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OpenShift 4 New Features

What are the New Features of OpenShift 4?

Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4 provides a scalable, robust, and flexible runtime environment for the deployment of cloud applications. Let’s bring a light on the OpenShift 4 new features through this discussion.

OpenShift is an open-source as well as an extensible container application platform developed by Red Hat. It falls under the family of containerization software and is now a trusted enterprise Kubernetes. OpenShift helps in easy scaling and deployment. It includes Kubernetes for enhanced container management and orchestration.

OpenShift offers the developers an integrated development environment (IDE) for the deployment and building of Docker-formatted containers. It also helps in the management of the containers in the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform.

OpenShift Basics Online Course

Four models of OpenShift are available, namely, OpenShift Container Platform, OpenShift Online, OpenShift Dedicated, and OpenShift.io. The latest version of OpenShift is OpenShift 4, with additional new features. Many OpenShift 4 new features are currently added to the latest version.

List of OpenShift 4 New Features

With the major update in OpenShift 4, Red Hat is all set to present a new version of the Kubernetes platform. The latest version of OpenShift 4 is set for providing a universal cloud-like experience just like with Kubernetes. OpenShift 4 is the first major release in the last four years by Red Hat. Let us take a closer look at the features of OpenShift 4 for finding what it brings to the table!

With the release of this new version of OpenShift, Red Hat announced the new features in OpenShift 4. Here we throw light on the OpenShift 4 new features:

1. Cluster Installation

Cluster installation is one of the OpenShift 4 new features. OpenShift 4 offers an installer-provisioned infrastructure that allows the installer to gain control over all the areas of the AWS installation process. This feature enables the provisioning of clusters from scratch within minutes.

The user-provisioned environments enable the administrators to simply deploying on any platform by the filling up of an inventory file. It also offers the installer all the credentials of connections of all the hosts on the user-provisioned environment.

2. Kubernetes-based Event-driven Auto-scaling (KEDA)

KEDA is another new feature of OpenShift 4. The event-driven containers on Kubernetes were supported by the collaboration between Red Hat and Microsoft. KEDA helps in accelerating the development of the serverless, event-driven functions on-premises as well as across the hybrid cloud.

Apart from the number of similarities between OpenShift and Kubernetes, there are some notable differences between them. Let’s understand them i.e. OpenShift vs Kubernetes.

3. OpenShift Service Mesh

OpenShift Service mesh is an exciting new feature in OpenShift 4. It helps in combining Jaeger, Istio, and Kiali projects into a single capability that is effective in the encoding of the communication logic. OpenShift service mesh helps in solving the major weaknesses of the previous versions of OpenShift.

Jaeger offers service analysis, transaction monitoring, root cause analysis, and distributed tracing that offers better visibility to the users into the platform. Istio helps in controlling the complexity in the connectivity of the microservice network and enabling secured communication between the containers in a monitored and controlled way.

Kiali provides better visibility into the microservices that are integrated into the service mesh. Kiali offers information about distributed tracing, metrics, topology, health status, and configuration validation.

4. Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS is one of the latest OpenShift 4 features that offer enterprises an expanded choice for the deployment of enterprise-grade Kubernetes. To bring about this change, Red Hat leveraged the acquisition of container platform CoreOS. In the previous models of OpenShift, every individual host required individual care. Regular maintenance tasks like patching were required for the hosts.

In case of malfunctioning of a host, the administrators should repair it. But with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS, on the event of failure of one host, it is simply replaced by another. Having an immutable infrastructure, an identical operating system is guaranteed for each host. RHEL CoreOS offers fully immutable, lightweight, and container optimized Linux OS distribution.

The cluster configuration is stored in a distributed and central service that enables the new hosts to start working as soon as they join the cluster. The new hosts receive a new image instead of the patching of hosts. During the upgrade process, the container workload of each host migrates to another host and receives a new image. The migrated hosted is again brought back to the cluster without any downtime.

5. Cluster Upgrades

One of the OpenShift 4 new features is cluster upgrades. The update service of OpenShift provides a simple interface that helps the administrators keep track of the updates available. It also assists in analyzing whether an update is safe for the cluster. It even helps in verifying the downloaded updates before they are implemented.

The upgrading of the version 3 of OpenShift to version 4 is not available. Installation of the OpenShift version 4 is only possible in a fresh environment. With the use of the web console, the administrators can now perform the upgrades. Simply by logging into the web console, the administrator will be able to see all the newly available updates.

The administrators can begin the upgrading process of their clusters through a few clicks. OpenShift 4 completely simplifies the upgrading process of the clusters. It makes cluster upgrading a simple task that can easily fit into the daily schedule of the administrators.

OpenShift is an application platform in the cloud with so many alternatives available. Check out the list of Best Alternatives to OpenShift.

