Getting Started with Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix HCI - Getting Started with Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix HCI

This blog series provides guidance to IT, DevOps, and system administrators looking to justify and provide production grade Kubernetes with Red Hat OpenShift on a Nutanix AHV cluster.

Cloud Native Digital Transformation

The migration of applications from physical servers to virtual workloads has been underway for over two decades, but the migration from virtual machines to containers is less than a decade old. Modernizing applications to run as containers requires new tooling and the open source Kubernetes project has emerged as the widest adopted container management system.

Kubernetes provides cloud-native capabilities, architecture, and operations which require new skill sets, posing a disruptive challenge to traditional organizations who desire the rapid software updates and performance scaling benefits. Like the Linux operating system, there are many Kubernetes distributions, and Red Hat OpenShift provides a market-leading platform to build, deploy and run applications with a consistent foundation across the hybrid cloud. Red Hat OpenShift includes over-the-air updates, container runtime, networking, ingress, monitoring, logging, container registry, and authentication and authorization solutions.

Nutanix provides simplicity, scalability, and hybrid cloud infrastructure, providing one-click upgrades of storage, compute, and network resources and services on your choice of hardware, public cloud, and service providers. Running Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix provides a full stack, enterprise supported, standardized solution with greatly simplified platform management and many non-disruptive operations, accelerating the adoption of containers and cloud native applications.

Partnership Overview

Red Hat, the leading open source software vendor, and Nutanix, the pioneering hyperconverged infrastructure leader, announced a strategic partnership in July 2021 which supports recent releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Satellite, and OpenShift on Nutanix AOS with AHV hypervisor. Customers have asked for improved support, certification, and reference architectures from Red Hat and Nutanix and joint engineering work has been underway for most of 2021.

The insurance industry is in the midst of a transformation to rapidly adapt to customers’ demands. We protect 39 million lives around the world with our products and services. As we work to modernize our IT infrastructure to support a seamless digital experience for our customers and employees, Nutanix and Red Hat help simplify our technology stack and advance our cloud transformation.

Gautam Roy, chief technology officer, Unum

An overview of the technology stack powering Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix HCI solution includes workloads and orchestration on the top layer, the combined Nutanix and Red Hat software offerings in the middle layers, and the infrastructure providers (on-premises hardware and public clouds) on the bottom layer. In the following diagram, the Nutanix supported portion of the solution is indicated in green.

Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix HCI
Red Hat OpenShift on Nutanix HCI

Prism is the Nutanix control plane, a single pane of glass web console for managing multiple Nutanix clusters running the Nutanix AHV hypervisor on AOS, Nutanix’s data plane for storage and cluster operations. On a Nutanix AHV cluster, Red Hat OpenShift and Nutanix data services run as virtual machines.

While there is much potential for the partnership to expand, the focus of this series is to walk through and exercise a full-stack, enterprise-supported Kubernetes container platform with OpenShift on Nutanix AHV.

Why Use Nutanix for Cloud Native Solutions?

Nutanix supports multiple infrastructure vendors and hyperscalers, hypervisors, and Kubernetes distributions. Customers can leverage many of their existing vendors, investments, and skill sets while modernizing their operations and reducing total cost of ownership with Nutanix HCI to provide enterprise clouds. Nutanix Prism consolidates, simplifies, and can automate the management of compute, storage, GPU, and network infrastructure for multiple Nutanix AHV clusters. Most Nutanix offerings include “one-click” enablement, scale out expansion, non-disruptive upgrades, and OpenAPIs through Prism, providing a single pane of glass experience for operators and a rich cloud platform for automation.

The combination of AOS, AHV, and Prism on multiple infrastructure providers forms the basis for Nutanix data services to simplify storage for cloud-native workloads. For maximum application performance offered by Nutanix HCI, OpenShift on AHV leverages the Nutanix CSI driver to access Nutanix data services to consume Nutanix cluster storage with advanced management features such as backup, disaster recovery, and scale out capacity.

For persistent storage, the Nutanix CSI driver accesses block storage via iSCSI with Nutanix Volumes and file storage via NFS recommended with Nutanix Files. The Nutanix CSI operator automates CSI deployment in OpenShift clusters and makes consuming Nutanix data storage services a simple operation.

The above diagram constitutes the elements of a forthcoming reference architecture, but Nutanix can provide additional facilities to support and be consumed by containerized applications. Nutanix cloud native offerings can provide object storage and databases with advanced management from Prism without migration to Kubernetes. Nutanix automation offerings provide cluster AIOps, auditing, and reporting as well as application self-service, governance, and operations for PaaS and SaaS experiences across hybrid, public, or private cloud usage.

Nutanix pioneered the modernization of traditional three tier architecture with hyper-converged infrastructure and AOS, AHV, and Prism are built on cloud-native facilities to provide a seamless hybrid cloud management platform. Nutanix data services simplifies and accelerates VMs and containers for Red Hat OpenShift clusters. The combined Red Hat and Nutanix solution offers a better total cost of ownership, a standard certified full-stack, and joint enterprise support for OpenShift on AHV.

The next entry in the blog series will begin the walkthrough of installing Red Hat OpenShift on a Nutanix AHV cluster.