Red Hat is moving to reduce or eliminate many of the manual tasks DevOps teams routinely encounter via a beta release of an update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that addresses multiple data management issues related to DevSecOps and DataOps.
Steve Almy, principal product manager for RHEL, said version 7.5 of RHEL adds support for integration between the Ansible IT automation framework that Red Hat now bundles in the RHEL operating system and OpenSCAP, a security auditing tool originally developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). OpenSCAP provides IT administrators with a baseline of security settings to compare with the current state of their Linux deployment. They then can invoke the declarative Ansible framework to automatically resolve any of those issues raised by the OpenSCAP audit, said Almy.
In a similar vein, Red Hat is also making it easier to securely unlock Network Bound Disk Encrypted devices at boot-time while adding time-stamping and synchronization needs with the addition of failover with bonding interfaces for Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP).
Additionally, to reduce data management headaches, Red Hat is now embedding support for data deduplication and compression software based on technology it gained by acquiring Permabit last year. The goal is to enable IT organizations to perform those tasks on data running on the server before it is ever stored on a disk, said Alby. In many cases, that may eliminate the need to acquire, deploy and manage separate data deduplication and compression software for the storage system. That approach also serves to indirectly benefit DataOps, an emerging discipline through which many organizations are trying to modernize the management of data and the pipelines employed to feed that data into applications.
Other additional management capabilities being added to RHEL 7.5 include an easier-to-use cockpit administrator console for managing storage, networking, containers and other services, and a “known-good” bootable snapshot to help speed recovery and rollback after patching software.
Almy said Red Hat is focusing more on eliminating much of the friction that gets in the way of enabling IT administrators to accomplish more tasks in a specific amount of time. The goal is not to eliminate the need for IT administrators, but rather to eliminate tasks that conspire to make managing IT more time-consuming than it need be. Much of that Red Hat strategy is anchored around an Ansible automation framework that doesn’t require IT administrators to know how to program to automate the management of underlying IT environment.
It’s not clear just how much ease of data management impacts IT decisions. All things being relatively equal, however, IT administrators in the agile programming age are trying to manage more workloads than ever. Most organizations are not adding additional IT operations staff mainly because it’s hard to find and retain them. That means make sure existing IT administrators are more efficient than ever by embracing IT automation whenever and wherever possible to streamline DevOps processes.