Cormier at Red Hat Summit: 'Hybrid Isn't a Trend; It's a Strategic Imperative'

Red Hat transformed its popular annual user conference into an online virtual experience this year, for obvious reasons. The socially distanced, two-day digital summit, wrapping up today, went off without a hitch, and the leading enterprise open source software provider, longtime Java community leader and IBM subsidiary laid out its hybrid cloud strategy and product news to an estimated 38,000 distant attendees.

The organization's new CEO, Paul Cormier, gave the conference keynote from his home office in Boston. He opened his talk with a (long) history of open source and the cloud, and ended at the open hybrid cloud, which is central to Red Hat's vision.

"Today, open source-developed solutions are everywhere," he said. "It's the engine behind every government, every enterprise, every organization. It's in our homes, in our cars...everywhere we go. ... It's the backbone of inventions that have changed our lives."

About the hybrid cloud and edge computing, he said: "Cloud today extends from on-premise to multiple public clouds and all the way [out] to the edge. Edge [computing] is the most important piece of the hybrid cloud. With Edge, we're putting computing closer to the users and the data in the hybrid model."

"Hybrid isn't a trend," Cornier added. "It's a strategic imperative. ... Hybrid is the new datacenter. ... The open hybrid cloud is what we've been building in around our platforms for many, many years. Open hybrid cloud is what we're delivering to our customers and building with our partners, every day, today and tomorrow."

Cormier, who had served as president of Red Hat's Products and Technologies group, was named president and CEO on April 6, succeeding Jim Whitehurst, who became president at IBM after Big Blue acquired Red Hat for $34 billion last year.

The list of announcements from this week's virtual conference includes:

  • OpenShift virtualization, a new feature available as a technology preview within Red Hat OpenShift, derived from the KubeVirt open source project. It enables organizations to develop, deploy and manage applications consisting of virtual machines alongside containers and serverless, all in one modern platform that unifies cloud-native and traditional workloads. While some vendors seek to protect legacy technology stacks by dragging Kubernetes and cloud-native functionality backward to preserve proprietary virtualization, Red Hat does the opposite: Bringing traditional application stacks forward into a layer of open innovation, enabling customers to truly transform at their speed, not at the whims of proprietary lock-in. Read more about OpenShift virtualization's new container-native virtualization capabilities here.
  • Red Hat OpenShift 4.4, the latest version of the industry's leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, which builds on the simplicity and scale of Kubernetes Operators. Rebased on Kubernetes 1.17, OpenShift 4.4 introduces a developer-centric view of platform metrics and monitoring for application workloads; monitoring integration for Red Hat Operators; cost management for assessing the resources and costs used for specific applications across the hybrid cloud; and much more. Read more about what's new in Red Hat OpenShift 4.4 here.
  • To address the management challenges of running cloud-native applications across large-scale, production and distributed Kubernetes clusters, Red Hat is also introducing a new management solution. Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, soon available as a technology preview, provides a single, simplified control point for the monitoring and deployment of OpenShift clusters at scale, offering policy-driven governance and application lifecycle management. Read more about Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes here.
  • Enhancements to Red Hat Insights, Red Hat's proactive security and risk management as-a-service offering, which makes it easier for IT teams to detect, diagnose and remediate potential problems before they impact production systems or end users. Insights is not an add-on, as it is available across every supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription by default.
  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform also helps to address the complexities of expanding network demand and infrastructure footprints by automating time-consuming manual tasks, helping IT teams to more effectively meet customer and end user needs beyond service uptime.

These product updates are not "contingent on a single piece of hardware or a sole cloud provider," the company says, because Red Hat delivers "innovation fully across hybrid and multi-cloud footprints," including:

  • Every major public cloud provider, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, as well as many specialized cloud providers.
  • Managed solutions through OpenShift Dedicated, Azure Red Hat OpenShift, and IBM Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Service, enabling organizations to gain the benefits of enterprise Kubernetes without the burden of infrastructure management.
  • Support for multiple computing architectures, including x86, IBM Power, and mainframes.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].