Reflections From Red Hat Summit 2018

Trilio had a productive week at the Red Hat Summit 2018, held at San Francisco’s famed Moscone Center. The conference attracted a record 7,000 attendees from around the world, and included over 36 keynote speakers and 325 breakout sessions. It was a great opportunity to celebrate Red Hat’s 25th anniversary and showcase the extraordinary growth of the open source community over the past few years, a clear result of the digital transformation enterprises are undergoing. Conversations ranged from collaboration and encouragement to exploration and innovation at the top ranks, illustrating that Red Hat’s partner and customer network is thriving as hybrid clouds move to become the status quo.

Here are my takeaways from the Summit:

1. Collaboration is Key

Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, opened the summit with a strong assertion:

“Enterprises are now seeing the power of open source like never before, because of the challenges they are facing with digital transformation efforts.” 

No one person or company has all the answers to the growing challenge presented by digital disruption, but open source’s true advantage is its innate collaboration. By virtue of their many, many contributors around the globe, most open source projects are able to create and vet solutions quickly, enabling companies that rely on open source to swiftly overcome technical hurdles.

2. Anticipating Organizational Challenges

During the Telco Partner Day, there was a great panel discussion with Telecom Italia, Turk Cell, and Verizon Wireless. They elaborated on the challenges their teams experienced standing up nimble architecture in a high speed environment, highlighting the importance of NFV. There is a general understanding that the cloud environments enterprises demand today are a culmination of a number of services. Gone are the days of a “box” solution — now, we see the layers or strata of services. This multitude of layers requires a cultural change throughout the entire organization. As the evolution of adopting cloud technologies matures, the panelists stressed the importance to embrace the cultural change and not to overlook it.

From network infrastructure and data management to the application platform, Open Source technologies form the foundation of today’s modern networks. There is a new focus on virtualizing the core straight through to the edge that would give Telcos the power and elasticity they need to deliver NFV services at massive scale. With this added flexibility, Telcos will be able to create a completely new business value through edge computing offering customers an ultra-reliable experience.

3. The market is seeking a data protection solution

As the only native RHV solution, Trilio’s RHV announcement drove a lot of traffic to the booth. It is clear from the mention in the Keynote speech that the market is demanding a data protection solution for RHV. This will allow customers to bring production workloads over from VMware and avoid expensive maintenance costs and extraneous features or functions.

4. Red Hat is bringing container-native virtualization technology to Red Hat Cloud Suite

Red Hat is continuing its innovation in container solutions, this time by deepening the virtualization applications within the Red Hat Cloud Suite. The introduction of container-native virtualization will reduce the learning curve for developers who are shifting to virtual machines from Linux container-based applications.

Now (according to Red Hat), developers can “create and add virtualized applications to their project from the OpenShift Service Catalog as they would with containerized apps… the resulting application can then run side-by-side with cloud-native workloads on Red Hat OpenShift.” The separated ecosystems of virtual machines versus containers can hamper application deployments due to complexity, cost and integration challenges. Container-native virtualization helps to modernize and simplify application development by pulling traditional VM-based workloads into the same workflow as containerized applications. This is increasingly significant as enterprise IT evolves and the need to rapidly create, distribute, and administer applications is becoming a priority of paramount importance.

5. Red Hat and Microsoft further their unlikely alliance

Microsoft and Red Hat expanded their partnership to link their OpenShift and Azure cloud ecosystems to expand the capabilities of developers to run container-based applications. They introduced the first co-managed OpenShift offering in the public cloud, Red Hat OpenShift on Azure.

This move is intended to help pave the way towards expanding cloud horizons in the future. Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, said, “Gartner predicts that, by 2020, more than 50% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 20% today.” The goal of both organizations is to joint engineer OpenShift on Azure to make container management simpler for customers. This will be managed and supported by both Microsoft and Red Hat.

6. Red Hat announces 2018 Women in Open Source Award winners

As part of Red Hat’s recognition program for the achievements of women to the open source community, Dana Lewis, founder of the Open Artificial Pancreas System (OpenAPS) movement, and Zui Dighe, a Duke University student were each awarded the 2018 Women in Open Source Award. Learn more here.

7. Open source stories

The vibrant open source community is attracting a younger audience, and it was great for the conference to highlight the stories of two young coders who are using open source in creative ways. Femi Owolade-Coombes of Hackerfemo is a 12-year-old coder who runs coding and robot workshops for businesses and public organizations. Then we met Sarah Chipps of Jewelbots, a company that creates programmable friendship bracelets that teach girls the basics of coding. Ellie Galloway, one of Jewelbots’ youngest coders, gave a demo by coding her bracelet in front of the live audience.

An Energizing & Inspiring Week

The collective influence of Red Hat and their partners on the future of open source was palpable. Whether it is OpenStack, OpenShift-on-OpenStack, OpenShift-on-RHV, or OpenStack-on-RHV, you now have the ability to seamlessly and efficiently leverage all of your IaaS and PaaS layers to deliver any service that you would like in a timely fashion regardless of whether they are VMs or containers. That’s powerful. Through the Red Hat community’s thought leadership and technical innovations, it’s clear that the future is in line with Red Hat’s Open Hybrid Cloud vision.