Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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Red Hat launches 3scale APIcast – faster, flexible, open source API gateway

Dockerized version of APIcast 2.0 deploys on OpenShift for easier installation and operation in microservice environments

Today we’re happy to announce the general availability of Red Hat 3scale APIcast gateway 2.0. The APIcast gateway (NGINX-based) is open source and has served hundreds of happy customers over the last four years. Now we’ve taken it to the next level, supporting both a cloud gateway or hybrid model with an on-prem gateway. In fact, the new on-premise version introduces significant upgrades in terms of performance and flexibility. 3scale was the first in market with on-prem and now we are pleased to offer the second generation.

The API gateway, which is configured within 3scale’s Admin Portal, is part of the 3scale API Management SaaS offering. The Admin Portal allows customers to define desired authentication methods, set rate limits, get analytics on the usage of their APIs, and create a developer portal for their API consumers. APIcast 2.0  is the first of two on-prem releases. With the upcoming 3scale on-premise release, customers will be able to deploy the entire 3scale API Management Platform on-premises. Stay tuned!

Companies are increasingly migrating to microservices architecture, so the average number of API services managed with 3scale have significantly increased, and continue to do so. To accommodate to these requirements, APIcast changes the way it pulls the configuration from the Admin Portal. For starters, now it’s now possible to pull the configuration for just a subset of services. In addition, it makes it easier to automate the deployment of multiple gateways by providing the gateway configuration via a JSON file which can be fetched by an API. It also supports two environments out-of-the-box (staging and production) with options to enable always-up-to-date configs in staging, and control of updates in production. For example, you can set the reload config variable to true so it reloads the API gateway configuration with each request, which comes in handy during development phases.

Another big change introduced with APIcast 2.0 is the enhanced integration with Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform, which leverages Docker and Kubernetes for an easier deployment and DevOps experience. The new OpenShift template pulls the dockerized image of APIcast from the Red Hat container registry and lets you enable/disable key features of the API gateway by just changing the value of the corresponding template parameter.

Get started with APIcast 2.0:

Bringing Containerized Services and DevOps Closer to (Your) Reality

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For more than 10 years, Red Hat JBoss Middleware has been a successful business that deeply represented the Red Hat DNA: open source software. We expanded our product portfolio with projects created and imagined by the open source community; we decided to support other projects with contributors; and we also opened the source of technologies we acquired. Somewhere along the way, Linux containers, Kubernetes, and docker happened which made us realize that containerization of applications is the base for your next 20 years. The caveat in this is that a platform is only as important as the applications you run on top of it. In other words, a platform not running applications is not realizing its value. With that in mind, we made an important decision and investment to evolve our application portfolio in similar ways that we ask our customers to do to theirs: let’s take our Red Hat JBoss Middleware products, commonly deployed on Linux and Windows machines, and make them available as containerized deployments.

With the announcement of the availability of JBoss Data Virtualization for OpenShift we now have 100 percent of our Red Hat JBoss Middleware runtime portfolio containerized and available in Red Hat OpenShift, an enterprise-ready Kubernetes distribution with value-added capabilities that go from deploying your already packaged container images, to delivering a DevOps pipeline for an iterative development process.

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It’s a great Red Hat day in Minneapolis — Go Microservices !

Cross posted from the Red Hat Events Blog.

It was a great day in Minneapolis! The Microservices with Apache Camel was held at Target Field (inside the ballpark, overlooking the field of play). “Takes a lot to put together an event like this but can certainly be a lot of fun! Go microservices!,” says Red Hat associate Jen Fissel.

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Jen Fissel

I had the privilege of hosting the event and kicked off the event with a reference to the connected world we live in that requires enterprises to be agile while being integrated across the systems of yesterday with the evolving applications of the future. The future of Enterprise IT, containers, are here today and microservices are the stars of the show. Welcome to Minneapolis!

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Containerizing an application for the cloud: A journey of settings, state, and security.

Red Hat Developers and author N. Harrison Ripps have just begun releasing a ten-part series in which Harrison describes the process of deploying an application using containers into a clustered environment on the cloud.

Using the ZRC IRC client as a sample application, Harrison demonstrates each step in the process of containerizing software, dealing with issues like statelessness, security, and robustness that are typically architectural hurdles for most development teams moving to a cloud infrastructure.

Parameterizing application settings is a common requirement of applications that end up deploying to any environment, and containers have only heightened this need — with the emergence of on-demand environments, scriptability and configurability of the application images being deployed is a must.

