Organisations are increasingly moving to private or hybrid cloud architectures. They are following the lead of cutting-edge web companies that have built next-generation scale-out infrastructures that are inherently different from traditional datacenters. It’s important to note that change is happening not just in the infrastructure but also across the entire stack, from middleware to applications as well as how datacenters, IT, and developers operate.
Driving the need for these modern platforms that can service users and deliver applications faster is the movement by companies toward digital transformation (DX). Modern, connected digital technology is fueling a huge wave of innovation and disrupting nearly every industry with new business models, digital products, and new competitors. Competing on the digital front is essential today for business success, and enterprises need new tools to compete at the speed and scale of the new digital marketplace.
A primary challenge in today’s enterprise is how to adopt these new technologies and methodologies. Most organisations can’t start completely anew because of the large investment required and, equally important, the continued reliance on existing infrastructure and traditional applications — many of which have existed for several technology generations. So while there will be pockets of completely new cloud computing platforms, there will also be an evolution of existing assets.
OpenStack, an open source cloud platform first released in 2010, garnered enormous interest upon release and has built a sizable community of tens of thousands of contributors since. The project has developed and iterated its code base very rapidly during its lifetime into a robust, stable, and mature cloud platform that has found particular success with telcos for network function virtualisation (NFV) and in private cloud. OpenStack leverages hypervisors for compute but differs from traditional virtualisation in several key ways that define modern cloud platforms:
▪ Virtualisation of not only compute but also storage and networking to create a fully software-defined infrastructure (SDI)
▪ Fully automated processes that are not slowed down by manual intervention
▪ Control of and access to all infrastructure and services through easily accessible APIs, which creates the concept of programmable infrastructure or infrastructure as code
▪ Self-service portals that allow users to individually provision and manage their own resources, which are isolated from the resources of other users
Modern cloud platforms such as OpenStack are often architected to assume a cloud-native application, which allows the cost of infrastructure to be reduced while still providing a highly available application.
Over time, OpenStack has added many capabilities to accommodate traditional applications, but enterprises will still need traditional virtualisation for many applications. Enterprises have grown their virtualisation footprints over the past decade as vendors have made the technology secure and more than suitable for mission-critical workloads. Much of that footprint needs to be carried over into cloud, but using a more flexible approach where new management technologies can be used in conjunction with virtual servers to provide end users some of the characteristics of cloud computing.
Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure can help organisations adopt a cloud environment for both traditional and cloud-enabled workloads. With Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure (RHCI) provides a datacenter virtualisation platform for traditional applications and OpenStack for next-generation cloud applications as well as hybrid cloud management to unify the management across both workload types, running on-premise or in public clouds. It’s clear that enterprises will require a full solution to realise the many benefits of cloud while maintaining control and governance. RHCI is a prime example of a cloud solution that can help enterprises make the migration.
Download IDC’s report to understand how Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure can help your business prepare for private cloud and hybrid IT.