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Interview with Diane Mueller, Red Hat’s director of Community Development for OpenShift

“The power of Kubernetes & OpenShift lies not only in the capabilities but also in the broad ecosystem of products”

Gabriela Motroc
Kubernetes
Diane Mueller

Last month, Red Hat announced the general availability of OpenShift Container Platform 3.11 – an important release because it incorporates the first wave of technology from the CoreOS acquisition. We talked to Diane Mueller, Red Hat’s director of Community Development for OpenShift about the importance of this release, their plan to continue innovating both in and around Kubernetes and Operators & more.

JAXenter: There are quite a few cross-community collaborations right now, such as the one between Kubernetes and Red Hat Openshift. What does this mean for users and how will it develop?

Diane Mueller: The starting point for all of the cross-community collaboration (both upstream and downstream) on OpenShift and OKD is the OpenShift Commons community.  OpenShift Commons, is where OpenShift community collaborates and works together on Red Hat’s OpenShift and its upstream project OKD. It is open to all community participants: users, operators, enterprises, startups, non-profits, educational institutions, partners and service providers.

OpenShift Commons also has participants from all the upstream projects we collaborate with – everybody from all parts of the Kubernetes world, Prometheus, OCI, Open Tracing, Istio, Operators and many other CNCF projects. Furthermore, there is a whole host of ‘downstream’ participants such as the service providers and partners who are integrating their services with the OpenShift platform, along with all the hosts like Google and Microsoft – all of whom make up the far-flung OpenShift ecosystem and OpenShift Commons serves as the connection point for all of these conversations and collaborative efforts.

One of the great benefits of Kubernetes and OpenShift is the ability to deploy and run anywhere.

In the past, the main focus of community management was getting contributions to your own projects’ code base. Today’s open source projects require contribution to multiple projects and coordination of resources, releases, and priorities. With OpenShift Commons, we’ve completely re-worked the open source community management paradigm to embrace and empower the many points of connection going on and to ensure an open and transparent flow of peer-to-peer communication across all the projects and initiatives that make up the OpenShift ecosystem.

We have people working on Kubernetes, we have Kubernetes people making commits to OKD, Red Hat’s community distribution of Kubernetes that powers Red Hat OpenShift. We have end users making pull requests and logging issues that impact OpenShift releases in multiple projects. We have service providers building Operators that run on multiple Kubernetes deployments.  Being involved and plugged into the upstream community and bringing together developers and end users is incredibly important as it allows you to get feedback and understand where people are struggling. You get to hear the end user’s pain points and that’s the best way to shape the agenda and prioritize certain features over others.

A lot of effort by the Kubernetes community and the CNCF as well goes into fostering all of this cross-community collaboration and communication. The CNCF does a great job with their ambassadors’ program and the Kubernetes community does amazing things within their Special Interest groups (SIGs) to ensure projects are correctly incubated and resources are aligned. Their willingness to learn from mistakes and to evolve is something that’s really kind of unique, it’s a whole new way of thinking about open source collaboration and that’s the biggest change that we’ve seen.

JAXenter: Speaking of this collaboration, could you name some Red Hat-driven initiatives that are important to the Kubernetes/OpenShift ecosystem?

Diane Mueller: Red Hat is one of the leading contributors to Kubernetes, next to Google. One of the great benefits of Kubernetes and OpenShift is the ability to deploy and run anywhere. Red Hat works closely with partners to ensure that OpenShift runs smoothly on any cloud, on bare metal and on-premise.  In addition, we also provide certified, secure container images from dozens of ISV partners.

We have provided key features to upstream Kubernetes, which include Operators for streamlined packaging, deployment, and management of Kubernetes applications (enabling automated operations); etcd (through CoreOS), the “brain” of Kubernetes, which provides configuration and service discovery across clusters; StatefulSets, for managing stateful applications – a huge improvement over ephemeral containers; and role-based access control (RBAC), a must-have for enterprise implementations.

However, the power of Kubernetes and OpenShift is not only its own capabilities but also in the broad ecosystem of products, vendors, cloud providers, and partners that enrich the platform with complimentary services.

JAXenter: What lies ahead for OpenShift?

Diane Mueller: In October 2018, Red Hat announced the general availability of OpenShift Container Platform 3.11 – an important release because it incorporates the first wave of technology from the CoreOS acquisition. This includes new visibility for operations teams through the Cluster Console and integrated Prometheus monitoring and Grafana dashboards. It also added support for a number of Operators both from Red Hat and ISC partners. This is important as Operators will continue to play a more critical role in both the OpenShift Platform, as well as for applications running on OpenShift.

As more customers adopt OpenShift and look to extend it to a growing number of workloads, we plan to continue innovating both in and around Kubernetes and Operators. We will work with both the community and our customers to deliver the same great enterprise Kubernetes solutions, with greater choice and flexibility through OpenShift.

SEE ALSO: Kubernetes adoption hasn’t exploded yet, new study shows

JAXenter: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Diane Mueller: The number one thing we’re seeing is, given that Kubernetes is now the standard of container orchestration, people are much more willing to be active participants in the OpenShift Commons community. Just as Linux is everywhere, that’s now the same with Kubernetes and people are now happy to really invest in the technology and participate in the community.

A lot of people were on the fence a couple of years ago, waiting to see which platform was going to “make it”, but now it’s a given that OpenShift and OKD are the de-facto enterprise distributions of Kubernetes. With over 450 member organizations, we’re seeing a very strong commitment to participating in the development of OpenShift and OKD from all stakeholders. This is driving innovation into the project and giving all OpenShift Commons participants a sense of an ownership in the project’s success and future.

Thank you!

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.