Harrison suggests that containerizing applications should happen later, while development should happen first. This might seem intuitive, but his point is that containerizing an application actually need not introduce many development-time changes that would affect the architecture of your system — it can, but it need not. For a small sacrifice of startup performance, container images can be made more configurable and flexible, supporting DevOps procedures and deployments.

Once configured, the series also demonstrates how to host the application on a private instance of the OpenShift Container Platform, including clustering, via either the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK), or binary download of OpenShift. Harrison goes step-by-step through the process of starting the private cloud, deploying the application, and using Kubernetes to cluster the application.

Using attached storage, Harrison introduces a window of statefulness into our container environment. This produces an application that runs on the cloud in stateless containers, but maintains its internal state throughout the lifecycle as pods are brought up and down.

Follow along and learn some of these core cloud concepts as the series is published:

Title Date
That app you love, part 1: Making a connection 2016/09/27
That app you love, part 2: Immutable but flexible – What settings matter? 2016/09/29
That app you love, part 3: Every setting in its place 2016/10/04
That app you love, part 4: Designing a config-and-run container 2016/10/06
That app you love, part 5: Upping our (cloud) game 2016/10/11
That app you love, part 6: Container, meet cloud 2016/10/13
That app you love, part 7: Wired for sound 2016/10/18
That app you love, part 8: A blueprint for “that app you love” 2016/10/20
That app you love, part 9: Storage and statefulness 2016/10/25
That app you love, part 10: Long live “that app you love” 2016/10/27

And the Winner Is…

The comparison between the bag of cash representing a MINI Cooper S and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 is kind of fun. JBoss EAP 7 — like a MINI Cooper S — is small, agile, fast, and fits easily in appropriately-sized containers.

car

As part of this year’s Red Hat Summit — and to celebrate the release of JBOss EAP 7 — the Red Hat Middleware group held a drawing for a (metaphorical) bagful of cash equal to the value of a 2016 MINI Cooper S ($24,950 as of June 1, 2016). Anyone at Summit (who is not a Red Hat employee or relative) could enter the drawing.

And the drawing was last night! The winner is … drumroll ….

RYAN THAMES.

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Congratulations, Ryan!

Thank you to everyone who participated and who has visited the booth so far during Summit. It has been quite a ride this week.

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Left to right, Craig Muzilla, senior vice president of Application Platforms Business; Ryan Thames (winner); and Mark Little, CTO of JBoss middleware.

For reference….

The terms and conditions for this contest are available at https://www.redhat.com/files/resources/car-giveaway-contest-terms-conditions.pdf.

Thank you JBoss partners

Thank you JBoss partners. You made our decade.

In the open source world (and I would say increasingly in the software world in general), the success of a new technology begins with active and vibrant communities that crank out compelling and useful technologies.

When the technology gets out and increases in popularity, early customers begin to trust it and it faces the challenge of being adopted by the mainstream market, which is composed predominantly by customers who are pragmatists in nature and that find it difficult to use a new product unless it has support in the market (other customers) and it has an ecosystem of partnerships and alliances with other vendors that serve their industry.

That’s why partners are key to technology products. The larger the partner ecosystem, the more trust customers can have and the better the chances of widespread adoption.

JBoss had started to create that partner ecosystem before it became part of the Red Hat family back in 2006. Many things have happened since those early years, and we’ve probably done a few right things along the way, as Red Hat has become the first open source company to surpass the two-billion-dollar revenue mark, and for the fourth consecutive year we have been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2016 Partner Program Guide – where vendor applications are assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support, and communication.

However, at the end of the day, it is really the partners who decide which technology partners they choose to pursue success in the marketplace.

In anticipation of the launch of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), and of the 10th anniversary of JBoss becoming part of the Red Hat family, we offered our partners the opportunity to tell the world about out our collaboration.

So don’t take our word for it. Let our partners do the talking.

We are fortunate to have partners that have worked with JBoss for a long, long time. Some of them, such as Vizuri, were a JBoss partner before it became part of the Red Hat product family. Joe Dickman, senior vice president, explains that the widespread adoption of JBoss in the marketplace, especially among Fortune 500 companies, is “a testament to the ‘power of community collaboration and innovation’ that Red Hat embodies, which has forever changed the way that software is developed and businesses operate.”

Another JBoss veteran is Viada in Germany. In words of Daniel Braunsdorf, CEO of Viada in Germany, “Ten years ago JBoss was the first open source application server being really ‘enterprise-ready’”, and today “we are talking about a full stack of middleware suite products serving our customers needs by giving them more flexibility, agility, and speed to deliver innovative applications.”

