Red Hat has fully embraced Linux Containers through the creation of two new projects aimed at both developers and systems administrators. Project Atomic and the GearD project both work with Docker to enable Linux Container use in large-scale data center deployments.
Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, said in his Red Hat Summit keynote Monday night that the industry has awakened to “the power of Linux Containers as a new way to build, distribute and manage applications.
“I’ll be honest, when I did my keynote last year, I did a lot on the future, and I didn’t even know what Docker was at the time. The idea that containerization of applications could get the kind of traction it has gotten hadn’t crossed my mind. Over less than 12 months, that community has gone from zero to over 350 contributors driving a whole new way to deploy applications. Red Hat didn’t predict it, but Red Hat made sure we were involved in the relevant communities.”
Project Atomic is a new effort from Red Hat’s community to build a container-focused distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. This effort will yield Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host, which will ostensibly be a slimmed-down version of the Linux operation system designed simply to host applications in containers.
The project has its own website at projectatomic.io, where further details were divulged. The name, Project Atomic, alludes to the fact that the OS can be deployed as an atomic unit. This is done by pulling the components of the OS together and deploying it as a file system. Thus, if an upgrade goes awry, the portions of the file system that were changed in the update can be rolled back to their original state.
Expect Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host to arrive as soon as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, this summer.
(Related: Red Hat hires CentOS developers)
At the Summit, Red Hat made available the first release candidate of that operating system. The beta arrived December 2013, and the release candidate includes many of the improvements and fixes made during the beta.
GearD was another new project announced at the Summit by Red Hat. This project aims at making life easier for developers using containers. Launched under OpenShift Origin, it will enable developers to quickly turn source code into a Docker image, ready for deployment into a Linux container.
Additionally, GearD will provide the elastic container wiring, which will allow containers to scale when demand is high. Behind all of this, an underlying goal of GearD is to be friendly to systems administrators. The project’s aims include automating the wiring, the writing of unit files, and the collection of logs across these containers, thus saving systems administrators’ time.
As for orchestration
Red Hat continued its move into data center orchestration at the 10th annual Red Hat Summit in San Francisco today. The conference kicked off Monday night with a keynote demonstrating OpenStack and OpenShift working together to build an impromptu cluster out of laptops on stage.
Burr Sutter, product management director at Red Hat, showed how developers could quickly add applications to a cluster, using OpenShift to monitor and track servers, and OpenStack to provision them into the cluster.
“I, as a middleware developer, can stand up new instances on my own,” he said. “I can come into this management console and say, ‘I want a new Java EE application server.’ I can click the button, do a Git push and instantiate my new services inside this cloud. I can run a Jenkins server, or whatever I want. It’s all available to me on my developer desktop.”
During the demonstration, Sutter and his team used a combination of JBoss Fuse containers and Red Hat’s xPaaS to demonstrate the resilience of the laptop-based cluster they’d assembled on stage. To add oomph to the pitch, he yanked one laptop off the table, threw it on the ground and stomped on it. The cluster then automatically migrated the lost application virtual machines.
Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, used his keynote to impress upon attendees that even the rate of change has accelerated in the technology industry. “Technology is advancing at such an extraordinary rate, that when I went back to look at my keynote from last year, I looked at where things were with OpenStack, Linux and other cloud technologies, I thought that must be from five years ago. The pace of innovation really is exploding,” he said.
Still, said Whitehurst, “Even more profound is the move to what I see as the industrialization of IT. As IT moves from being custom applications from the hardware level up, as we move from that to commoditized architecture, we’re seeing truly an explosion in the speed and the functionality we’re seeing in applications around us. The reason we see things like Big Data emerge is that it’s all about a common infrastructure upon which applications can be built.”
As such, Whitehurst announced the availability of the OpenShift Marketplace in coming weeks. The marketplace will consolidate SaaS offerings from vendors outside of Red Hat into a single location offered to OpenShift customers.
Whitehurst also discussed Docker in his keynote, though he did not describe any new announcements around the open-source Linux container tool.
He said that the industry has awakened to “the power of Linux containers as a new way to build, distribute and manage applications. I’ll be honest: When I did my keynote last year, I did a lot on the future, and I didn’t even know what Docker was at the time. The idea that containerization of applications could get the kind of traction it has gotten hadn’t crossed my mind.
“Over less than 12 months, that community has gone from zero to over 350 contributors driving a whole new way to deploy applications. Red Hat didn’t predict it, but Red Hat made sure we were involved in the relevant communities and technology to take advantage of this open-source innovation.”