AWS pulls its Red Hat on with managed OpenShift collab

Plus: AWS tool for defining Kubernetes apps without having to write YAML

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Amazon Web Services and Red Hat have linked arms to bring managed OpenShift, a Kubernetes service, to the AWS cloud. The service is not yet available, but "currently preparing for an early access program".

The key word here is "managed". Red Hat and AWS already have a partnership which lets you run RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and OpenShift, the Red Hat Kubernetes distribution, on AWS. In addition, the AWS Service Broker gives OpenShift built-in support for AWS services including Amazon RDS, S3, RedShift, and so on.

What is new is full integration of OpenShift into AWS so it is now packaged as another service, listed in the AWS console, so you can easily create and manage OpenShift clusters. You also get on-demand billing, a single invoice, and the option of contacting AWS for support.

Why would you use OpenShift on AWS, when AWS already has Kubernetes through EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) or Fargate for EKS, a "serverless" option? Red Hat veep for hosted platforms Sathish Balakrishnan said it is "a clear path to hybrid cloud deployments", the idea being that you run OpenShift on-premises as well as on AWS. Lift and shift is easiest when the entire platform is the same. There is also likely to be a cost premium since you are buying services both from AWS and Red Hat; no prices have yet been announced.

Do you avoid lock-in by using OpenShift on AWS? "Red Hat views the cloud-native platform for the enterprise as fully open and highly scalable," said Balakrishnan, but much of that openness goes away if you start using those tasty AWS services, some of which are hard to replicate elsewhere.

Red Hat also has a partnership with Microsoft including the managed Azure Red Hat OpenShift, but what today's announcement shows is that the company cannot afford inferior integration with AWS, which remains by far the largest provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Some customers prefer to work with a single cloud provider if possible, so it is strategic to support the cloud the customer wants to use.

Red Hat has also announced the general availability of Quay 3.3, a container registry that you can use either standalone or alongside OpenShift. New in this version is the Quay OpenShift Bridge Operator and an updated Quay operator, which improves the integration between Quay and OpenShift. There is also a technical preview of the Clair 4 container security scanner, which now examples python packages as well as operating system vulnerabilities. Support for other programming languages is planned.

On the AWS side, the company has announced the Cloud Development Kit for Kubernetes, which is an open-source framework for defining Kubernetes applications with TypeScript or Python, with Java, C# and Go planned. Applications can then be applied to a cluster using a tool such as kubectl. In essence, it is an alternative to writing YAML configuration files directly, along the lines of the existing AWS Cloud Development Kit, which does this for general AWS resources, outputting files for use by AWS Cloud Formation. ®

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