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Zoom on Red Hat OpenShift 4

Following the Red Hat Partner Conference in June 2019, many updates were announced with a focus on OCP 4. But first, let’s refresh your memory: 

OpenShift 4 is Kubernetes at its core and re-architected the way the deployment is done, upgrade and management of the platform, while also binging advanced day 2 management and automation to the application services that run on the platform. These advancement techniques are based on Kubernetes Operators, read on to find out more!


  • Early upgrades can happen and full support will be provided for short upgrades, then critical support will be enabled to move from 4.1 onward.
  • Minimum 2 years of maintenance support will be provided for customer confidence.
  • Telemetry is optional, but in case it’s disabled, the customer will not be able to get technical insights of the cluster, as it is used in the new way Red Hat manages subscriptions.
  • Universal Base Image: Red Hat enables the ability to provide a pre-built language image. This will be supported by 3 different tiers, as described on the Red Hat website.
  • A migration strategy can be enabled from 3.11 to 4.x in quarter 3/4.
  • Starting from OCP 4.2, a new migration service will be provided. This service is based on the upstream project called Valero, which is going to snapshot the OCP cluster and then move with the upgrade process.


CRI-O is a lightweight container runtime for Kubernetes and is the brand new replacement of Docker in OpenShift 4.x.


The installation of OpenShift 4 is fully Terraform based, and the upgrade procedure has become very easy. Usually, you could easily make mistakes because of the 250+ variables which you could choose from, in Ansible. This has been replaced through better UI by using the upgrade Cloud Version Upgrade feature in the admin console.

Red Hat Linux CoreOS (RHCOS)

Starting from OCP 4.x, OpenShift will be deployed on top of RHEL CoreOS by default. RHCOS is a fully immutable, container optimized Red Hat enterprise-Linux, leveraging the latest RHEL 8 kernel and core libraries.

RHEL CoreOS is fully integrated and managed as a component of the OpenShift platform. The customer is able to choose between both of RHEL or RHCOS only for worker nodes. Only RHCOS will be supported for the OpenShift master nodes.

Kubernetes Operators

An Operator is a method of packaging, deploying and managing a Kubernetes-native application and is the new way to automate life cycle management of containerized applications with Kubernetes. With Operators, administrators can extend the Kubernetes API to codify workflows for managing complex applications right into services.

OpenShift 4 itself is a fully containerized platform consisting of many different components. Operators in this case also drive the installation and upgrades of OpenShift and all of its services. This includes Kubernetes core services, along with Prometheus, Grafana, Elasticsearch, Software Defined Networking, Storage, Registry and other components that make up the OpenShift Kubernetes platform.

OpenShift Container Platform Operators:

  • Cluster Version Operator (CVO) + Machine Config Operator (MLO) allows simplified, cluster-wide management of those critical components.
  • Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) and the OperatorHub provide facilities for storing and distributing Operators to people developing and deploying applications.

Learn more about operators here.

Identity Providers

OCP 4 includes a built-in OAuth server to authenticate users and the API. OCP can be configured with different Identity Providers, such as LDAP, GitHub, OpenID Connect, etc. The configuration should be pushed to the identity provider.

OpenShift Upgrade feature

OCP update service provides over-the-air updates to OpenShift Cluster and the Linux kernel running underneath it. The Cluster Version Operator (CVO), checks with the OCP update service to see the valid updates and update paths based on current component versions and information in the graph. When CVO detects a new compatible update, it will use the release image for that update and upgrades the cluster. The release artifacts are hosted in Quay as container images.

Over-the-air updates can be switched off.

Fuse online = Agile Integration

Fuse brings integration capabilities like AMQ and 3SCALE for API Management. Usually, AMQ and 3SCALE are called integration products, because they leverage methods and tools that allow the agile and effective integration of services, applications, APIs and data as a foundation for competitive advantage. The agile integration approach focuses on the API approach. All of this is meant to keep up with the pace of the fast-evolving technologies.

Red Hat OpenShift and RHEL8 come with pretty new engines and features. A time delay will be needed to be production-ready and team-ready, as new training will be requested to master it. For more information, contact us!