Red Hat today introduced a flurry of new software and cloud services designed to make it easier for enterprises to deploy, manage, and secure their hybrid, multicloud workloads.
At the Red Hat Summit in Boston, Red Hat announced the forthcoming availability of Event-Driven Ansible, which simplifies IT management by automating IT tasks and proactively identifying and remediating problems before they cause service disruptions.
Red Hat also announced Ansible Lightspeed with IBM Watson Code Assistant, a new generative AI service available later this year that will enable IT administrators to use Red Hat’s Ansible automation software more easily by writing text using natural language to help automate IT management tasks, said Ashesh Badani, Red Hat’s senior vice president and chief product officer.
The IBM subsidiary also unveiled new cloud security services, including two designed to eliminate software supply chain vulnerabilities, and new management capabilities to simplify management of Red Hat Enterprise Linux across a hybrid cloud.
Today’s Red Hat Summit announcements are the latest innovations in Red Hat’s software portfolio for deploying and managing applications across a hybrid cloud, from internal data centers and edge environments to public clouds.
“We want to make sure we’re able to help solve specific areas of customer pain – security is one, automation is another,” Badani told Data Center Knowledge in an interview. “Additional areas of interest are AI/ML and how to better harness the power of AI, increasing developer productivity and efficiency, and, of course, being able to do that consistently across the hybrid cloud.”
Paul Nashawaty, principal analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, said Red Hat’s announcements are important software improvements to the company’s software family, which includes the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, the OpenShift Kubernetes container platform, and Ansible automation software.
Today, 94% of organizations are running workloads on two or more cloud service providers, and many are increasingly seeking a single technology stack from software companies like Red Hat, VMware, and Nutanix to manage their hybrid, multicloud environments and to deploy and manage containerized apps using Kubernetes.
“Red Hat’s announcements are significant,” Nashawaty said. “They are trying to gather a larger footprint in the space by helping organizations have seamless integration and harmonize their approach for distributed cloud and multicloud environments.”
For example, today’s Ansible automation announcements help automate tedious IT tasks, which improves productivity, streamlines and simplifies IT operations, and helps address the IT skills gap that many IT organizations face, he said.
Event-Driven Ansible and Ansible Lightspeed
The new Event-Driven Ansible feature in Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform 2.4, which will be available in June, connects with infrastructure and application observability tools to enable IT automation across an enterprise’s hybrid cloud implementation, the company said.
It can help organizations automate high-volume, manual tasks, such as resetting passwords or adjusting compute and storage needs. Event-Driven Ansible also integrates with third-party monitoring, observability, and IT analytics tools, such as Cisco ThousandEyes, CyberArk, F5, and Palo Alto Networks.
For example, if routers go down, a system administrator no longer needs to wake up at 2 a.m. to fix the problem. An organization can write Ansible Playbooks that create a series of remedial actions, such as automatically restarting the routers, so network operations can continue, Badani said. “You are able to respond in a proactive fashion.”
IDC analyst Jevin Jensen said Event-Driven Ansible is a powerful new tool because many mid-sized organizations don’t have 24/7 IT support.
“Before somebody even calls and opens a ticket, the event-driven automation will resolve it within the guardrails that you’ve defined,” Jensen said.
Ansible Lightspeed with Watson Code Assistant is a new generative AI service for Ansible that will help novice users automate tasks by using text in plain English.
“It brings people into the world of automation who may be domain experts in storage, cloud networking, database administration, or security ops – [people] who have domain expertise … but don’t necessarily have a lot of expertise in automation language. It allows them to come into the world of automation quicker,” said Thomas Anderson, vice president and general manager of Ansible, in a briefing with the media.
For example, if an IT administrator knows how to do a task on-premises but doesn’t know how to do that same task on Amazon Web Services, the IT administrator can write a simple text query using Ansible Lightspeed to generate YAML code and find the correct Ansible Playbooks to do that task on AWS, Badani said. Ansible Lightspeed will be available later this year.
Enterprise Linux, OpenShift AI, and Cloud Security Services
Other Red Hat announcements today include:
- New management capabilities in Red Hat Insights for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. From a single web console, IT administrators can more easily manage, configure, and customize the operating systems across the hybrid cloud.
- Red Hat OpenShift AI, a new product portfolio that packages the existing Red Hat OpenShift with Red Hat OpenShift Data Science. It is a unified solution that trains, monitors, and manages the lifecycle of AI/ML models and applications in a containerized Kubernetes environment. Red Hat has added new capabilities within OpenShift Data Science, including the ability to detect bias and model monitoring, which enables organizations to manage performance and metrics from a central dashboard.
Red Hat also announced Red Hat Trusted Software Supply Chain, which encompasses two new cloud security services. They are:
- Red Hat Trusted Content, which will be available as a service preview in several weeks, provides developers with real-time information on known vulnerabilities and security risks within their open-source software dependencies, the company said.
- Red Hat Trusted Application Pipeline, available as a service preview today, helps customers improve the security of their software supply chains with an integrated CI/CD pipeline. This service allows Red Hat users to import git repositories and configure container-native continuous build, test, and deployment pipelines in a few steps. It also allows users to inspect source code and auto-generate Software Bills of Materials (SBOMs), which is an inventory of all the software components in an application.
Red Hat today also introduced Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security Cloud Service, a fully managed offering that provides Kubernetes-native security capabilities on-premises or in the cloud. It supports Red Hat OpenShift and non-Red Hat Kubernetes services across major clouds, including Amazon EKS, Google GKE, and Microsoft AKS. The service is currently available on a limited basis on Amazon Marketplace, the company said.