IBM Extends Kubernetes Reach

IBM plans to make an instance of the open source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment available on Kubernetes generally available on the IBM Cloud at the end of this quarter.

In addition, IBM plans to integrate Kubernetes with instances of VMware to make it easier for application workloads running on virtual machines to access services such as Watson or cloud-native applications that are deployed on Kubernetes.

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Don Boulia, general manager of cloud developer services at IBM, says IBM currently has more than 1,700 customers that have deployed VMware software on a bare-metal server service IBM makes available alongside a virtual-machine based service based on open source VM software. Those customers include such as American Airlines, Deloitte, Honeywell International and Syniverse.

At the VMworld 2018 conference this week, IBM also announced limited availability of VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director on IBM Cloud. IBM already offers a range of data protection services on its public cloud. But VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director on IBM Cloud will enable IT organizations that have standardized on VMware software to employ a familiar construct when managing backup and recovery, says Boulia. To facilitate migrations of VMware workloads to the cloud, IBM also makes available JumpStart, a set of services that helps organizations deploy VMware vCenter Server and an initial set of workloads on IBM Cloud.

The IBM Cloud today spans 60 data centers distributed across 19 countries. IBM Services has completed more than 100,000 migrations. Boulia says IBM used its own tools to deploy an instance of Cloud Foundry on Kubernetes to provide customers with a rich application development environment that can be more easily supported when deployed on Kubernetes.

There are lots of options when it comes to building applications on top of a container-as-a-service (CaaS) environment. But in terms of creating a simple developer experience, IBM—along with Pivotal Software, SAP and others—have been investing in Cloud Foundry for years. Kubernetes provides a way to make that development environment available as a cloud service that consumes far fewer virtual machines than other distributions of Cloud Foundry.

IBM is locked in a battle with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to attract workloads to is cloud platform. Providing access to a rich set of tools to building those workloads is a critical element of IBM’s approach to DevOps in the cloud. As part of that strategy, IBM makes cloud services available on virtual machines and bare-metal servers based on Intel processors, IBM Power processors and graphical processor units (GPUs).

Boulia says most of the usage of the IBM Cloud tend to be hybrid in nature. Most enterprise IT organizations have investments in on-premises applications that are being extended to access a variety of cloud services. As those use cases become more common, it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations come to view various clouds as a natural extension of their IT environment. In fact, as those IT organizations become more adept at building and managing their own clouds, there may come a day when the term “cloud” becomes superfluous.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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