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Red Hat’s new role in enabling modern DevOps

By Sean Mitchell
Fri 10 May 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

We continuously hear about digital transformation. Rarely has there been more change in large enterprises than in their approach to developing software and systems.

The face of software development is changing drastically.

Forget the big IT department, who would endlessly plan monolithic software development projects using proprietary vendor platforms. Forget the waterfall project management techniques. Forget the license fees that got purchased up front even when the projects never saw the light of day.

Large numbers of organisations are pioneering a new approach. At the heart of it, is decentralised development, by smaller functional teams, often using the Agile and Scrum methodologies.

The advantage of this approach is being much closer to product teams and users. This proximity makes the pain point easier to identify and remain focused on. In essence, they’re scratching their own itch.

This approach drives faster iteration using weekly sprint cycles. Plus quicker prototyping and user testing cycles ultimately mean much better customer experiences.

These smaller functional DevOps teams can download and use open source software. Creating the minimum viable product of their project without any licensing cost.

A description of this new nimble approach to DevOps wouldn’t be complete without the buzz words of MVP (minimum viable product) and fast fail being included.

This new trend is happening at precisely the same time that Linux and open source solutions are coming of age in enterprise IT departments.

Open source is stable, secure and trusted these days, this combined with significant cost savings compared with traditionally proprietary software has seen growing adoption across enterprises worldwide.

This dovetails into Red Hat’s strategy very well:

They’re providing the Linux operating system that the developers are coding in/on.
They’re providing the server operating system that deployment occurs on.
They’re providing the containerisation software that is used to scale up the MVP into production, either on premises, hybrid cloud or pure cloud scenarios.

Finally, the same operating system and containerisation technology are used in development through to deployment. This is blurring the line between the developer and infrastructure system administrator functions.

All of Red Hat’s software is given away freely through open source licenses. It then makes revenue out of the support and services wrapped around its solutions. This approach means developers can download free yet fully functional software for development at no cost for a proof of concept.

Red Hat also offers a service called Innovation Labs. During these multi-week onsite workshops, Red Hat teaches the customer modern project management and DevOps techniques ending with a solid plan of how the customer should proceed.

This all comes together with Red Hat very well positioned in 2019, right at crossroads of where DevOps meets IT infrastructure inside organisations.

“More and more customers are treating us as a partner, not a vendor, it’s about business outcomes together, not selling software licenses,” said Garry Gray, Director of Partners and Alliances, ANZ, Red Hat.

“Cost efficiency is a small part of our success, more importantly, we are enabling our customers to innovate and provide new services much faster than they’ve previously thought possible,” said Paul Cormier, Executive Vice President Engineering, Red Hat.

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