Let’s Go for a Test Drive with Red Hat’s OpenShift Enterprise

At DLT we’re very bullish about cloud technology in the public sector, and I spend much of my time talking with folks about the different cloud technologies and the best way to leverage these tools in support of their missions. Most of the people with whom I’ve spoken have a pretty good grasp of IaaS and SaaS and if they aren’t already using these technologies, they are exploring them. PaaS, however, is probably the least understood of the three service models.

A PaaS platform is a tremendous tool for both developers and operations staff. Developers appreciate the self-serve capabilities that let them automagically provision the elements that they need for their application when they need it. Operations staff are freed from all of those provisioning requests (from developers) for systems and databases and frameworks and networking and middleware and web servers and all of the other infrastructurey stuff. Additionally, the operations staff don’t need to manage all of these discrete virtual machines that make up the IT service through its entire lifecycle (Dev, QA, IA, Functional Test, Performance Test, Production, etc.)… they simply manage the PaaS platform.

The value to the mission is increased velocity, efficiency, and scalability of IT service delivery; speedier development (no waiting for that new server); and accelerated time to market.

It’s one thing for me to write this, but it’s another to actually experience if for yourself.

DLT has just launched Red Hat’s OpenShift Enterprise private PaaS as an AWS Test Drive. In this Test Drive, you take the role of a developer and experience firsthand the ease with which you can provision resources and deploy some applications. (If you are not a developer, that’s okay, our guide will walk you through the steps.)

Why not just use OpenShift Online? Great question! There are subtle differences between OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise. In fact, OpenShift Online is the upstream community upon which OpenShift Enterprise is based. If you want to play around with both the Test Drive and OpenShift Online, you will see some differences in the feature set. Also, OpenShift Enterprise is designed for a private PaaS as opposed to the public (i.e. multi-tenant and open to all on the Internet) OpenShift Online.

Speaking of private PaaS, OpenShift Enterprise can be deployed two ways. The first is on servers in your own data center. If you don’t have enough equipment laying around, data center space, or CapEx dollars, DLT has also developed CODEvolved, a reference architecture for an enterprise class deployment of OpenShift Enterprise on AWS. Based on AWS and Red Hat best practices, this architecture – coupled with DLT’s deployment methodology – allows customers to take advantage of a private deployment of OpenShift Enterprise in their own AWS account. CODEvolved customers have full control over who can access the PaaS platform and deployed applications. Note that this is not a multi-tenant, public deployment of OpenShift Enterprise. This is a dedicated instantiation within your own AWS account. In fact by leveraging AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Virtual Private Networking (VPN), it can be configured to only be accessible from your network. Alternatively, if you want to take the Internet out of the equation altogether for access to OpenShift Enterprise, AWS Direct Connect allows you to connect to your data center to your AWS account via a dedicated private line.

But enough of me writing about it, go try it out!