James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, sums it up well: “Over the last decade, JBoss has come a long way in terms of improving performance as well as truly innovating in regards to the way applications run and are managed. With the release of JBoss EAP 7 comes a host of new features including full support of Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 (…) Furthermore, JBoss EAP 7 has also been upgraded to reduce start-up time and optimize networking port utilization making it truly ideal for running within Linux containers.”

SCSK from Japan trust the power of JBoss EAP 7 to drive open standardization and TCO reduction. In the words of Hisanao Takei, Senior Executive Officer, “SCSK thinks JBoss EAP 7 is the best choice that customers want for building open and standard infrastructure and especially expects system TCO reduction for virtual and cloud environment.”

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is at the core of many mission critical systems. And being intimately related with the other Red Hat middleware products, such as JBoss Fuse, enables our partners to support many different types of business customer needs. Hiroyuki Yamamoto, director at monoplus, Inc. in Japan, makes the point that “As business environments continue to evolve, we believe that JBoss Middleware will seamlessly contribute and support in the integration, co-operation and collaboration within businesses”.

Driven by the dynamism of information based sectors, it may be easy to forget that traditional businesses also need advanced enterprise systems to be successful. In such a traditional business as printing, our Japanese partner WingArc1st makes the point that “An enterprise printing platform needs to be highly reliable, stable and provide high performance for seamless operations,” and believe that “Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP 7 are important platforms” for the company’s SVF offering.

Matt Pavlovich, co-founder of Media Driver, abounds on how JBoss EAP 7 helps developers “to be more efficient by focusing their time on delivering business value versus fiddling with tech stacks.” No small feat, as he continues, “Whether it is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or via containers, JBoss EAP 7 provides deployment flexibility that can help DevOps teams avoid having to navigate tricky hurdles to get their environments up and running quickly.”

Regis Kuzel, senior vice president at LCN Services, takes pride at being an unbiased trusted advisor to their customers. “For LCN, the bottom line is you can’t do better than Red Hat JBoss EAP 7. It’s a well-thought-out platform. And it’s gaining market share because it works! We believe Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is the best technology available at its core!”

In terms of innovation, Farhan Hussain, Founder and CEO, Open Source Architect has a clear view of the contribution of the new EAP7. “This new platform will help us provide reliable, cost-efficient and high-performing container-based solutions for on-site and cloud deployments, while enabling our joint customers to innovate and meet strict compliance, security, and regulatory requirements simultaneously!” says Farhan.

Heinz Wilming, Director, Red Hat JBoss Competence Center for our German partner akquinet, makes a point about the value that long term support provides to our common customers. As you are possibly aware, Red Hat JBoss Middleware product life cycles are generally three, five, or seven years in length, and for certain products can be extended by three (3) additional years (up to ten!), something not many vendors actually provide. In his words, “Long-lasting support, regular updates and interoperability ensure protection of investment and guaranteed future for both our customers and akquinet.”

Some of our partners have been supporting JBoss for a long time, and others have made investments more recently. This is the case of Opticca in Canada. Owner Ivan Cardona shares that “We’ve been deploying Middleware, SOA, and BPM platforms from the major providers for the past eight years. We’ve recently made a large investment In Red Hat’s JBoss solutions because our customers’ feedback led us to conclude open source is now a real option.”

A last word…

We are really happy we are getting this support from our partners. Many others share us in the 10th anniversary and you can learn more from our strategic alliances here. And find more in the JBoss partner ecosystem press release, here.

And for those that are still not in the ecosystem, please join us. We’re here to help you grow.

So let me conclude as I began.

Thank you, Red Hat partners. You made our decade. Ready for more?

PD: Keep reading here for blogs and additional quotes from partners worldwide about the new EAP7!

Red Hat Summit Preview – Discovery session series

When we go to the Red Hat Summit this year in San Francisco, we have planned to attend sessions, labs, evening events and even maybe a few good seafood restaurants. Little did you know that there is a gem you might want to fit into your busy schedule, as it is a chance to meet some of the rock stars that are backing the  Red Hat Open Innovation Labs.

There will be a series of sessions hosted by experts to showcase use of Red Hat technologies and demonstrate the best practices with interactive white boarding. That is a personal touch session where you can interact with the storytellers and will be taking place in the West Lobby of M0scone Center on level 2.

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Containers, cloud, and Java apps: A new video on development stacks

DevOps methodologies are core to a (modern) IT environment because they focus on strategic business demands: resilient design, rapid scale, and reliable service delivery. That last characteristic is the critical for effective DevOps environments.

The goal is for you to move through the total dev stack, as fast as your development team can code. Our new video shows how a Java app goes from being developed on an OpenShift container to launching on a production cloud instance in under five minutes.

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