The biggest announcement from Red Hat’s Summit virtual event was Red Hat Marketplace, operated by IBM. Building on its existing container orchestration software, OpenShift, Red Hat has created a central software purchasing location for automated deployment to any cloud. Red Hat is positioning its Marketplace as the solution to critical pain points from development, security, billing, and spend visibility.

Red Hat focuses its solution on four key features:

  1. Hybrid cloud support with an emphasis on its application portability across clouds to any OpenShift environment, enabling developers to build applications in a separate or in parallel with the execution environment.
  2. Enterprise software compatibility via Red Hat OpenShift certification and using any Kubernetes operator.
  3. Continuous support for any software purchased in the marketplace.
  4. Usage tracking consolidation and spend optimization.

The Marketplace home page includes common marketplace features like the ability to organize into relevant categories, filter based on features, or search by product names. Similarly, product pages list details on application popularity, reviews, technical specifications, pricing, and how well it integrates into the platform. Applications can be purchased or trialed (free for 30 days) directly from the product page. Purchasing the application enables the user to choose between various editions the vendor has configured. Customers can also use a private marketplace experience in which an organization has more control over its inventory, budgets, internal processes, delegations, and decisions. Customers using OpenShift 4.4 or later can access the marketplace directly from their console. Direct installment is also available by leveraging operators (meaning any cluster registered) in the marketplace.

Direct installments onto any OpenShift cluster pay heed to IBM and Red Hat’s combined product offering of its new product (expected release midsummer 2020), Advanced Cluster Management, a solution that equips OpenShift with cluster management capabilities across multicloud and hybrid cloud environments for deployment on-premises, bare metal, and public cloud providers as well as on native clusters on Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud. As this solution matures, expect the market to compare this offering to other available marketplaces, especially those targeting multiple public cloud environments.