Introducing the Red Hat Innovation Center

by Justin Hayes (Red Hat)

Like many organizations, Red Hat Consulting constantly seeks ways to eliminate organizational inefficiencies in our business operations. These inefficiencies typically deal with how our consultants are trained on cutting edge technologies, how our sales force demonstrates product capabilities to our customers and prospects, and how our technical groups request operational environments (virtual machines, platforms, etc.)

To attack this problem, a team of architects and consultants set out to design, implement, and operationalize a system that will reduce these inefficiencies. This system is called the Red Hat Innovation Center (RHIC). Its vision is twofold:

1. To demonstrate Red Hat products’ features and capabilities through a solutions-oriented approach based on real world use cases.
2. To enable our consultants to quickly and efficiently learn our technologies by lowering the barriers to entry to internal training.

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Five top tips for the journey to cloud

by Malcolm Herbert (Red Hat)

The post below originally appeared here on November 22, 2012.

A comparison between enterprise IT and public cloud computing dramatically highlights the benefits of moving to cloud.

Application deployment times can shrink from weeks in the traditional data centre to minutes in a cloud data centre; new application development time accelerates from years to weeks (or months at most); cost per virtual machine plummets from dollars to cents; server administrator ratios can explode from 20:1 to 300:1; while efficiency increases, with resource utilisation soaring from 20% to 75%.

With measurable benefits like these, it’s no wonder that IDC expects that by 2015 the majority of the enterprise market will require integrated hybrid cloud management capabilities (Source: IDC Cloud Management Study, 2011 Survey).

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BPM: Utilizing JBoss technologies to increase business performance and agility

by Duncan Doyle

With the growing popularity of cloud environments and cloud-like architectures, the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) paradigm has become increasingly important. Having been the previous big buzzword in IT, the term SOA has often been used as a means to sell software products instead of a term to refer to architectural style. However, in order to benefit most from the new possibilities in virtualization, just-in-time provisioning and on-demand scalability it has become a must for businesses to partition their enterprise logic and functionality into individual components which can independently be deployed in heterogeneous environments.

One of the goals of an SOA is to provide the enterprise with a set of re-usable, readily available business services, and as such reduce cost and provide greater operational agility. The autonomous nature of well-defined services make these components the perfect candidate for deployment in cloud environments. These individual services can then be combined, or composed into business applications which provide the actual business value. The specific compositions of these services in fact defines the actual business process.

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Guest Post: Bruno Lima, Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year, EMEA

by Bruno Lima

Becoming EMEA’s Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year was very easy. I just wrote a letter and crossed my fingers, haha. Jokes aside, I believe I became a Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year because when I entered my submission, I not only wrote a reply, I relayed how Red Hat is integral to both the story of my life and in my career. From the innovative projects I’ve participated in to the satisfaction of our customers, Red Hat has meant a lot to me.

I started using Red Hat technologies in the mid-90s when open source was still unknown by many and ignored by almost everyone. I remember my first installation of Red Hat, which was at a public company in a small town called Sao Luis in Brazil. It was where I was born and raised. The company needed a reliable solution to run an electronic mail system, and at that moment the only platform that met our needs was to use the Red Hat Linux with Sendmail. I never stopped using Red Hat technologies after that, using Red Hat and open source for more and more projects.

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Cloud Sniff Test: Cutting through the jargon

by David Kang (Red Hat)

Cloud is not software, cloud is not hardware, cloud is not virtualization, and cloud is certainly not a panacea for broken IT. Cloud is an architecture: a set of fundamental tenets that have different implications at different levels of IT, from network, to hardware, to applications, and to the IT process itself. To say you have a cloud is to say that you have a cohesive architecture, technology set, and most importantly processes, that work towards a defined goal under a set of well-understood principals. Building your cloud is as much about defining your goals and governing principals as it is about investing in technology.

Building your cloud and consuming cloud services
Step one is defining your governing principals. This is a crucial step before embarking on your cloud journey as the policies and principals you define will help you navigate your journey through the rapidly expanding cloud ecosystem. This is also an opportunity to ask tough questions and examine what your principals and processes are, and why you have them. Process is ultimately about managing risk, so consider what risks are acceptable under your governance policies and weigh them against the potential benefits cloud can offer. Both Facebook and Google have adopted “deploy to production” models that seem to fly in the face of process conventions such as ITIL or RUP, yet somehow they seem to survive. The penalty for not doing this exercise is ballooning adoption costs, or failed rollouts all together.

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Using Activation keys in CloudForms System Engine

by Forrest Taylor (Red Hat)

Corresponding Curriculum: Content is extracted from the all-new Deploying Systems in Cloud Environments (CL260) course

Activation keys automate client repo subscriptions when registering to Red Hat CloudForms System Engine. Activation keys can define subscriptions and the default environment for a system. To manage activation keys, log in to System Engine and hover over the “Systems” tab, and choose the “Activation Key” sub-tab. Click the “+ New Key” link and enter the name and environment, then click the “Save” button.

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What is CloudForms?

by Vinny Valdez (Red Hat)

The following is an excerpt of a post originally published on June 29, 2012, on Vinny’s Tech Garage.

I’m really excited about CloudForms. In my recorded demo at Summit, I showed a RHEL 2-node active/passive cluster with GFS off an iSCSI target. Then I moved all the underlying CloudForms Cloud Engine components to shared storage. I was able to launch instances, fail over Cloud Engine, and see the correct status. After managing the instances, fail back, and all was good. All of this works because the RHEL HA cluster stops the databases and other services first, moves the floating ip over, then starts the services on the active node. This was a very basic deployment, much more could be explored with clustered PostgreSQL and sharded Mongo.

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Reducing friction in agile development using cloud

by Zach Rhoads (Red Hat)

One of the core tenants of agile development is to focus on the tasks that are the highest priority and immediate need. This is sometimes referred to as “Just-in-Time” development. The idea is to focus on the tasks needed to ship the feature now and worry about everything else when it is actually needed. Another tenant that goes hand-in-hand with “Just-in-Time” is the idea of failing early. Basically, a team should know as early as possible if something is going to fail, that way the team does not waste time going down the wrong path. This means the team should develop a feature and solicit feedback in short cycles, allowing the team to quickly understand what works and what does not.

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