IBM today announced it has extended the deployment options for IBM Cloud Private, which is based on Kubernetes, to include both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
IBM is in talks with Google to extend IBM Cloud Private to that public cloud service as well.
Robin Hernandez, director of IBM Cloud Private offering management, says IBM Cloud Privateabstracts away many of the complexities associated with deploying and managing a private cloud running containerized applications based on Docker in a way that enterprise IT organizations will find accessible.
IBM today also announced it has extended IBM Cloud Private to add support for IBM Watson Assistant and IBM Watson Speech-to-Text, to provide the first artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities on the platform.
Since IBM launched a year ago, Hernandez says IBM now has hundreds of customers using IBM Cloud Private in a production environment, including New Zealand Police, the Fuyao Group in China, Aflac Insurance in Japan, Kredi Kayıt Bürosu in Turkey and Fidelity National Information Services in Brazil. Hernandez notes that while IBM initially expected large enterprises to gravitate to a platform designed to run on-premises or in the IBM public cloud, IBM has been surprised to discover that many midmarket IT organizations also have embraced the platform.
Hernandez also says the rise of IBM Cloud Private has also had downstream impacts on other aspects of the IBM portfolio. Demand for a managed service instance of Kubernetes has dropped as IT organizations have become more comfortable with managing IBM Cloud Private on their own, says Hernandez. In addition, Hernandez says demand for the distribution of the open source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment that IBM curates on behalf of customers has all but ceased. Most existing IBM customers using Cloud Foundry are migrating to an instance of the platform that IBM now provides on top of Kubernetes as part of an overall migration to containerized applications, adds Hernandez.
Hernandez says IBM has been surprised to discover the demand for IBM Cloud Private on public clouds such as AWS is being driven by customers, several of whom decided to deploy IBM Cloud Private on AWS on their own in the last year.
IBM Cloud Private is clearly emerging as the foundational element of an IBM approach to hybrid cloud computing that leverages Kubernetes to make it possible to embrace multiple clouds more easily and eventually federate the management of them. To enable that, Hernandez says IBM has crafted on top of Kubernetes an IT environment that provides IT operations teams with a familiar graphical construct for managing containerized applications running anywhere. That capability has sharply reduced resistance to containers among IT operations teams that sometimes view containers as a loss of control over the IT environment.
Obviously, in the age of DevOps it remains to be seen who will manage what within an IT environment. But as platforms such as IBM Cloud Private start to gain traction, it’s clear IT operations teams are finally starting to embrace containers more warmly.