Introducing Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure 1.0

By Steve Bohac, Red Hat Storage

Today we’re proud to announce Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure 1.0! By combining Red Hat virtualization and storage technologies with a stable, proven operating platform, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure is designed to help enterprises bring datacenter capabilities into locations with limited space, such as branch offices and other remote facilities.

Built on Red Hat Virtualization and Red Hat Gluster Storage, Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure provides simplified planning and procurement, streamlined deployment and management, and a single support stack for virtual compute and virtual storage resources. Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure is an ideal solution for remote/branch office or edge computing needs. Deployment is enabled by Ansible by Red Hat, and Red Hat CloudForms can be used to manage all the Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure installations in your enterprise via a single application.

Customers have been asking us for this type of an integrated solution, so we’re happy to offer this hyperconverged combination in a single SKU to satisfy that request.

Organizations with distributed operations, such as those in the banking, energy, or retail industries, can benefit from offering the same infrastructure services in remote and branch offices as they run in their datacenters. However, remote and branch offices can have unique challenges: less space and power/cooling and fewer (or no) technical staff on site. Organizations in this situation need powerful services, integrated on a single server that allow them to keep their key applications local to the remote site.

Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure addresses these challenges for remote installations. The following figure depicts the benefits that consolidation with a hyperconverged infrastructure provides:

  • Eliminate storage as a discrete tier
  • Easily virtualize business applications, maximizing resource utilization
  • Single budget for compute and storage
  • Single team managing infrastructure
  • Simplified planning and procurement
  • Streamlined deployment and management
  • Single support stack for compute and storage

Removing the storage tier by consolidating compute and storage onto a single server platform/tier offers streamlined deployment and management (enabled by Ansible by Red Hat and Red Hat CloudForms), a single support stack (one vendor to call now instead of two), and simplified planning and procurement (reducing the number of vendors to source from).

For more information on Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure, click here.

For an on-demand webinar discussing Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure in more detail, click here.

Storage can make your digital transformation—or break it

By Ross Turk, Red Hat Storage

The following chart might look familiar, especially if you’ve ever studied patterns of online behavior.

Like all the best charts, this one has a glorious up-and-to-the-right shape. But each year at the end of December, when much of the world goes offline for a few quiet days, there’s a characteristic drop. This chart—from Google Trends—represents a phrase that’s growing in prominence: “digital transformation.”

Digital transformation is everywhere

When I noticed—with distinct déjà vu—the industry using this phrase, I admit I was somewhat taken aback. Many of us live in a world dominated by technology. I can’t remember the last time I paid for fast-food tacos with actual money, but I do know I stopped carrying cash completely when the taco shops began accepting credit cards. Every time I need to mail a letter now, it’s a huge production! I’m just not prepared for that kind of task anymore.

Imagine a world without digital technology…. See?! You can’t do it.

Not all digital transformation is equal

Another case in point. I renewed my driver’s license recently and found myself wondering: Now that the DMV is doing business using modern technology, who’s left to transform? If you live your life in an ivory tower made of wifi and capacitive touch screens—like me—a phrase like “digital transformation” can seem obsolete. It can throw you off the scent a bit. And, indeed, I was missing the point. Sure, even taxi companies embrace digital technologies these days…but are they any good at it? Do they enjoy the same efficiencies as a digitally native service like Uber?

Technology is now serious business

Digital transformation isn’t about using technology—or even offering digital services. It’s about redefining a business in technology terms, putting the modern technology experience first. It’s about businesses coming to terms with the truth: Technology can’t be a hobby for them anymore. They’re going to have a ton of applications and data, and they need to get really good at managing all of it. That means having solid priorities; agility and elasticity are a great place to start.

Modern storage can transform your business

Speaking of great places to start, there’s no better example of the challenges of digital transformation than storage. The amount of data that enterprises need to maintain is growing at a steady clip, and their customers expect all that data to be available instantly. Access patterns change as frequently as customer behaviors. Data is getting bigger, analytics are getting even more sophisticated. The traditional storage appliances that do a lot of the heavy lifting today are convenient, but at petabyte scale they show their inflexibility and limitation.

That’s where Ceph and Gluster come in. They’re flexible, scale-out, software-defined storage technologies built for those who don’t think storage is a hobby.

Learn how storage can make your digital transformation

If you want to learn more about modern approaches to storage—and Red Hat Storage, of course!—join me on June 22 for a 45-minute webinar. Register here.

Going public with Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3

By Daniel Gilfix, Red Hat Storage

You may not have heard a lot about Red Hat Ceph Storage lately, but that doesn’t mean the product hasn’t been active. News in conjunction with Red Hat OpenStack Platform 11 and 10, technology partners such as Rackspace and Micron, and customer adoption at places like Massachusetts Open Cloud, UKCloud, and CLIMB have reinforced the product’s role as a cornerstone of the Red Hat portfolio. But the advances of the product, itself, have been relatively under wraps, with versions 2.2 and 2.1 carefully monitored by existing fans and loyal software-defined storage blog readers. We don’t expect the announcement of Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3 to shake mountains with seismic impact, but we do expect it to inspire our user community with the doors the product opens today and what might be possible long term.

