Red Hat on Monday launched its Fuse 7 cloud-native integration solution and introduced Fuse Online, an alternative integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).
Red Hat Fuse is a lightweight modular and flexible integration platform with a new-style enterprise service bus (ESB) to unlock information. It provides a single, unified platform across hybrid cloud environments for collaboration between integration experts, application developers and business users.
The Fuse 7 upgrade expands the platform"s integration capabilities natively to Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. OpenShift is a comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform.
Fuse Online includes a set of automated tools for connecting software applications that are deployed in different environments. iPaaS often is used by large business-to-business (B2B) enterprises that need to integrate on-premises applications and data with cloud applications and data.
Red Hat customers already using Fuse are likely to welcome the new additions and updates, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. Those who are actively utilizing the company"s OpenShift container solutions, and those planning hybrid cloud implementations may be especially interested.
"I"m not sure whether those features will attract significant numbers of new customers to Red Hat, but Fuse 7 appears to do a solid job of integrating the company"s container and hybrid cloud technologies into a seamless whole," King told LinuxInsider.
Because Red Hat"s Fuse enables subscribers to integrate custom and packaged applications across the hybrid cloud quickly and efficiently, it can be a competitive differentiator for organizations today, the company said.
The new iPaaS offering allows diverse users such as integration experts, application developers and nontechnical citizen integrators to participate independently in the integration process. It gives users a single platform that maintains compliance with corporate governance and processes.
By taking advantage of capabilities in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Fuse offers greater productivity and manageability in private, public or hybrid clouds, said Sameer Parulkar, senior product marketing manager at Red Hat.
"This native OpenShift-based experience provides portability for services and integrations across runtime environments and enables diverse users to work more collaboratively," he told LinuxInsider.Fuse Capabilities
Fuse 7 introduces a browser-based graphical interface with low-code drag-and-drop capabilities that enable business users and developers to integrate applications and services more rapidly, using more than 200 predefined connectors and components, said Parulkar.
Based on Apache Camel, the components include more than 50 new connectors for big data, cloud services and Software as a Service (SaaS) endpoints. Organizations can adapt and scale endpoints for legacy systems, application programming interfaces, Internet of Things devices and cloud-native applications.
Customers can extend services and integrations for use by third-party providers and partners. Users can deploy Fuse alongside Red Hat"s 3scale API Management offering to add capabilities for security, monetization, rate limiting and community features.
Fuse Online is a new service, but it is based on the existing structure of the Fuse application. Fuse online is a 24/7 service with drag and drop integration capabilities.
"The foundation is the same. It can be used in conjunction with Fuse 7 or separately with the ability to abstract all the customer"s existing data," said Parulkar. "It allows an organization to get started much more quickly."Expanding Agility
Combined with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and 3scale API Management, Fuse forms the foundation of Red Hat"s agile integration architecture. 3scale API Management 2.2, released last month, introduced new tools for graphical configuration of policies, policy extensibility and shareability. It also expanded Transport Layer Security (TLS) support.
The result makes it easier for business users to implement their organization"s API program. Combined integration technologies let users more quickly, easily and reliably integrate systems across their hybrid cloud environments, Parulkar said.
"Data integration is critical to the National Migration Department"s mission of effective threat prediction, and Red Hat Fuse plays a crucial role in this process," said Osmar Alza, coordinator of migration control for Direcci�n Nacional de Migraciones de la Rep�blica Argentina. "The Red Hat Fuse platform provides unified access to a complete view of a person for smarter, more efficient analysis, and supports flexible integrationAccess and Use
Red Hat Fuse 7 is available for download by members of the Red Hat Developer community. Existing Fuse users automatically get the Fuse 7 upgrade.
Fuse Online is available for free trial followed by a monthly subscription.
Both products use the same interface, so the customer gets a unified platform whether used in the cloud or on premises. Fuse offers users more integration than similar solutions provided by IBM, Oracle and Google, Parulkar said.
