K8S Technical Debt Relief: The Case of RedHat OpenShift

In today’s digital age, you can’t avoid the technical debt that comes with Kubernetes (K8S).

As an open source platform for deploying, automating, managing, and scaling containerized applications, it has set a new bar for cloud native innovation. Some might even say that K8S strangled him.

Its ability to work in cloud and on-premises environments means large enterprises with legacy baggage can take advantage of cloud native innovation. DevOps teams can focus on their CI / CD pipelines and not worry about the granular details of cloud management.

This has made large enterprises more responsive and agile to market demands without being held back by past infrastructure purchases. Using containers, they can also “lift and move” their core legacy applications until they can phase them out – or modernize them – for a cloud native version in the future.

But despite all the promises of freedom that K8S brings, it adds complexity. And this is where technical debt comes in.

New debt formula

Most obvious is that K8S offers command line interface (CLI) control, which can be intimidating for developers who prefer to work with a feature-rich user interface.

But beyond cosmetics, the biggest challenge is that K8S can be cloud platform specific. Almost every cloud or hyperscaler provider has their own flavor of Kubernetes. You also get various add-ons, plugins, and app connectivity instructions.

While this approach makes sense for hyperscalers while enabling application performance optimization, it becomes a challenge for DevOps teams working in hybrid clouds or across multiple clouds.

No developer likes to reconfigure the development environment multiple times, which is what you need to do with K8S if your favorite hyperscalers have their own distribution and cloud services or are not near your business location. Additionally, the lack of quickstart app templates in different coding languages ​​can make it difficult to get started. Finally, there is also the governance challenge as visibility becomes obstructed when working with various cloud platforms.

All of these challenges add technical debt. DevOps and digital teams must devote time and resources to managing the application platform. This is one of the reasons Red Hat moved its OpenShift focus (no pun intended) from the K8S infrastructure management layer to an application platform built on K8S by adding the above features. to the platform.

“I think from a business value perspective, what’s really appealing is the time to value. Because we’ve built our position as an app platform – to build, deploy, and manage your apps – customers don’t need to invest resources in building a custom platform. So this improves the time to value for innovation and your product development teams can focus on business logic or competitive differentiation and not worry about the underlying technical details, ”says Paul Whiten, Business Development Manager. DevOps for APAC at Red Hat. .

Alignment with business needs

OpenShift is ruggedized for business use. “We secured it; we tested it. And we have provided the security support in terms of all the necessary certifications on the different platforms and so on, ”says Whiten.

By providing a standardized platform for container development, OpenShift has enabled companies across different industries to scale out to drive cloud native innovation.

“Thanks to our new positioning, we are reaching new markets and new teams. So there isn’t a single vertical where we don’t see OpenShift adoption. And more importantly, we see it adopted in organizations of different sizes, ”says Whiten.

Red Hat OpenShift managed cloud services make K8S development easy for resource-strapped SMBs.

“We offer the flexibility of consumption. And basically that means customers can drive OpenShift and see if it’s the right fit for a certain initiative. And I think this is particularly important in the area of ​​SMEs. And because it’s managed, you don’t have to worry about hiring and retaining technical expertise, ”says Whiten.

In turn, this has opened up new use cases beyond the traditional enterprise use cases of containerizing monolithic legacy applications.

“We are seeing more and more use cases where companies are looking to re-architect for cloud native and run on an OpenShift platform or a Kubernetes platform. And beyond that, we’re seeing new use cases that consider things like your 5G and IoT edge implementations, ”says Whiten.

Other areas where companies in Asia Pacific are exploring new use cases include AI and machine learning, such as in the medical field through proactive diagnosis from analytics analysis; and real-time data processing, similar to self-driving cars.

IBM Cloud Satellite adds a new dimension

Red Hat is now taking the next step in the OpenShift journey. The vendor is now looking into data science, particularly DataOps and MLOps, where similar constraints emerge, and calls for standardization and platform are increasing.

Collaboration with IBM on its Cloud Satellite product aims to broaden the case and strengthen OpenShift’s role as an application platform, especially in hybrid cloud environments.

“The hybrid cloud brings complexity. And what OpenShift and IBM Cloud Satellite aim to do is make it as simple as possible because we want to have a cohesive set of services no matter where you consume the resources. It also provides the visibility and control that corporate governance needs. So we satisfy both sides, ”says Whiten.

This level of transparency and control becomes critical as CISOs become involved in DevSecOps.

“We only have one CISO and maybe two or three cybersecurity people in a company. So how do you adapt this knowledge to 10 or more different product teams? This is where OpenShift and Cloud Satellite can potentially come in. So you increase security, deploy it, and run it securely. So the CISO is happy, and the developers are happy because they can go into production without having to go through a security change control board every time, ”says Whiten.

And in doing so, Red Hat seeks to lower the wall of technical debt that any cloud-native innovator faces.

Want to learn more about Red Hat OpenShift and IBM Cloud Satellite? Sign up for our next discussion on “Empowering Cloud-Native Innovation Without Compromise” here. You can also consult the various articles on the site.

Winston Thomas is the editor of CDOTrends, DigitalWorkforceTrends and DataOpsTrends. He’s always curious about everything digital, including new digital business models, the growing impact of AI / ML, unproven singularity theories, proven data science successes, dangers hidden aspects of cybersecurity and the reinvention of the digital experience. You can reach him at [email protected].

Image credit: iStockphoto / SIphotography

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