IBM today announced its first formal effort to derive value from its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat with the launch of IBM Cloud Paks, a set of IBM-certified and containerized software offerings that share a common operating model and a common set of services spanning identity management, security, monitoring and logging.
At the same time, IBM launched a managed service based Red Hat OpenShift on its public cloud. OpenShift is Red Hat’s application development and deployment platform built on top of Kubernetes. IBM also announced it will also make Red Hat OpenShift available on its distribution of LinuxONE for IBM Z series mainframes.
Finally, IBM announced it is making additional technology and consulting services available for customers looking to modernize their IT environments based on Red Hat open source software.
Steve Robinson, IBM general manager for Red Hat Synergy, says IBM Cloud Paks take previous efforts to containerize IBM middleware a step further by making it easier to manage the deployment of IBM software via a common dashboard. In general, IBM is looking to make it easier for organizations to transition to cloud-native computing environments. Customers who have invested in the IBM WebSphere portfolio, for example, now can run those various offerings within a set of containers without having to worry about meeting existing service level goals and agreements, he says.
Over time, some organizations may opt to replace legacy middleware or slice up the functionality provided by various middleware offerings into a set of more manageable microservices. As a step toward enabling that transformation, IBM is giving customers the ability to continue to run IBM middleware as-is within a set of containers that can be deployed on any public cloud, says Robinson.
The specific Cloud Paks being made available by IBM include:
- Cloud Pak for Data, to virtualize data sets in a way that IBM claims will enable them to run 500% faster.
- Cloud Pak for Applications, to help businesses modernize, build, deploy and run applications.
- Cloud Pak for Integration, to integrate apps, data, cloud services and APIs in a way IBM claims will reduce costs by as much as 33%.
- Cloud Pak for Automation, to help transform business processes, decisions and content.
- Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management, to reduce operating costs in a way that IBM claims will save as much as 75% in large-scale cloud-native environments.
Robinson notes IBM also will be throwing its weight behind a more granular approach to deploying and managing containers that are optimized for Kubernetes. A Kubernetes cluster is optimized to decompose the processing of containers and associated sidecars. The Red Hat approach can still run any Docker image, but it makes more efficient use of Kubernetes resources.
Kubernetes and Red Hat are now at the core of the IBM hybrid cloud computing strategy. IBM will support instances of that software running on any cloud via a centralized management console. As the next era of cloud-native computing unfolds, IBM clearly is betting that more organizations than ever will be inclined to rely on its software and services to manage increasingly more complex IT environments.