"The key benefits of any integrated PaaS platform are simplified implementation and centralized management functions. On first glance, Fuse Online seems to hit those notes via well-established and road-tested Red Hat technologies, including OpenShift," said King.Fusing Advantages
From the very beginning, the goal of Red Hat Fuse was to simplify integration across the extended enterprise and help organizations compete and differentiate themselves, said Mike Piech, vice president and general manager for middleware at Red Hat.
"With Fuse 7, which includes Fuse Online, we are continuing to enhance and evolve the platform to meet the changing needs of today"s businesses, building off of our strength in hybrid cloud and better serving both the technical and non-technical professionals involved in integration today," he said.
Red Hat simplifies what otherwise could be a cumbersome task -- that is, integrating disparate applications, services, devices and APIs across the extended enterprise.
Fuse enables customers to achieve agile integration to their advantage, noted Saurabh Sharma, principal analyst at Ovum.
"Red Hat"s new iPaaS solution fosters developer productivity and supports a wider range of user personas to ease the complexity of hybrid integration," he said.Right Path to the Cloud
Red Hat"s new Fuse offerings are further proof that businesses -- and especially enterprises -- have embraced the hybrid cloud as the preferred path forward, said Pund-IT"s King.
"That is a stick in the eye to evangelists who have long claimed that public cloud will eventually dominate IT and rapidly make internal IT infrastructures a thing of the past," he remarked.Pushing Old Limits
Fuse comes from a more traditional or legacy enterprise applications approach centered around service-oriented architecture (SOA) and enterprise service bus (ESB). As was common back in the day, there"s a lot of emphasis on formal standard compliance as opposed to de facto open source standardization through project development, noted Roman Shaposhnik, vice president for product and strategy at Zededa.
While the current generation of enterprise application architectures unquestionably is based on microservices and 12-factor apps, Fuse and ESB in general still enjoy a lot of use in existing applications, he told LinuxInsider. That use, however, is predominantly within existing on-premises data center deployments.
"Thus the question becomes: How many enterprises will use the move to the cloud as a forcing function to rethink their application architecture in the process, versus conducting a lift-n-shift exercise first?" Shaposhnik asked.
It is hard to predict the split. There will be a nontrivial percentage that will pick the latter and will greatly benefit from a more cloud-native implementation of Fuse, he noted.
"This is very similar to how Amazon Web Services had its initial next generation-focused, greenfield application deployments built, exclusively based on cloud-native principles and APIs, but which over time had to support a lot of legacy bridging technologies like Amazon Elastic File System," Shaposhnik said. "That is basically as old school of a [network-attached storage]-based on [network file system] protocol as one can get."Possible Drawbacks
The advantage to the workaround technology is clearly one more roadblock removed from being able to seamlessly lift-and-shift legacy enterprise applications into cloud-native deployment environments. That becomes a disadvantage, Shaposhnik noted.
"The easier the cloud and infrastructure providers make it for enterprises to continue using legacy bridging technologies, the more they delay migration to the next-generation architectures, which are critical for scalability and rapid iteration on the application design and implementation," he said.
Red Hat"s technology can be essential to enterprise cloud use, said Ian McClarty, CEO of PhoenixNAP Global It Solutions.
"To organizations leveraging the Red Hat ecosystem, Fuse helps manage components that today are handled from disparate sources into a much simpler-to-use interface with the capability of extending functionality," he told LinuxInsider.
The advantage of an iPaaS offering is ease of use, said McClarty. Further, added management for multiple assets becomes a lot easier and scale-out becomes a possibility.
One disadvantage is the availability of the system. Since it is a hosted solution, subscribers are limited by the uptime of the vendor, said McClarty.
Another disadvantage is that vendor lock becomes a stronger reality, he pointed out. The DevOps/system administrator relies on the iPaaS system to do daily tasks, so the vendor becomes much harder to displace.
Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.