Speed Your Company’s Applications to Market with OpenShift, Containers and FlexPod

By Troy Mangum, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, NetApp


Everything is moving faster in the IT business, and release cycles are no exception. Remember when you had to wait 12 to 18 months for releases of new application features? Those days are long gone.


Today, a host of new approaches-from CI/CD, DevOps, containers, SaaS, cloud native applications, and platform-3-have changed the face of application development. But while these industry buzzwords look great on PowerPoint, in practice they can become operational nightmares that hinder your company’s efforts to develop applications faster. To help address this issue, the NetApp FlexPod® team has partnered with Red Hat’s OpenShift team to deliver a DevOps demonstration that’s ready for IT to implement today.


What is OpenShift?

OpenShift is a PaaS (platform-as-a-service) product that delivers enterprise-class Kubernetes and Dockers with persistent storage integration. OpenShift builds and deploys containerized applications that require persistent storage to maintain state in a database across sessions or big data analytics applications. OpenShift is designed to support continuous integration with Jenkins and continuous deployment of containerized applications with Kubernetes.


In the below OpenShift example, developers can quickly and easily create applications on demand directly from the tools they use most. Operators can leverage placement and policy to orchestrate environments that meet their best practices. OpenShift provides an immutable, container-based platform based on Docker to deploy and run applications and micro services on Flexpod.


DevOps workflow using Red Hat's OpenShift.jpg


OpenShift + FlexPod = Dependable, Scalable Application Platform

With OpenShift running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)-Atomic on FlexPod, IT has a validated hardware platform which developers and operations can rely on to meet application needs throughout all phases of the application lifecycle: development, test, and production. FlexPod is a validated platform on physical hosts (RHEL-Atomic), virtual hosts (KVM), or in private cloud/IaaS (RHEL-OpenStack) using local compute resources for your application. Flexpod can also be co-located next to a public cloud with Netapp Private Storage solution for AWS, SoftLayer, Azure, or Google Cloud. This allows your application to make use of elastic compute resources in the cloud, while your application data is secure and accessible in the co-lo datacenter facility.


Applications deployed into production through OpenShift Kubernetes can depend on the underlying FlexPod architecture. Every FlexPod solution includes validation tests that ensure application/services uptime during a failed compute node, disk drive, FAS controller, Nexus switch, UCS fabric interconnect, link failure, or virtual interface failures. In addition, FlexPod cooperative support includes Red Hat, Cisco, Netapp, and a single 1-800 number for all hardware and software support needs.


FlexPod is a scalable platform. It allows IT to start small while the application is under development, and to scale when your application requires it. FlexPod Datacenter can scale from eight to 160 UCS B-Series blades, and from two to 24 All Flash FAS 8080 controllers to support hundreds of petabytes and with support for 15TB SSD drives.


FlexPod Express | FlexPod Data Center.jpg



FlexPod All Flash FAS is designed to service your application in production with 3X flash product guarantees and 4:1 efficiency guarantees. FlexPod has published all flash validated designs for the most demanding applications to include Oracle 12C, Microsoft SQL 2014, VMware Horizon View, Citrix Xen Desktop/ Xen App. Here is full list of Flexpod validated designs.


CI/CD Made Simple

Below is a video showing the continuous integration/continuous deployment process with a distributed containerized application updated in OpenShfit and deployed on FlexPod.



 For more information on how to set up persistent storage from NetApp with Kubernetes, please see this blog.


Highly Resilient, Highly Available, Highly Dependable

Below is a video demonstration showing a distributed systems application that requires state to be maintained between sessions.



Take the operational and developer pain out of DevOps by combining a best-of-breed PaaS in OpenShift with a best-of-breed infrastructure/IaaS in FlexPod. With our integration, you can realize the benefits of CI/CD when your application infrastructure needs grow dynamically. The FlexPod architecture can scale compute, network, or storage individually as your application needs require. You can even take advantage of the power of elastic compute resources in AWS, Azure, SoftLayer or Google Cloud, while guaranteeing the security and speed of your application data through FlexPod colocation public cloud solutions with All Flash FAS.  


Get your applications to market faster with Red Hat’s OpenShift and NetApp’s FlexPod.