IBM melds with Red Hat OpenShift for cloud migrations

IBM is showing how it's integrating with Red Hat with a raft of announcements that include putting its software into Red Hat OpenShift. (Pixabay)

On the heels of closing its $34 billion deal to buy Red Hat last month, IBM has hit the ground running with a raft of pre-integrated solutions on Red Hat OpenShift.

IBM announced its intent to pick up Red Hat last year, but it also had a partnership in place that allowed it to start containerizing some elements of its software portfolio on OpenShift before the deal closed.

RELATED: IBM wraps up $34B deal to buy Red Hat

On Thursday IBM announced it had transformed its software portfolio to be cloud-native and optimized to run on OpenShift. By going all in on cloud-native, enterprises can build their applications once and run them across all of the leading public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud and IBM, as well as on private clouds.

The cloud-native capabilities are available via five pre-integrated solutions called IBM Cloud Paks.

"We're really excited about this announcement, because we've been looking at what the client reality is," said IBM's Hillery Hunter, CTO for IBM Cloud. "Clients have the needs to have all of the benefits of cloud, the agility and the elasticity, the automation, and the IT ops savings. They truly have the need to bring all of those benefits of the cloud into multiple different environments. We see Linux containers and Kubernetes clearly as being the new standard for what is happening in the cloud space."

The IBM-certified and containerized software offerings provide common operating models and a common set of services to speed up the deployment of cloud-based services while also improving control through a unified dashboard.

The foundation of the IBM Cloud Paks are more than 100 products from IBM's software portfolio that are optimized to run on OpenShift. The Cloud Paks can be tailored for specific client use cases across the entire stack from hardware to applications.

"They're looking to find a complete cloud architecture that enables a cloud-only architecture where everything is cloud-based and where everything has those IT ops efficiencies and consistency of user experience," Hunter said.  "They're looking to move the remaining 80% of their mission critical workloads to the cloud.

"We have announced five different Cloud Paks that we see as repeated patterns of clients needing as cohesive functions. So, Cloud Pak for application, for automation, for data, for integration and for multi-cloud management. But, the neat thing about all of this is that we have re-engineered all of these code bases to use common services and integrate into OpenShift. That means that they can build an application once and run it on all private or public clouds all the way up to the edge."

The first five IBM Cloud Paks are available now and include:

• Cloud Pak for Data, which is being used by Sprint, includes key elements that a client needs to gather, prepare and govern their data. It enables users to dive into that data in order to gain insights that allow it to virtualize data for artificial intelligence. It includes functions around data governance, model creation and model deployment.

• Cloud Pak for Applications contains a variety of runtime environments.

"It enables people to reduce development time, in our studies, by up to 84%," Hunter said. "It's focused on modernization of applications, so it includes full traditional and very modern development environments. People can develop their cloud-native apps there. There's full DevOps support, and you can deliver the applications that you have developed with the Cloud Pak anywhere that OpenShift runs."

• Cloud Pak for Integration helps integrate apps, data, cloud services and APIs that are running in multiple cloud environments. Hunter said it includes API connection, MQ type functions and Kafka. It's designed to eliminate 33% of the integration costs.

• Cloud Pak for Automation is focused around business process automation. It includes enriching content with intelligence, visualizing operational data, optimizing processes, and automation of tasks.

• Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management provides multicloud visibility, governance and automation. IBM said it could help customers reduce the operational expenses of supporting large-scale cloud-native environments by 75%.

"I think the powerful concept here is that we aren't just doing cluster management," Hunter said. "By cluster management, meaning the low level infrastructure or Kubernetes management. Certainly you can drill all the way down into how many processor cycles a workload is consuming. But we go far above that and include application level, application lifecycle management and policy management of events, and also extensive policy and security and compliance governance.

"We can enable clients across all of their cloud estates, any type of Kubernetes environment or VMs (virtual machines), to have a single place to control who has access, what applications run where, and what is needed to achieve compliance, either industry standard common compliances, or even a custom in-house compliance."

IBM also announced three additional elements on Thursday. Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud was designed to help enterprises modernize and migrate to a hybrid cloud infrastructure. 

"This is a fully managed service that has single click deployment, automated deployment of the Cloud Paks themselves to enable enterprise software and other workloads to land on us and shift very easily with very little Kubernetes management skills required," Hunter said. "So, we can unburden people from the complexity of setting up their cloud environment, and they can just move quickly forward into creation and deployment of their application."

IBM put OpenShift onto its IBM Z and LinuxONE enterprise systems after previously supporting OpenShift on its power and storage systems.

IBM also announced consulting and technology services for Red Hat to help clients move, build and manage their workloads in cloud environments.

"We have the world's largest team of Red Hat certified consultants," Hunter said. "We have more than 80,000 practitioners, and we're talking about that journey to the holistic, complete cloud architecture."