Elinar has over 20-year long co-operation with IBM. When IBM made acquisition of Red Hat it was obvious support to Elinar’s interest in working with Red Hat also. The decision of being a Red Hat partner was done in 2020. Elinarian’s are very excited about this co-operation and all the opportunities that partnering with Red Hat will offer.

I had the opportunity to interview Tuomas Ljungqvist and Ilkka Olli. As Technical Service Manager Tuomas manages the Services Team and provides systems specialist and architect support. Ilkka is the Leader of the Systems Team and gives support in system design and implementation as well as to various development projects. They both have also deepened their expertise in Red Hat technologies.

Elinar is a partner in Red Hat’s Solution Provider and Cloud & Service Provider -programs. As IBM committed to offer software as “containers”, it was inherent path to the world of Red Hat. OpenShift has a clear role to play in managing them. “Through that, we started to explore the possibilities of OpenShift and what else Red Hat offers,” says Ilkka.

“Plus, more and more open-source solutions seem to be gaining a foothold and Red Hat is in the lead there. Ansible Automation is also an interesting technology that seems to be getting in to the market,” says Tuomas.

A good partnership is a key to success

Elinar is not in front of completely new. RHEL and Linux distributions in general have been strongly present in Elinar’s operations for more than ten years. “Practically everything that is done, we try to be platform-independent. This is where OpenShift will be of great importance in the future when you want to implement services without dependencies on platforms or service providers,” says Ilkka.

Cooperation with Red Hat supports Elinar’s business in various ways. “Red Hat offers tools and technologies that can be used, for example, when companies are considering moving from on-prem to the cloud or implementing a hybrid solution,” states Tuomas enthusiastically. “Also, we have a strong history with IBM. We work with IBM software platforms and further refine them with our customizations. We have a good partnership with IBM and we are working with Red Hat to do the same. We want to participate and influence the direction things are taken,” Tuomas sums up.

Wide scale expertise

From the customer perspective Elinar partnership with Red Hat brings a lot of new opportunities to different areas of business. “We are able to add more value to our customers and provide a more comprehensive service as we manage the larger entity. Our vision has developed on how things should be improved. A good example of this is existing software upgrades for container platforms. Instead of just a single software aspect, we can offer the full service,” says Ilkka. “Even though the IT solutions are going more and more into the cloud, some implementations will stay local and this is where Red Hat offers excellent technology,” adds Tuomas.

Container technologies enable higher levels of automation and smoother processes

In the past years there has been a lot of talk about container technologies. How does containers make it easier for organizations and how can Elinar help customers in this issue?

“In the world of Kubernetes installing, maintaining, and updating applications is simple compared to the traditional model. Scaling, duplicating the system, driving changes, and restoring is easy in a containerized environment. These are clear advantages over the traditional world. Another good example is application development. In the old model the developer has an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and possibly another application server for the development work. Then someone else may install the application in test environments to be tested, etc. In the DEV-OPS model, using CI / CD tools, the change against the Kubernetes infrastructure is much more seamless and often more automation. The “push of a button” allows the developer to push the new version of the container into the development environment and thus can immediately test it. The updated application version can be provisioned to other environments according to the process,” says Tuomas.

“If the culture of using the entire organization’s infrastructure is ready to become modern, then the benefits of containerization are really big and diverse. In case the organization is not ready for change yet, then containers may not be of much use,” concludes Tuomas.

High skilled professionals

Red Hat’s expertise requires a lot of work. Elinarian’s have diligently completed Red Hat accreditations and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certifications are underway. “Thing to mention is how Red Hat provides information to its partners through webinars and various training. It is great to see all developed materials that are made available to partners. The starting threshold for training is low,” states Ilkka.

Elinar has an extremely high level of expertise in technologies. The ability to take on new challenges and quickly embrace new things is one of the strengths. “Our advantages are also flexibility and agility when we operate in a multi-supplier environment,” Tuomas adds.

Elinar is strong in understanding and managing big picture. The mindset is not limited to cover any specific area. “When a customer starts to implement a new service or a part of it, we try to see the big picture to provide a solution that fits the best”, Ilkka says with satisfaction.

The future of the IT industry

Cloud Services, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Container Technologies stand out in the trends of IT industry. From Elinar’s perspective, which are the issues for this year and next?

“From our point of view, a couple of things come to the fore. In technologies site, containerization will become more common. It will be concretized in more and more organizations when the current so-called traditional model software turns to containers. At the same time, the role of container management solutions will be emphasized. Another key issue is our ElinarAI ™ product. It offers our customers a whole new ability to process information that is important to them. The product thinking gives us the keys to decide the best technologies we want to use from our partners Red Hat and IBM offering,” says Ilkka.

“The transition to the cloud is growing. More and more are required from the level of automation all the time. Less fuss and grassroots configuration and installation. Soon there will be no more time for that,” says Tuomas.

“There are also talks about the Hybrid model. Some of the services are on the platforms of cloud service providers and some locally in the so-called on-prem. This division can also take place within individual services,” adds Ilkka.

In the future, Elinar will invest in the development of its own Artificial Intelligence product ElinarAI™ and its partner network, as well as in the opportunities brought by new technologies. Cooperation with IBM and Red Hat and our own Artificial Intelligence product offers unlimited opportunities to grow into a leading player in the Nordics.