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