Red Hat Summit 2019

Once every year the world’s biggest open source company invites customers, partners and nerds to come together and share their knowledge, stories and visions for three days.

I was blessed by Basalt with a trip to this year’s incarnation of Red Hat Summit at Boston. I got three days packed full of breakout sessions, hands-on labs, partner demos, and, most importantly, meeting cool people and making new connections.

So what is going on in the open source world right now? One of the biggest trends is container technology with Kubernetes at the forefront. The Red Hat product here is OpenShift and it is being pushed aggressively. But I think there is good reason for Red Hat to push for it. It’s a bet on the future and the future is containers (or at least that’s what a lot of us strongly believe). Pushing OpenShift is Red Hat trying to capitalize on that future as the provider of one of the key infrastructure components powering that future.

Another really big trend is automation. Well, to be fair automation has been around for thousands of years so calling it a trend might not be fair, but we see a strong push for Red Hat Ansible as the way to automate not only deployments and configurations, but what we call “day 2 operations”. Things such as managing users, granting and removing access, creating workspaces, moving stuff around, tweaking parameters. All the work that the IT admins do every day. Will Ansible steal the job of our beloved IT admins and create massive unemployment problems around the globe? Not likely. Ansible will be (and is!) helping IT admins focus on the fun part of their job such as developing the environment with new features, improved configurations, awesome optimizations and completely new deployments. Because let’s face it: IT admins don’t particularly enjoy feeding in the same data over and over when creating users. Or managing approval workflows just to close a service ticket from a developer asking for a port opening. Ansible coupled with a self-service portal will make life easier for the burdened IT admin, giving them an hour extra every morning to have breakfast with their kids. Cause that’s the ultimate goal of automation: removing the boring parts of life so we can spend our limited time doing stuff that makes us happy.

The last trend that’s a bit of an outsider relative to the others is Artificial Intelligence. There are lots of sessions and talks about the emerging use of AI for various use cases. But the thing that makes AI stand out is that Red Hat really has no product for this market right now. Mostly they position OpenShift as the platform on which you should run the AI engine, but they don’t offer their own AI engine today. I strongly believe this to change soon. AI is becoming more and more necessary. It’s moving from “something cool that makes for a sweet demo” to “something we require to continue to grow”. As systems become more dynamic and the number of events generated in the system grows, the more stuff you have to analyze. If a web request returns a 503 and it is related to a hundred different services running on many virtual machines across multiple clouds, it’s hard to do root cause analysis as a human. Using an AI engine you can quickly find out that the 503 is caused by a CPU overload that is in turn caused by a configuration issue causing an infinite loop in a completely separate process. And that’s just one use case where AI will become more or less required in the systems of the future. As data grows, AI is required to manage and make sense of that data.

So to summarize, the current trends that is prominent during Red Hat Summit 2019 is:

  • Containers
  • Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence

If you are not yet exploring these trends let me know and we can help you ensure you stay modern in a world where the only constant is change.

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