinds of development and testing. With OpenShift, PaaS developer has the freedom to design their required environment with specifications.

OpenShift provides different kinds of service level agreements when it comes to service plans.

Free − This plan is limited to three years with 1GB space for each.

Bronze − This plan includes 3 years and expands up to 16 years with 1GB space per year.

Sliver − This is a 16-year plan of bronze, however, has a storage capacity of 6GB with no additional cost.

Other than the above features, OpenShift also offers an on-premises version known as OpenShift Enterprise. In OpenShift, developers have the leverage to design scalable and non-scalable applications and these designs are implemented using HAproxy servers.

Features

There are multiple features supported by OpenShift. Few of them are −

  • Multiple Language Support
  • Multiple Database Support
  • Extensible Cartridge System
  • Source Code Version Management
  • One-Click Deployment
  • Multi Environment Support
  • Standardized Developers’ workflow
  • Dependency and Build Management
  • Automatic Application Scaling
  • Responsive Web Console
  • Rich Command-line Toolset
  • Remote SSH Login to Applications
  • Rest API Support
  • Self-service On-Demand Application Stack
  • Built-in Database Services
  • Continuous Integration and Release Management
  • IDE Integration
  • Remote Debugging of Applications

Types of Openshift -

1. OpenShift Online

OpenShift online is an offering of OpenShift community using which one can quickly build, deploy, and scale containerized applications on the public cloud. It is Red Hat’s public cloud application development and hosting platform, which enables automated provisioning, management and scaling of application which helps the developer focus on writing application logic.

2. OpenShift Container Platform

OpenShift container platform is an enterprise platform which helps multiple teams such as development and IT operations team to build and deploy containerized infrastructure. All the containers built in OpenShift uses a very reliable Docker containerization technology, which can be deployed on any data center of publically hosted cloud platforms.

3. OpenShift Dedicated

This is another offering added to the portfolio of OpenShift, wherein there is a customer choice of hosting a containerized platform on any of the public cloud of their choice. This gives the end user a true sense of multi-cloud offering, where they can use OpenShift on any cloud which satisfies their needs.

Features of Openshift -

Companies using Red Hat OpenShift

1. Porsche Informatik speeds development with Red Hat OpenShift

Porsche Informatik, IT service provider for the Volkswagen Automotive Group, needed to speed application development and delivery to stay competitive in a fast-paced global market. The organization used Red Hat OpenShift to create a private cloud container environment. Porsche Informatik’s developers can now take advantage of self-service capabilities, and teams across the organization can work together more effectively with a DevOps approach supporting continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) workflows. As a result, Porsche Informatik has cut development time from weeks to hours and created a solid foundation to stay ahead of the competition.

2. Lenovo achieves digital transformation with agile cloud services

Lenovo, a multinational technology manufacturer, wanted to transform digitally to meet business demand and gain a competitive advantage. The company needed agile and cloud capabilities to launch applications more efficiently. Using a Red Hat® Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution, Lenovo decreased system deployment time and improved productivity through greater automation and increased support for collaborative DevOps work.

Lenovo wanted to achieve a rapid digital transformation to improve its capabilities and meet the business’s demands faster. However, this transformation required frequent updates and changes to the company’s entire IT environment, and some legacy systems could not keep up. As a result, the team faced major challenges in quickly developing and delivering resources. Lenovo needed a comprehensive solution that could support agile application delivery, increase productivity, and improve internal support for DevOps.

3. Ford Motor Company adopts Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift

Ford Motor Company seeks to provide mobility solutions at accessible prices to its customers, including dealerships and parts distributors who sell to a variety of retail and commercial consumers. To speed delivery and simplify maintenance, the company sought to create a container-based application platform to modernize its legacy stateful applications and optimize its hardware use. With this platform, based on Red Hat OpenShift and supported by Red Hat and Sysdig technology, Ford has improved developer productivity, enhanced its security and compliance approach, and optimized its hardware use to improve operating costs. Now, the company can focus on exploring new ways to innovate, from big data to machine learning and artificial intelligence.

4. LDCC builds cloud platform, offers new services to customers

Lotte Data Communication Company (LDCC), is a South Korean IT service provider with offices across Asia. LDCC wanted to prepare for the future by building a cloud platform to grow its business, integrate IT resources, and increase efficiency. LDCC also wanted to expand to a new service model and become an external cloud service provider, offering a public cloud for businesses. Using Red Hat® solutions, LDCC built an OpenStack®-based cloud platform. The move is expected to reduce the 5-year total cost of ownership (TCO) by 30% and floor space and power costs by 80%.

Challenge: Move to the cloud for greater opportunity

LDCC knew that to grow its company, increase efficiency and agility, and offer new services to its customers, it needed to transition to a cloud platform. By moving its business systems to the cloud, LDCC could integrate its disparate systems and create new commercial opportunities to sell public cloud services.

Solution: Implement an OpenStack-based cloud platform

LDCC decided to build an OpenStack-based cloud environment and adopt complementary technologies, such as software-defined storage and networking, as well as Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisors. However, LDCC did not have many in-house OpenStack experts. “A community version of OpenStack would not have worked, as we lack the expertise and manpower,” said Yoon-soo Kim, cloud service manager at LDCC. “We selected Red Hat primarily for its reliability.”

5. BMW

As a world leader in automotive engineering for over a hundred years, BMW continues to innovate both its production processes and its end-products.

BMW’s innovation featuring ConnectedDrive, the digital service powering features within BMW vehicles, was showcased at the RedHat Summit earlier this year.

Dr. Alexander Lenk, Lead Architect of Connected Vehicle, Digital Backend, Big Data, and blockchain for the BMW group explains that digital services are important for the company and its customers. Therefore, these digital services will be added to new cars as well as their existing fleet.

While the ConnectedDrive system has been in service for 20 years, it required a more advanced delivery system to deliver these applications and updates to over 12 million vehicles and support close to a billion weekly IT service requests.

In 2016, BMW began migrating its full application suite to OpenShift and support over 1,000 web-based apps for not only customers and vehicles, but also for factories, dealerships, and the full production and sales process.

CONCLUSION

OpenShift helps to power connectivity and cloud-based delivery worldwide, for leaders in industries across the board. By using OpenShift, these enterprise-level businesses are able to scale their operations, improve their service, and continue to scale and advance their technology platforms.

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