Skip to main content

Expanding Cloud Capabilities

As organizations look for new ways to engage clients with new experiences and digital services outside of their traditional offerings, many begin to realize that options are limited by their cloud infrastructure. Without the agility to quickly deploy new applications, organizations lose their competitive edge and even their clients. Instead of losing market share, organizations with private clouds often decide to use a public cloud for a specific need to reach clients more effectively, resulting in a hybrid cloud model. While the move to the hybrid cloud solves many issues, organizations often struggle with developing applications that run across hybrid clouds.

Because each cloud has its own operating models, more often than not, applications get tied to a cloud provider, which constrains flexibility to choose the infrastructure that’s best suited for an application, explains Preeth Kannoth Patinharayil, product marketing manager for cloud on IBM Power®. Because of these limitations, an organization’s flexibility and business decisions are often limited by their cloud provider. That’s why IBM and Red Hat® are dedicated to finding new ways to improve hybrid cloud development and management for clients, using key solutions like Red Hat OpenShift® and IBM Cloud Pak® solutions.

Improving Container Management With Red Hat OpenShift

Companies need the ability to handle peak traffic during holiday shopping surges or enrollment periods, but they don’t want to consistently pay for or manage the level of compute resources needed at the highest peak. To solve this business challenge, many organizations use containers, involving a lightweight virtualization with a single copy of the OS, accelerating the process of developing, managing and maintaining applications.

Managing containers across multiple systems and servers is time consuming and often cumbersome, but the Kubernetes function included in Red Hat OpenShift simplifies the management and usability of containers. Red Hat OpenShift, which is available on multiple public and private clouds as well as on-premise, simplifies using Kubernetes and adds capabilities such as a registry to store application templates as well as improving connectivity to the network.

“OpenShift allows developers to package applications into containers. IT operators can then more easily manage and orchestrate the containers, allowing business leaders to be agile in meeting rapidly evolving customer needs,” says Adam Jollans, program director, IBM Z® and IBM LinuxONE Product Marketing, Red Hat and Linux®.

However, enterprise applications often need higher level functions, such as application runtimes, databases and integration middleware. With IBM Cloud Pak solutions, pre-configured sets of IBM and open-source container applications that run on OpenShift, organizations can accelerate the development of intelligent, secure and automated workflows that are deployed in hybrid cloud environments. Cloud Pak solutions also streamline management across the hybrid cloud, improving overall performance along with the client experience.

Extending OpenShift

IBM recently announced the Red Hat OpenShift container platform can now run on IBM Z, IBM LinuxONE and IBM Power, with product releases at the same time as on x86, and with a variety of cyberresilience and persistent IBM Storage solutions for containers. By extending OpenShift, clients now have the consistency of a single experience across multiple ways of consuming OpenShift, says Chuck Dubuque, product marketing, Cloud Infrastructure, Red Hat.

This ultimately creates a common infrastructure for containers and Kubernetes with consistent tooling and management, allowing you to build applications once and deploy anywhere—and inherit the benefits of a multi-architecture environment. Patinharayil says the new release added a common abstraction layer via OpenShift, so you can deploy applications on a cloud infrastructure that makes most business sense.

“IBM Power Systems™ allows organizations to colocate containerized apps with business-critical data on AIX®, IBM i and Linux VM-based environments. This helps in making low latency connections between apps and data, improving the overall performance.” says Patinharayil. “IBM Power servers also pack more containers in a core, which in turn delivers up to 2.6x better price-performance compared to x86 systems1. All in all, you get more mileage running cloud-native apps on IBM Power.”

Expanding Red Hat OpenShift also provides the ability to colocate data, allowing data to be as close to the customer as possible, especially with applications running globally. Duncan Hardie, principal product manager at Red Hat, explains that a global application may need to reside in different clouds globally, or even on-premise, for reasons of data sovereignty or regulations. Using the same Red Hat OpenShift experience across those clouds and multiple architectures increases agility between heterogeneous environments. Additionally, Cloud Pak solutions on Red Hat OpenShift gives you access and control of your data, allowing you the flexibility to locate your data, processing and customer-facing applications optimally for performance, security, and data locality.