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Delving into the container-based Red Hat PaaS, OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is a developer-focused PaaS that supports application development teams in a range of industries and business sizes.

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and its associated programs are a PaaS package that offers enterprise IT developers multiple platform options for development activities, and support both existing or rearchitected and cloud-native applications. The Red Hat PaaS focuses on three major areas: application development and delivery, application architectures, and infrastructure and application platforms. In addition to OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat also offers two other platforms: OpenShift Dedicated, a single-tenant product that interfaces with Openshift Container, and OpenShift Online, a multi-tenant application for individual developers. All three Red Hat PaaS products are available as on-premises or cloud-based offerings.

OpenShift offers a number of core software components. It combines Docker packaging and Kubernetes cluster management to produce developer lifecycle automation and container management. The lifecycle automation provides pre-existing templates for configuration, provision and build-scheduling so developers can streamline the application construction and deployment process. OpenShift's container management capabilities let users monitor performance. These capabilities enforce security guidelines and track quotas, user access controls and visibility over four major datacenter footprints: physical, virtual, private and public cloud environments. These interface with several facets of the application processing platform, including secure registration, user authentication, monitoring, logging and role-based access control. Container infrastructure services that are packaged as a runtime environment allow users to operate application components like overlay, software-defined networking, storage, registry and container orchestration.

In its latest version, Red Hat has added a Container Network Interface plug-in to Kubernetes in order to stay current with the ever-growing range of network options available to Kubernetes. OpenShift also offers other software utilities like self-service, image stream, continuous integration/deployment (CI/CD) and automated application updates.

OpenShift supports a large number of programming languages including Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Perl and Tomcat. It supports so many languages largely due in part to add-on modules that use OpenShift APIs. In Nov. 2015, Red Hat partnered with Microsoft to provide more options such as .NET Core.

Red Hat PaaS provides integration support for developer tools

Interface support for other on-premises applications and software and infrastructure as a service is included in Red Hat PaaS products and includes integration support for developer tools like integrated development environments, build automations, test automations and CI/CD. There are also infrastructure components such as storage protocols, networking devices and deployment options for bare metal, virtual and OpenStack environments. Red Hat provides security components such as a Linux OS and program base and a dedicated security staff.

The container-based Red Hat PaaS is primarily used by application development teams in industries including financial services, healthcare, state and local governmental agencies, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics and service providers. Red Hat aims OpenShift at both enterprises and small businesses, and provides freemium, pay-as-you-go pricing models.

OpenShift Online can be previewed for free for up to 30 days with minimal resource limitations (one project with up to 2 GBs of memory, 4 CPU cores and 2 x 1 GBs persistent volumes). Users can then upgrade to OpenShift Online Bronze and pay only for JBoss EAP 6 and additional gear sizes while getting access to a 15-team capability and custom secure sockets layer domains that the free version does not offer.

Users can also opt for OpenShift Online Silver for $20 a month, which includes more storage and gears and dedicated custom support. Pricing for OpenShift Dedicated begins at $48,000 per year and includes four application nodes, 48TB of network I/O per year, 100GB of high-speed SSD persistent storage and Red Hat Premium Support. Businesses can purchase additional units of nodes or memory a la carte. For OpenShift Container Platform pricing, Red Hat invites potential customers to contact a sales representative.

Next Steps

See how PaaS evolved in 2016

Businesses need to carefully consider cloud versus on-premises for app development

Vendors are starting to solve containers' persistent data storage problem

This was last published in February 2017

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