Red Hat kickstarts king-size Kubernetes cloud cost cuts

  • The Flaming Fedora fellowship said Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA) with hosted control plane reduces Kubernetes cluster costs by an average 20%

  • The hosted control plane manages all aspects of Kubernetes clusters, including deployment and security

  • It is available now on AWS and coming to Microsoft Azure in the second half of 2024

Red Hat claimed it can cut the cost of running Kubernetes clusters in the cloud by an average of 20% with its new Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA) with hosted control plane. It debuted the service this week during Amazon's annual Re:Invent conference.

The control plane does everything related to managing Kubernetes clusters, including deployment, expansion, contracting, communications and security. “The control plane is where all that is taken care of, as opposed to worker nodes, where you run the applications,” explained Stu Miniman, senior director of Red Hat Hybrid Platform, in a call with Silverlinings.

Separating a hosted control plane and worker nodes simplifies management and speed of building and deployment. To spin up a new cluster, you don’t have to spin up new control plane and worker nodes; you just have to turn up the worker nodes. Also, control planes can manage multiple clusters, Red Hat said.

Red Hat introduced the capability for a hosted control plane for OpenShift running in the data center in OpenShift 4.14, which was announced early this month and is shipping this week.


Now hosted control plane is also available in the cloud — specifically AWS. And it’ll be AWS-only for a while; while Red Hat does plan to expand to other clouds, the next, Microsoft Azure, is due in the second half of 2024.

“Based on the Hypershift project, hosted control planes help organizations reduce management costs, improve cluster provisioning time, overcome cluster scale limitations, enable self-service clusters for developers and strengthen security boundaries by decoupling control planes from workloads,” Red Hat said in its Nov. 6 OpenShift 4.14 announcement. Organizations “can run control planes on fewer nodes, providing both operational and cost efficiencies for customers.”

Kind of a big deal

Organizations can save up to 30% on infrastructure management costs using OpenShift 4.14 and developers can experience time savings of up to 60% to increase productivity and enable teams to deliver applications faster, the company claimed.

In a blog post announcing the launch of ROSA with hosted control plane Wednesday, Red Hat said “deploying ROSA with hosted control planes users can reduce costs by 5x on average vs. hosting the control plane in their own cloud account,” which makes about as much sense as the joke from “Anchorman” about Sex Panther cologne—”60% of the time it works every time.”

However, in follow-up questioning by your intrepid Silverlinings reporter (in the tradition of Ron Burgundy), Red Hat clarified that the new ROSA with hosted control plane can reduce total costs by an average of 20%. Which (as Ron Burgundy said describing himself) is “kind of a big deal.”

ROSA was designed to make deploying and managing Kubernetes cluster simpler and less expensive by moving infrastructure to the cloud, and hosted control planes extends that simplification and cost savings, Red Hat said. ROSA lets users “build and deploy applications more quickly and with the scale of AWS — enabling users to focus on innovation rather than managing infrastructure,” Red Hat explained in its blog post.

ROSA with hosted control plane is a “very important” advance, said Holger Mueller, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research. “It makes it easier for developers to look at code and not infrastructure, and thus is key for developer velocity, which all developers want and need.”

Red Hat faces competition from other vendors offering cross-platform Kubernetes infrastructure, including Google, with its Anthos offering, and Mirantis, Mueller added.