Red Hat's Moisés Rivera: Exclusive Interview for LxA

Red Hat's Moisés Rivera

After making a RHEL8 review, highlighting some of the novelties of the new product, now Moisés Rivera by RedHat gives us this interesting interview exclusively for LxA. Moisés is Principal Solution Architect - Cloud, Automation & Infrastructure Team Lead at Red Hat and has exciting things to tell us about the new operating system for modern business environments and also what the future holds.

Here at the previous interview we were very lucky to have Julia Bernal and Miguel Ángel Díaz from Red Hat. I just add that I hope you like it and invite you to read it in full ...

Linux Addicts: RHEL 8 is the latest version of this era. The next will be within IBM after the acquisition of Red Hat. What will this change mean at a technological level?

Moises Rivera: We believe that the hybrid cloud starts with Linux, and we have developed Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an intelligent, multi-cloud hybrid operating system for this purpose. We know that companies need to move mission-critical workloads to the cloud to optimize and modernize their businesses, while managing their technology infrastructure both on-premises and across different clouds, both private and public, from an integrated, simple and consistent way. We know that organizations are looking for a common, readily available and interoperable environment across public and private cloud environments with the goal of being faster and more agile. Our mission to drive Linux as the foundation of the hybrid cloud world remains the same after the deal closes, as we will continue to deliver open innovation to enterprises on a more secure, production-ready platform.

Most importantly, Red Hat will function as a distinct unit within IBM, preserving our independence and neutrality. Among other things, this means that Red Hat offerings, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, will be developed by Red Hat, with roadmaps defined by Red Hat, and that our upstream-first approach (submitting a patch or fix to the author original of the software so that it is integrated into the source code of the software) and leadership in the open source community will remain unchanged.

LxW: After the merger you will be a somewhat different company, now you will be providers of software and hardware as well. Will there be some kind of extra optimization for IBM products (POWER, z / Architecture,…) or will the future RHEL continue to work well on any platform?

MR: Red Hat remains a completely neutral unit within IBM, focused exclusively on delivering open source enterprise technologies to power the hybrid cloud. Red Hat already offers a broad portfolio of infrastructure software that supports a broad spectrum of hardware vendors and configurations, including POWER and System Z. We intend to continue to advance this path of supporting a broad range of hardware based on the market demand.

LxW: Will all IBM HPC machines go to work with RHEL now or will they continue to maintain various operating systems as before?

MR: Red Hat and IBM intend to offer a wide range of hybrid cloud solutions to companies around the world and in all industries. Our commitment to customer choice in terms of architecture and software includes adding Red Hat Enterprise Linux to the mix of supported HPC technologies. Customer choice is also important to IBM, and we hope that it will continue to provide solutions that support multiple operating systems.

LxW: Going back to RHEL 8, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced during its development?

MR: The IT world is not static. The common challenges that enterprise IT organizations faced during the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 release are not necessarily the same as those they are facing now when we released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. In particular, Linux containers. and Kubernetes have become increasingly important for companies seeking digital transformation and hybrid cloud adoption. This makes our biggest challenge with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, and with any version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is to find a way to address technological advancements and challenges that can take months, if not years, from inception. In addition, Cloud Computing requires a level of scalability that we have not seen before. We had to change our paradigm to consider manageability at scale, performance and high availability as a core attribute of our development projects and not as something we expand on later.

LxW: What are you most proud of now that RHEL 8 is finally available?

MR: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is an important step in further reinforcing our history of helping our customers realize the benefits of the Open Hybrid Cloud. We are proud to have launched a modern operating system platform that provides an edge for both traditional and emerging (cloud-based and container-based) workloads. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is also a solid foundation for the Red Hat portfolio and is a key piece of the solution that our customers expect Red Hat to help them with. This, of course, wouldn't be possible if it weren't for our open culture, our spirit of collaborative creation, our willingness to share knowledge, our total dedication to others, and our full commitment to being a catalyst for open source communities.

LxW: If I remember correctly, RHEL 8 is available for AMD64 (EM64T), ARM, IBM Z and IBM POWER… Recently RISC-V has emerged and is gaining momentum, some experts say that the servers will arrive in about 5 years. Will it be supported in version 9 or 10…?

MR: Red Hat continues to foster strategic relationships with the world's leading silicon OEMs and suppliers and will partner with them to bring their leading hardware platforms to market.
Currently RISC-V is one of the alternative platforms in Fedora development (https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Architectures/RISC-V); so it is the first step - upstream-first - to get to have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux for RISC-V. Our decision to include RISC-V in a supported architecture - as with all the others - will be based on the needs of the enterprise market and the level of maturity of the ecosystem.

LxW: How does the development of a project like RHEL 8 begin? That is, the community works first creating Fedora, and once you have that base, what is the routine of developers to get RHEL?

MR: As I mentioned, Red Hat follows an "upstream first" policy for all of our products, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As we work with communities to drive innovation, we adapt the characteristics of the technology to the demand of business customers, from an OCI compliance container toolkit, such as Podman, Buildah, Skopeo ... or the new division of packages Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 RPM (BaseOS, Application Streams, and CodeReady Builder - https://developers.redhat.com/blog/2019/05/07/red-hat-enterprise-linux-8-now-generally-available/ ) that provides greater flexibility in current application development.
We take the projects that are tailored to these needs and begin to consolidate and refine them to become enterprise-grade components, which can be supported throughout the 10+ year life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux - https: // access .redhat.com / support / policy / updates / errata - and the thousands of hardware and public cloud configurations within the Red Hat ecosystem.

LxW: The cloud, containers, virtualization, AI,… what do you think will be the next challenge? Keep improving those fields for the next release or is there some emerging technology that you are paying special attention to?
Undoubtedly, the innovation environment points towards the use of artificial intelligence on all current solutions: Blockchain, Edge computing, IoT, among others, since it will provide a qualitative and quantitative leap to current emerging technologies.

MR: The key to being able to innovate whether when you want to execute new loads, apply artificial intelligence to existing solutions or in any type of development, is to create a sufficiently robust and open foundation that provides business solidity and ease of use and adaptation to new loads, just as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 does, providing the same flavor to all environments, regardless of the physical / virtual / cloud infrastructure where the load is running. Where we continue to focus on making all these technologies consumable and integrable in solutions that offer our clients competitive advantages in the market.

LxW: Cloud computing, Edge computing, Fog computing…. Do you think your future operating systems will be offered as a service and will run on large machines? In other words, will your users' devices become simple clients that can exploit the capabilities of that cloud? Or will they continue to run "local"?

MR: Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a general-purpose operating system that by definition supports workloads through a variety of deployment footprints. We believe that in the short and medium term it will be necessary to support traditional applications that want to take advantage of the performance improvements of new hardware platforms. Edge computing is increasingly moving toward more edge processing, and the notion of a "thin client" has changed from just being a "dumb" client that sends all information to a central processing server. We see good momentum to move workloads in the private and public cloud environment, which requires the same SLA and performance characteristics as today's enterprise workloads. We are confident that Red Hat Enterprise Linux will satisfy both traditional and emerging workloads, regardless of the deployment footprint.

LxW: Do you work in some type of convergence or being an operating system oriented to business environments and HPC is not something that worries you?

MR: Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides an operating system to handle a wide range of use cases, from single server workloads to the world's fastest supercomputers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is already used by Sierra and Summit, the world's fastest supercomputers, and is the same operating system our other customers use in their daily operations. This gives customers the confidence to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux anywhere and achieve the performance and scalability they demand on any footprint.


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