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CIO Review >> Magazine >> November - 2015 issue

Red Hat- Augmenting Agility by virtue of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 beta

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The mobile world and the new app economy are driving changes with unprecedented speed and scope, which is impacting the world’s most powerful economies and developing nations while changing the game for business, industries and society. This consequently creates new requirements and expectations. In such an environment, where innovative and disruptive technologies emerge one after another, business agility is of utmost importance. Succinctly said, Business agility is the ability of an organization to get to market quickly and effectively in order to solve the business problems it faces. When companies think of "business agility”, they think of “open source”. The ability to create new applications quickly, reliably and economically is drawing businesses to open source and emboldening them to use it for even larger projects. As far as Open Source is concerned, Linux is by far the best-known and most-used open source operating system. However recently, researchers at a cloud security company have discovered a major security breach, GHOST (CVE-2015-0235). GHOST enables hackers to remotely take control of systems without access to system IDs or passwords. Such security issues discourage prospective adopters of Linux to the background, thereby hindering a swift transition to agile business solutions. This in turn, cripples the chances of the company’s leadership in the Global market.

Headquartered in the United States, Red Hat provides Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 beta, the company’s latest version of the enterprise Linux platform. With an impressive array of new features and enhancements, Red Hat aims to redefine the enterprise operating system. The de novo platform introduces a SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) module into anaconda (anaconda is the installer for Red Hat Enterprise Linux) that allows enterprise customers to apply SCAP-based security profiles during installations while binding data to local networks. Similarly, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 beta supports DNSSEC for DNS zones that are managed by Identity management (IdM) and federal identities. The support mechanism allows users to access resources using a single set of digital credentials. Red Hat aspires to provide stable and reliable solutions to the demands of the modern datacenter and nex-gen IT requirements while ensuring ample security. “On the container front, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 beta provides improvements to the platform’s underlying container support infrastructure by continuing to refine support for container based application development and deployment. “We recognize the importance of continuously maintaining stable and secure enterprise environments, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 beta includes several new and enhanced security capabilities to meet the same.” says Rajesh Rege, Managing Director Red Hat India.

Red Hat’s Crown jewel, Red Hat Enterprise Linux that was introduced 15 years back, allows clients to reallocate resources towards meeting crucial challenges instead of simply maintaining their status quo. Along the same line, the platform enables clients to deliver meaningful business results by providing exceptional reliability and security. The company proffers subscription to connect with the industry’s largest ecosystem of partners, customers and experts who carry the prowess to support and accelerate the client’s success rate. Since the Linux Platform offers a low-risk and a robust alternative to traditional UNIX platforms, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a foundation for key business applications to its clientele that spreads from Fortune Global 500 financial institutions to government agencies. Similarly, by proffering customized solution for its clients, Red Hat enhances the agility and adaptable qualities that provides the necessary performance to succeed resulting in faster ROI. Furthermore, as a means to increase the adoption of DevOps, Red Hat assesses the clients’ software delivery environment and then outlines core efficiencies of the customer’s business’ DevOps. After which, the company introduces the tools and methodologies for improving application life­cycle management. This increases the client’s chances for a better collaboration, standardization, and automation.

Red Hat’s PaaS and SaaS solutions
Red Hat’s PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) offering, OpenShift, enables developers to develop, deploy and run applications while aiding architects and IT operations a controlled environment built on familiar technologies. This results in reducing the TTM (Time-To-Market) enabling faster ROI and trimming unnecessary outages. OpenShift is an open hybrid cloud application platform that allows clients to develop, host and scale application in the cloud. Red Hat offers three different solutions for organizations to host applications- OpenShift Online (Public Cloud), OpenShift Dedicated (Private Cloud) and OpenShift Origin (Community Project). Correspondingly, Red Hat’s IaaS (Infrastructure-as-as-Service) offering is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. The company provides self-services and on-demand access to IT resources, by dint of which, the clients can solve issues on their own. Moreover, Red Hat has incorporated a pay-as-you-go pricing policy that enables organizations to cut down expenses. Similarly, the IT department of the Client organization can set business policies that control access in order to keep critical apps and tools secure. Meanwhile, the unified management helps the department to respond efficiently to the user’s needs despite the complex environments. The company’s Unified Storage Management solution aims at empowering IT administrators to lower costs and complexity thereby deflating the strain on IT staff. Available either as a standalone manager or as a part of the integrated solution of the overall Red Hat solution stack, Red Hat’s Unified Storage Management solution provides an array of services that ranges from cluster creation to volume management across the physical, virtual and Cloud environments. The modular, pluggable and open source technology that the Unified Storage Management solution utilizes facilitates the clients to lower their operational costs. The solution provides a consistent user experience while optimizing usability across Red Hat solutions that the business relies on.

Why favor Red Hat Partner Program?
The Company’s Red Hat partner program proffers benefits that are designed to assist clients in developing open source practices around Red Hat solutions. A Red Hat Ready Partner will receive access to marketing and training resources that are tailored to aid clients in building open source success stories. On the other hand, an Advanced Partner will have access to local Red Hat solution architects and web-based technical pre-sales support. A case in point where Red Hat helped a client by not only addressing their financial and operational constrains but also enhanced the work environment was when Tata sky approached Red Hat. Tata Sky’s critical Electronic Voucher Distribution (EVD) application runs on a proprietary middleware platform. However, the high license maintenance and support costs made sustaining the platform expensive for Tata Sky. Eventually, as the existing platform reached the end of its shelf life, it required a version upgrade and Tata Sky decided to replace the proprietary platform with Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. This migration helped Tata Sky to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the EVD application by 75 thereby resulting in a significant improvement in the performance while the turnaround time for the recharge process was reduced considerably. With this success story, Tata Sky started using the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform as a standard middleware platform for all of its applications.

With its exclusive list of partners such as Newgen, Wipro, TCS, Tech Mahindra, HCL, IBM, Cisco, HP, Dell, Infosys and Ingram, Red Hat is working closely with the open source community as well as a rich portfolio of partners in India to help architect, build and deploy solutions for customers around open source. Along the same line, owing to the company’s recent collaboration with Kryptos Networks India Pvt. Ltd, Red Hat intends to gain access to the large network of cloud and service providers who use Kryptos Networks, which in turn can enhance Red Hat’s reach into the flourishing the Indian IT market. As a means to realize Red Hat’s vision “a mainstream, multi­product company”, the company has adopted the go- to- market approach. “For Red Hat, channel development is a strategic initiative from a global as well as Indian perspective. At every step, we always provide our unconditional support to our valued partners, be it channel development needs or joint marketing programs” adds Rajesh Rege.

Red Hat’s Open Source docket for India
Red Hat has been supporting the mandate from the Indian government to encourage the adoption of the Open Source by organizations within the nation. With open source becoming the driving force behind emerging technologies that ranges from cloud to mobility, customers within the country are welcoming Open Source with open hands. The company foresees that these technologies can exponentially power the growth of the clients in India, while building a competitive differentiation in the market space. Leveraging the rise in opportunity in the mid-market and the SMB segment for Open Source, Red Hat is all set to invest in people, partnerships, solutions as well as consulting and service delivery capabilities. Furthermore, with the support extended by the Global Engineering and Support teams based in the country, Red Hat works closely with large Indian Software Integrator (SI) companies to build its capability and skills around the open source technologies. “India will continue to be a key market for Red Hat as Open Source is the driving force behind emerging technologies ranging from cloud to mobility” concludes Rajesh Rege.