Source: Sheri Terris, from June 1, 2007, https://www.flickr.com/photos/crestedcrazy/534647428

Greater versatility

Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3 takes aim at extending the versatility of object storage so that users can connect more successfully to traditional workloads and link them effectively to modern ones. One way is through our new Network File System (NFS) gateway into the product’s S3-compatible object interface. The gateway facilitates the adoption of Ceph Storage as a target for file-based data without requiring changes in data access protocols or the management of data caching semantics. It means Red Hat Ceph Storage users can access the same data set from both object and file interfaces and gradually transition between them based on business need. It also means they can extend the multi-site capabilities of Red Hat Ceph Storage to enable global clusters and data access with the NFS protocol.

Improved connectivity

Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3 is laying the groundwork for improved connectivity with analytics engines. By conducting validation tests for compatibility with the Hadoop S3A plugin, Red Hat is extending financial and operational benefits of a scale-out, software-defined object storage platform to analytics workloads and data-driven applications leveraging tools like Hadoop, Hive, and Spark. With analytics data stored in an S3-compatible object store, developers have access to a broader ecosystem of tools and language bindings, no longer forced to use a bulky HDFS client. By concentrating data sets in a common object store, data duplication and data lineage challenges are simplified. Multiple ephemeral instances of elastic analytics clusters can reference a single source of truth.

Deployment flexibility

A final capability targets the highly coveted customer requirement of running Ceph in a containerized format. Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3 includes a single container image that delivers the same capabilities as in the traditional package format. With a Red Hat Ansible-based deployment tool, users can perform installations, upgrades, and updates with atomicity for reduced complexity, easier management, and faster deployment. This supports customers in areas like telecommunications seeking standardized orchestration and deployment of infrastructure software in containers with Kubernetes by adding a cloud-native storage service to this orchestration methodology.

A new chapter

These new capabilities demonstrate the new heights Red Hat Ceph Storage aims to scale, supported by a company firmly committed to real-world deployment of the future of storage. By combining massive scalability with multi-protocol access to highly available clusters, Red Hat Ceph Storage is moving object storage up the mountain to help unleash its power for modern workloads. For more information, check out this short video:

Red Hat Ceph Storage 2.3 is expected to be available later this month.

Storage for the modern enterprise

In early May, Red Hat put on its annual customer and community conference in Boston—Red Hat Summit—centered around a common theme: the power of the individual. Now more than ever, open source is seen as the most viable option as we enter the next phase of IT delivery, planning, and deployment.

The power of the individual on display

Red Hat has assumed the role of de facto open source leader, driving and nurturing hundreds of communities across the world. One could argue that, at the core, Red Hat isn’t a software company at all. In fact, our best asset is our ability to curate open source communities, bringing to bear the efforts of thousands of contributors, committers, and testers to enterprises in a reliable, secure package that can solve some of the most demanding IT challenges.

The end of planning as we know it

Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst, made a pertinent point in his keynote about the changing face of IT planning. “Planning harder” in an environment full of unknowns is complex and fraught with error. CIOs struggle to balance predictability with the inherent flexibility needed to maintain smooth IT operations.

Building IT infrastructure with open source and industry-standard constructs helps alleviate some of the planning challenges while addressing today’s pain points, much like interchangeable Lego® pieces can be used to build everything from two-story houses to skyscrapers, still withstanding the shock of an earthquake when needed.

Storage for the modern enterprise

With each passing year, it becomes apparent that traditional storage just isn’t going to cut it as enterprises look to create flexible, scalable, and cost-effective IT platforms for cloud-native applications. Simply put, legacy storage systems have failed to keep up with the way customers want to consume storage.

A key piece of the value proposition of software-defined storage is the hardware choice available to customers. For the second year in a row, a Storage Ecosystem Showcase in the partner pavilion of Red Hat Summit featured seven Technology Partners that complete or enhance Red Hat’s software-defined storage offering. Cisco, NGD Systems, Permabit, QCT, Seagate, Storage Made Easy, and Supermicro all demonstrated their wares.

In addition, several other storage partners, such as Dell EMC, Mellanox, and Penguin Computing, chose to sponsor their own booths. The solid upstream ecosystem combines with a growing downstream array of partners to truly differentiate Red Hat Storage.

Learn more

Storage was featured prominently both on the expo floor and in the news from the event. In addition to breakout sessions, Red Hat Storage engineers and consultants held a number of hands-on labs that were very well received. You can access similar self-paced material on the online AWS test drives (Gluster test drive and Ceph test drive) or at an upcoming webinar.

For a review of all the 2017 Red Hat Summit videos, click here. For a video recap with some of the Red Hat Storage team, watch this: