Live from the Summit: Getting technology across the innovation gap

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Brian Stevens, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Red Hat, brought emerging technologies to the main stage in his Wednesday morning keynote. His multi-part, video-laced talk touched on topics that ranged from development practices to services-based deployment.

“It’s no longer about one singular, large transformation shift. It’s not ‘what’s the next big thing’–it’s how we take community-developed technology and get it across the gap to enterprise IT operations. It’s about countless small, incremental changes.”

Stevens broke his talk into chapters, taking a good look at five areas of intense interest today. Each chapter included a short video from influential experts in each area.

CHAPTER 1: DOCKER

In the past, good development meant supporting thousands of types of hardware. Today that also includes hypervisors. (That’s a lot of stuff.)

RPM used to be the tool of choice for building hardware from source, verifying packages, building application repositories, installing and uninstalling packages, and managing dependencies. RPM was useful, and it helped Red Hat Linux grow in popularity the way that it did.  RPM was ported to other to other OSes and is still in widespread use today–17 years later. We continue trying to jam more things into RPM, even though some are not a good fit.

Then came dotCloud with Docker. In the Docker model, applications are layers in a filesystem. You can use a Docker application as-is, or add and remove layers to fit your needs. Developers can build the apps they like within Docker, without having to worry about where the app is going to run.

“The amount of things you can build with Docker is mind-blowing–even to us,” said Solomon Hykes, dotCloud’s CTO.

> Watch the video: Solomon Hykes (dotCloud CTO)  and Ben Golub (dotCloud CEO)  talk about Docker and Red Hat.

CHAPTER 2: IaaS AND PaaS CONVERGENCE

It’s been 8 years since people first started talking about cloud, and we are now 3 or 4 years into serious OpenShift and OpenStack (or PaaS and IaaS) development. There are benefits of these technologies separately, but as they become better integrated the benefits grow. For example, shared monitoring tools and APIs can help admins monitor and maintain applications all the way down through the hardware. And Red Hat teams are very involved in OpenStack, and interested in integrating OpenStack technologies with our solutions.

> Watch the video: Clayton Coleman from OpenShift talks about…

CHAPTER 3: PROGRAMMABLE I.T.

With traditional IT, the more stuff we do, the more systems we need. The more systems we need, the more admins we hire. Data and app growth is making old-fashioned system administration unsustainable. Today’s admins are using software to orchestrate and automate the IT environment. There’s one catch: Existing IT function must be modular so that services can be orchestrated.

“Virtualization gets us part of the way there,” Stevens said. Starting a virtual machine and configuring it using scripts and tools is common, and software-based storage is getting there.  “Red Hat Storage–or Gluster for Red Hat–was designed with an API in mind so IT and apps can scale out,” said Stevens. “The network has always been the bottleneck.”

The ability to flexibly deploy tiers of applications and data is coming, and projects like OpenDaylight, OpenStack’s Neutron, and Open vSwitch (OVS) are advancing software-defined networking efforts.

> Watch the video: Chris Wright from Red Hat talks about connecting OpenDaylight to OpenStack.

CHAPTER 4: CONTINUOUS INTEGRATION / CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT

Another way to automate massive processes–another theme of Stevens’ talk–is by changing the workflow model developers use. We’ve seen movement away from the 1950’s style waterfall engineering to more agile technologies that can deal with moving targets and the expense of mistakes. “We live in a world of user experience, collaboration, agility, and change, said Stevens. “Conflicting requirements and magnified, massive-scale projects shared by so many [mean that the] legacy model can’t survive.”

Continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) provides a stream of updates and new technology, with the end result being, as Stevens said, “a running system every day.” For Red Hat, one of the best benefactors of a system of incremental improvement is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.” Stevens said, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will be the first release to experience the value of continuous integration and continuous development.”

> Watch the video: Mark McLoughlin, a leading contributor to OpenStack and a Red Hat engineer, talks about OpenStack’s TripleO and what it contributes to CI/CD.

Stevens admitted that keeping up with OpenStack can be challenging. 6-month cycles (or “mini-waterfalls”) can make it difficult to see what the result will be until the end. CI/CD can help with this, letting both upstream maintainers and downstream organizations accept and reject change as it happens.

CHAPTER 5: BIG DATA

Traditional storage of data is expensive, leaving many businesses unable to store everything. Instead, they must pick and choose what is retained or store data in different places. Loss of data–and data that is stored in silos–can limit business intelligence capability.

Red Hat Storage, based on Gluster, helps solve this problem from both sides. It can store, scale, and secure petabytes of data and provide analytics so users can find what they need. Tools from other communities (like MapReduce from Hadoop) are integrated–again, taking advantage of the standardization and flexibility of open source development.

> Watch the video: Steve Watt from the Red Hat Storage team, talks about Sahara (formerly Savanna), Hadoop, and other storage advances.

Red Hat has contributors involved in all of these communities and projects–and many more. “Innovation is not one big massive invention–it’s a series of smaller micro inventions.” said Stevens. And over time, with collaboration and integration, these chapters come together to help smooth the path from raw, new ideas to innovation ready for the enterprise.

Each piece, and each person that contributes, is part of that journey.

 

Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: Wed, April 16, 2014
Type: Keynote
Title: Bridging the gap between community and the enterprise
Speaker: Brian Stevens (Red Hat)

Live from the Summit: The app is king. The OS is the heartbeat.

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We learned yesterday with examples from history that building on the infrastructure of the past creates enormous missed opportunity.

Today’s keynote from Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, opened with another reflection on history, and on the last decade of Red Hat Summits. “If I look back 10 years ago and look at this room, it was like a group meeting. Now look at us—everyone in this room, we’re all lucky to be in the middle of this. This is a once-in-a-career opportunity,” he said.

Given that so many of the careers at Summit got started in Linux, it’s fitting that the operating system became the crux of the keynote, starting with a 2008 quote from the former CEO of a leading proprietary virtualization company who claimed that “the traditional operating system has all but disappeared.”

But how has that really played out since then?

“Linux has proven so central to the datacenter, driving that essential convergence of physical, virtual, and private and public cloud,” said Cormier. “And Red Hat Enterprise Linux was the beginning of that transformation.”

THE APP IS KING

Red Hat Enterprise Linux made it easy for customers in every major vertical to find the best innovation to run their businesses. This changed the game forever.

Companies started making apps and projects to fit their own needs, and they did it because of the community efforts that laid the foundation for exploration and experimentation. “All of the biggest services we know—Google, Facebook, Amazon—wouldn’t exist without the elasticity of Linux,” said Cormier.

With Linux fully in the mainstream, the power of the open source model started to work elsewhere. Take OpenStack, for example, a sort of an e plurubus unum of cloud projects. “OpenStack is built on, with, and by extending Linux,” said Cormier. “It couldn’t have been done with a proprietary model, because it’s just too big a problem to be solved by one company.”

Virtualization, middleware, storage—have all benefited from the pioneering efforts of Linux development, and these are no longer controlled by the proprietary guys alone.

ATOMIC ENERGY

So where does Linux go from here? Applications need portability, and containers are an innovative new piece of this puzzle. As part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Cormier hinted at today’s announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, a platform to run containers across the datacenter. “Portability of the app doesn’t matter without platform consistency, and this is what RHEL 7 brings to the table,” said Cormier.

With Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, multiple containers can now share common host services (e.g., identity, network, storage), and with a stable, consistent operating system underneath, you can count on how the app is going to perform.

The app can now focus on portability across the ecosystem, while certifying it with security across multiple environments. “This is where the innovation of Linux has taken us,” said Cormier.

ALL BUT DISAPPEARED?

So, has the traditional operating system “all but disappeared?” With all the innovation that started with Linux—OpenStack, containers, JBoss middleware, xPaas, and so much more—the answer is clear. As Cormier said, “The application is king. The OS is the heartbeat.”

 

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Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: 8:30 a.m., Tue April 15, 2014
Type: Keynote
Title: The app is king. The OS is the heartbeat.
Speaker: Paul Cormier

Live from the Summit: All hands on cloud with Red Hat CEO

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Red Hat CEO and President Jim Whitehurst kicked off the 2014 Red Hat Summit, celebrating 10 years of growth and innovation. Whitehurst addressed a crowded ballroom at Moscone Center South. “You are all part of our mission statement,” he said.

This year’s Summit theme, ADVANCE, speaks to Red Hat’s mission statement, and about the commitment Red Hat has made to partners, customers, and many communities: to advance the state of IT to meet demand.

In the spirit of innovation, Whitehurst acknowledged the Innovation Awards–an annual event highlighting innovative Red Hat customers. He invited attendees—and you—to vote for the Innovator of the Year, who will be announced at the Summit on April 17, 2014.

> Learn more about this year’s innovation awards winners.

A TALE OF SOME CITIES

Whitehurst, a fan of history (and analogies), took us back to September 2, 1666: the Great Fire of London. A terrible event–but a time when the city of London got the chance to start over.

Business leaders want greenfields. They wish they could start over. London got a greenfield, but chose to rebuild old infrastructure. Constituents had needs that the old city satisfied—and new needs in conflict. But they did (like we do today) have common questions: How do you keep the traffic flowing while building the infrastructure of tomorrow?

“It’s even more difficult today than it was, because the innovation is no longer spoonfed from one vendor,” said Whitehurst.

RED HAT AS A CATALYST

Red Hat helps you access communities of innovation, including

Docker, a container solution, has gone from an idea to a popular project with over 350 contributors. Red Hat didn’t develop Docker, but is part of communities and ecosystems that use and support the technology.

OpenStack, the future of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). The OpenStack community continues to explode, and Red Hat is a leading contributor. In this case, Red Hat is looking to help bring OpenStack technologies  to you as an enterprise project.

OpenDaylight, a software-defined networking (SDN) consortium, has massive potential. Red Hat is involved in SDN communities. “We hope to be good contributors.” Whitehurst said.

Hadoop is a core project for big data. Red Hat making sure our storage layer works well with Hadoop, and that Hadoop works with our middleware tools and with OpenStack. This is a way we serve customers and ensure things they’re interested in work with our infrastructure.

You can be confident that Red Hat is there where innovation is happening. That is the first part of being a catalyst. The second part is helping YOU consume these products. Bridging what you have with what you need.

None of us wants to be London. We don’t want to rebuild a new architecture that’s exactly the same as the old one. We need to manage what we have, but with an architecture that allows for change. Remains open to user-driven innovation. Grants access to the latest technologies.

“No one vendor has those answers. It’s a combination of users, vendors, partners, service providers… together we can ultimately figure out this morass,” said Whitehurst.

It will take the entire industry together to make this work–all hands on cloud.

Summit is about participation and working together. Sessions, partners, conversations. Meet new people. Learn new ideas. Whitehurst invited the crowd to get involved.

“Let’s advance together,” Whitehurst said.

 

More information

 

Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: 6:30 p.m., Mon Apr 14, 2014
Type: Keynote
Title: All hands on cloud
Speaker: Jim Whitehurst

Live from the Summit: Application builders, the lifeblood of enterprise software

Right off the heels of the first full day of DevNation, an open source developer conference co-located with Red Hat Summit, the middleware keynote brought a standing-room-only crowd of developers and Summit attendees.

summit2014-craig_muzillaCraig Muzilla, vice president of Red Hat JBoss Middleware (pictured here), believes in the idea of empowering application builders to empower the business. In fact, he says, “Business is software.”

Over the last 10 years, applications have become integral to business, from Intuit becoming a key player in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to Best Buy integrating its physical and online stores—both using Red Hat software.

Business is changing fast. As Craig pointed out, we’ve seen:

  • A 1,700% increase in web apps in 10 years.
  • A 23,000% increase in broadband mobile users.
  • That 65% of companies plan to use Platform-as-a-Service in the future.

Why? Because customer demands are different. They want applications to be immediate, pervasive, and aware. And because business are being build on foundations that must now include cloud, mobile, big data, and Internet of Things.

So what is a modern application builder? In 2 words: everyone, everything. They’re clients and mobile, APIs and servers, DevOps teams, integrators, and business analysts.

To serve everyone and everything, we must modernize the development platform. That’s where xPaaS comes in. It’s where middleware meets cloud.

Mark Little, Red Hat’s VP of Engineering, dives into xPaaS, a lightweight, minimal, dynamic platform built with cloud, mobile, big data, and the Internet of Things in mind.

xPaaS is integration of many products, many teams, into the same platform. From Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat Fuse Service Works to Red Hat Storage, the whole stack works well together, under the same xPaaS effort.

In a live–and by some accounts risky–demo, Burr Sutter, product management director of Developer Products, set out to:

  1. Set up a brand new laptop, loaded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as we watched.
  2. Stand up a virtual machine—no, make that 2 virtual machines.
  3. Deploy an application to pull data from Twitter, compare against an existing Salesforce database, and send text messages to any matches.

In 30 minutes. While hundreds of people watched.

Spoiler alert: It worked. Attendees tweeted using #demoup and #demodown, and we listened as text messages began arriving in people’s pockets.

And at the end of the demo, the weakest laptop was put out of its misery. As the machine went out of commission, OpenShift automatically scaled the remaining machine to compensate for the loss.

Never be boring,” Mike Pieche said.

 

More information

 

Event: Red Hat Summit 2014
Date: 4 p.m., Mon Apr 14, 2014
Type: Keynote
Title: Empowering app builders: Your path to enlightened innovation
Speaker: Craig Muzilla, Dr. Mark Little, Burr Sutter