6. Cloud Automation

Cloud Automation is another new feature of OpenShift 4. OpenShift 4 is specially designed for the hybrid and diverse cloud environments that operate across the traditional on-premises as well as the cloud platforms. OpenShift 4 has automation providers for the virtual platforms like OpenStack, VMware, and Red Hat Virtualization as well as for the on-premises bare metals.

The automation providers of OpenShift 4 will integrate with Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, Alibaba, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. This feature will offer heterogeneous support and better adaptability.

The integration will offer the developers a unified platform experience that will enable companies to reap the benefits of shifting the price points of various clouds. The integration will also offer a seamless experience to the developers as well as the end-users. This will facilitate the companies to maintain a multi-cloud production workload with the highest redundancy as well as availability.

7. Operator-enabled Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage 4

This is one of the new features in OpenShift 4 that will offer highly scalable persistent storage to the cloud-native applications. Especially, the applications that require enhanced replication, encryption, and availability features across the hybrid cloud will be benefited from this feature of OpenShift 4. It allows the application team to provide a wide variety of workload categories, including the AI/ ML, SQL/ NoSQL databases, and CI/ CD pipelines.

8. Knative

Knative, one of the OpenShift 4 new features, is an ideal feature for the building of Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) Workloads. This feature mainly helps in managing, building, and deploying a serverless workload that is scalable to meet the specific demands and can also scale down to zero when unused. This helps in the creation of on-demand functions that are internal to the cluster.

9. Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces

Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces is another OpenShift 4 new features. This feature includes all the dependencies and codes used to build, code, test, run, as well as debug the containerized applications in a web-based IDE. It ensures enhanced protection, collaboration, and consistency of the containerized applications.

10. Simplified Lifecycle Management and Application Deployments with Kubernetes Operators

The new additions of OpenShift 4 features offer automation of the scaling, failover, and application maintenance. It ensures the simplified process of application deployments and easy lifecycle management.

Learn Kubernetes with AWS and Docker

11. Kubernetes Operators

The operator refers to the method of deploying, packaging, and managing the Kubernetes applications. Operators are one of the OpenShift 4 new features that help in managing the applications on Kubernetes. It helps in performing the work more dynamically and efficiently by allowing the code to interface with the Kubernetes system directly.

Red Hat is currently offering Red Hat OperatorHub for OpenShift 4 to give the customers tested and curated repository of trusted operators. This feature enables companies to implement automation capabilities like self-tuning, automated backups, self-service provisioning, automated updates, and data replication for different services.

12. Operator-enabled Integration with Red Hat Middleware

The new feature of the OpenShift 4 will help in enabling better integration between the platform and middleware. It helps in unifying the development environments around the capabilities of the operator and allows the developers to focus on the delivery of next-generation services.

13. SELinux

SELinux in OpenShift 4 helps in adding security benefits at the host level to enhance the security of the containers. It also helps in the labeling of each container with a unique kernel-level context. It plays an important role in walling the attack vector only to the container even in cases of a container being compromised or root level right being attained. All these benefits make Selinux one of the demanding OpenShift 4 new features. 

14. Auto-Scaling Compute Nodes

Auto-scaling is one of the OpenShift 4 new features. The auto-scaling compute nodes of OpenShift 4 help in the continuous checking of the number of pending node allocation of pods. When the auto-scaler hasn’t reached its maximum limits and finds pending node allocation of pods, it helps in provisioning new nodes to fulfill the current demand.

On the reduction in the node requirements, the auto-scaler helps in removing the unused nodes. On the installation of auto-scaling compute nodes, the behavior is completely automatic.

15. ODO Command Line Interface

OpenShift 4 also comes with a command-line interface (CLI) known as ODO. This CLI introduced by Red Hat is ideal for improving the containerization of code and its deployment on OpenShift. The functionalities of ODO are evident in the faster construction of applications and iterations on code. Developers with a special knack for the command line can find this new improvement in OpenShift 4 favorable. 

OpenShift is very popular among DevOps professionals as one of the best DevOps tools. Here is the list of top DevOps tools you should know about.

Final Words

The self-managing platform of OpenShift 4 for the hybrid cloud offers advanced features like enhanced lifecycle management and automatic software updates. The OpenShift 4 new features empower the developers to innovate the development of applications easily.

The new feature helps in performing most of the operational tasks with the help of the web console. If your mind is blown by these new features of OpenShift 4, you can join and start learning with the OpenShift basics course. The enhanced experience of the new version of OpenShift 4 is all set to offer all the automation one requires. 

Red Hat is continuously changing and producing newer products with the latest features. The benefits of the new features added to OpenShift 4, are immense for the developers, the companies, as well as the end-users. OpenShift is changing as per the demand of the customers and offering the best.

About Neeru Jain

Technology Scientist by Mind and Passionate Writer by Heart!! With an enthusiasm for technological research and learning, Neeru turned out to be a technology expert. Her Belief: “Words are powerful enough to change Mind, Life, and the World; only the writer should have a real passion for Writing!!”
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