Red Hat announced a new option for its OpenShift container platform at the virtual Red Hat Summit this week called Platform Plus, with a focus on helping customers more easily secure and manage their Kubernetes clusters regardless of which environment they run in.

With Platform Plus, Red Hat is focusing its attention on observability and security, with the CEO of Red Hat’s parent company IBM, Arvind Krishna, declaring during the keynote that he considers cybersecurity the “problem of the decade” in enterprise computing.

The features of OpenShift Platform Plus include:

  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Security for Kubernetes, which builds on the acquisition of specialist vendor StackRox earlier this year to enhance the security of infrastructure and workloads throughout the entire application life cycle.
  • Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, for end-to-end visibility, management, and control of Kubernetes clusters across hybrid and multicloud environments.
  • Red Hat Quay, a global, scalable, and secure container registry for a consistent build pipeline that spans infrastructures.

“I see a more overriding focus on security and multicloud enablement with this product,” Gartner analyst Arun Chandrasekaran told InfoWorld. “Security continues to be a top-of-mind issue for platform leaders and CIOs in the container space as they seek better security and more automated controls across build and runtime environments. Security cannot be an afterthought in the container world, given the sheer dynamism and ephemeral nature of containerized workloads—it has to be tightly integrated into the devops workflow, also known as devsecops.”

By our count, Red Hat now offers three versions of self-managed OpenShift: the foundational Kubernetes Engine, the OpenShift Container Platform, and now Platform Plus. Red Hat also offers four managed Kubernetes options, hosted on Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM Cloud, and OpenShift Dedicated, which itself can be hosted on either AWS or Google Cloud.

As more and more enterprises realize that managing Kubernetes is hard, cloud vendors are looking to compete on simplicity, functionality, and choice. According to Flexera’s 2021 State of Cloud report, 30% of enterprise respondents already use OpenShift in some manner, making it the fourth most popular managed option behind the Big Three cloud providers.

OpenShift Platform Plus is slated for general availability in Q2 2021, most likely in May. It will be an additional cost to the existing OpenShift Container Platform, with discounts for bundling.