RedHat recently released OpenShift 4.4, a significant update to the leading enterprise Kubernetes platform. With this upgrade, RedHat continues to enhance the efficiency using the Kubernetes Operators model to automate the OpenShift platform and services on which users depend on to deploy their containerized application. Let’s have a microscopic analysis of features that are present in the OpenShift 4.4 and how it will be beneficial for the IT operations team and application developer.
A Reliable Kubernetes Platform
The core of OpenShift 4.4 builds upon the stability of Kubernetes 1.17. It improves the core capabilities of the platform around compute, networking, and storage.
A Descheduler has been introduced; it’s a tool for OpenShift admins to re-balance the allocation of workloads (pods) across an OpenShift user for better efficiency and utilization. OpenShift 4.4 also improves the ingress controller implementation for the use of HAProxy 2.0. With HAProxy 2.0, users can get robust performance ingress for their Kubernetes-hoster applications; it includes end-to-end HTTP/2 support and more scalable multi-threading, response for applications, and improved security. HAProxy 2.0 enhances the overall performance across the board, from the reduction of the time it usually needs to produce ACL unique-id allocations – reduced from minutes to seconds because of the complexity of O(N^2) to better O(NlogN) for large installations – to the ability to process up to three times the requests per second.
Intending to emerging edge use cases, OpenShift finally introduces the support for Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). SCTP allows multiple IP addresses for a fault-tolerant connection. OpenShift 4.4 also implements storage upgrades with Persistent Volume (PV) re-size, snapshot, restore, and clone capabilities. These are quite essential for developers building stateful applications and administrators managing their deployment in production state.
Consistent Hybrid Cloud Experience
Implementation of Kubernetes Operator model in the OpenShift has helped Red Hat to enhance the installation experience for OpenShift. The deployment of the complete infrastructure, from OS (Red Hat Enterprise Linux Core OS) to the end-user services, reduces the prerequisite cost required to install OpenShift in the hybrid cloud. With OpenShift 4.4, this self-guided installation experience now provides support for full-stack automation (IPI) deployment on Red Hat Virtualization (RHV).
Moreover, this release provides the pre-existing infrastructure installation experience (UPI) for the Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Microsoft Azure. Another major enhancement that happened to the OpenShift installer is improved support for the DNS forwarding. The OpenShift 4.4 release enables OpenShift DNS to resolve name queries for endpoints using DNS servers outside the cluster, making it easier to incorporate OpenShift as the container platform underlying your hybrid cloud.
OpenShift administrators will find the features of the 4.4 release continue to improve access to operational functions that you require every day. The improvement starts with a new metrics dashboards. Since the use of Kubernetes Operators is at the core of OpenShift 4, monitoring visibility has also been extended to include Red Hat Operators. OpenShift is a hybrid cloud-based platform for multiple applications, and as such Red Hat is offering cost management features for OpenShift clusters, adding both a view of workload and cloud compute spending in one tool. OpenShift Cost Management provides visibility of how each namespace is utilizing resources and shows the costs associated with each project.
Developers Make A Difference!
One of the major differentiators of OpenShift is the bond that developers have with the platform. OpenShift’s advanced developer console has changed the way how developers view and manage their code on a container platform. OpenShift 4.4 provides new metrics and monitoring views such that developers and app operators can monitor the performance characteristics of their workload.
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Red Hat continues to enhance OpenShift developer experience, concentrating on providing workflows that fit with the way developers work every day.
With the help of OpenShift Serverless, developers will be able to build event-driven applications and services that can run across the range of hybrid cloud infrastructures. These serverless applications and services can be triggered by a variety of event sources and scaled up and down to zero to handle the load as required. Developers are allowed to use their preferred language or runtime to build their applications into the standard containers images because OpenShift Serverless releases normal Kubernetes Pods. OpenShift Serverless is based on the Knative project, but its capabilities are non-proprietary and able to run across any hybrid cloud infrastructure. Red Hat made the OpenShift Serverless generally available and supported with eventing capabilities.
Helm is under control.
Helm is quite popular tools among developers and recently graduated by CNCF is used for packaging, installing, and updating applications on Kubernetes. With the release of Helm 3, the Helm group resolved some of the underlying security issues with previous versions; most notably by eliminating Tiller. OpenShift 4.4 adds the support for Helm 3; moreover making Helm charts visible and available in the OpenShift Console’s developer catalog.
To further enhance how developers work regularly, OpenShift Pipelines have moved into Tech Preview. Based on the open-source Tekton project, OpenShift Pipelines is a CI / CD add-on to OpenShift that provides a Kubernetes native way to build CI / CD pipelines that are portable across Kubernetes platforms and run on-demand in containers. As a Jenkins alternative, OpenShift offers a cloud-native experience that is developed for containers and Kubernetes to streamline and automate the application delivery for developers.
Developers Preview is available of OpenShift Builds; it allows developers to build lean images from application source code and binaries using many Kubernetes tools on OpenShift and Kubernetes platform.
With the rise of the OpenShift user community, the sophistication of applications that are deployed on the platform demand that OpenShift should evolve continuously. By OpenShift 4.4, Red Hat manages to drive the Kubernetes platform to new heights. Every new version of OpenShift continues to empower the future of container deployment, supporting the needs of IT operations and developers alike. If you haven’t seen OpenShift as your Kubernetes platform; it might be a good time to try it out and learn more.