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Red Hat delivers local playbook for smooth AI app development

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 06 Jun 2023

Enterprise open source solutions provider Red Hat has launched new technologies to enable users to develop and run artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based apps on any platform, anytime and anywhere.

These innovations in AI, ML, cloud and security-centric technologies have already been introduced to the global market at the 2023 Red Hat Summit held recently in Boston, US. The company hosted a media briefing on Friday, 2 June in Bryanston, Johannesburg to explain how these technologies can be used to benefit local businesses.

Bruce Busansky, senior solutions provider specialist, Red Hat South Africa, said the platform company’s main objective is to enable its market to develop and run apps safely and securely, as well as to show how businesses can monetise their offerings.

This means being aware of the relevance of AI and ML in the cloud and in security systems, as well as the significance of the edge in terms of technology development strategies and playbooks.

To strengthen these strategies, Red Hat released Red Hat OpenShift AI, which combines capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenShift Data Science. These capabilities include consistency, ease of use and cloud-to-edge deployment options.

According to Red Hat, the OpenShift AI platform “provides a consistent, scalable foundation based on open source technology for IT operations leaders while bringing a specialised partner ecosystem to data scientists and developers to capture innovation in AI”.

Capturing innovation in AI is enabled through the platform’s support of IBM, IBM’s artificial intelligence platform. This platform is designed to scale intelligent applications and services across all aspects of the enterprise – fuelling the next generation of foundation models or pre-trained ML models that are built on substantial amounts of data.

They are the foundation of AI applications because of their ability to learn from data and adapt to a broad range of tasks.

Language models go mainstream

Red Hat says as large language models (LLMs) like GPT-4 and LLaMA become mainstream, researchers and application developers across all domains and industries are exploring ways to benefit from these and other foundation models.

“Customers can fine-tune commercial or open source models with domain-specific data to make them more accurate to their specific use cases. The initial training of AI models is incredibly infrastructure intensive, requiring specialised platforms and tools even before serving, tuning and model management are taken into consideration. Without a platform that can meet these demands, organisations are often limited in how they can use AI/ML,” the company explained.

Red Hat said OpenShift AI removes any barriers that developers may encounter by providing a standardised foundation for creating product AI/ML models, as well as running the resulting applications.

Platform engineers can create scalable configurations, specific to the needs of their data scientists and developers, the company added.

Specialised partner ecosystem

Busansky underlined Red Hat’s introduction of a specialised partner ecosystem for data scientists and developers.

Red Hat OpenShift AI provides several optional technology partner offerings, including Anaconda, IBM Watson Studio, Intel OpenVINO and AI Analytics Toolkit, NVIDIA AI Enterprise and Starburst. It also provides access to 30 additional AI/ML certified partners as part of the OpenShift ecosystem.

“Customers with specific regulatory and compliance requirements, including air-gapped and disconnected environments, can prepare data and develop, train and deploy models on-premises using OpenShift AI. Customers can also develop models in the public cloud and deploy them on-premises or at the edge using the same consistent tooling and interfaces, providing a unique, hybrid MLOps environment that enables collaboration between IT operations, data science and application developers.”

Red Hat also announced Service Connect, trusted software supply chain, advanced cluster security cloud service to scale cloud-native security across the hybrid cloud, accelerated IT automation with event-driven Ansible, and Developer Hub to help fuel developer productivity.

Developer Hub is an enterprise-grade, unified and open portal designed to streamline the development process. Red Hat said it provides the necessary curated tools and resources developers need “to create higher quality applications, maximising existing skills and accelerating velocity while reducing friction and cognitive overload”.

The company quoted IDC research according to which 60% of organisations looking to scale DevOps will adopt an internal developer platform to provide infrastructure, deployment pipelines and other internal services to enable developer self-service by 2025.

Red Hat confirmed that the security as a service cluster will be available in H2 2023, while all the other technologies discussed are immediately available to the South African market.