IBM Smoothing The Road To Hybrid Cloud With Expanded Red Hat Capabilities On IBM Power Systems

Today, IBM announced a new array of products and services to help enterprises manage the hybrid cloud, modernize existing applications and build new cloud-native applications. 

This article will highlight what I think are the most exciting elements of this announcement enterprises can use whether the company is already on the hybrid journey with IBM or is considering IBM as a partner.

IBM Power Systems
 
IBM

Red Hat OpenShift deployment made easier

Red Hat OpenShift, part of the IBM family since 2019, is a hybrid cloud enterprise Kubernetes application platform. It is an excellent on-premises alternative to the public cloud, something that OpenStack promised, and it looks like it is going to be delivered by Kubernetes with OpenShift. For what it is worth all enterprise public clouds offer its own versions of OpenShift.

I have heard from some enterprises with OpenShift environments are a challenge to deploy and optimize even with the smartest folks on the team. IBM is addressing that in this announcement by providing a configured offering straight to your door. 

The system is completely set up, integrated, and ready to deploy from the manufacturing facility, with services to help with the final step of getting your applications up and running.

The task of building a private cloud, ordering, sizing, and assembling the piece parts, and uploading applications to OpenShift typical takes about eight to twelve weeks. IBM has condensed that process down to a few days using best practices and experience with other customers to construct the best OpenShift-based cloud that can integrate with core business applications running on IBM Power Systems.

IBM is calling this the IBM Power Systems Private Cloud Rack Solution, an optimized, production-level OpenShift platform to modernize traditional environments with cloud-native applications. The IBM Power Private Cloud Rack combines on-premises hardware, a complete software stack of IBM and Red Hat technology, and installation from IBM Systems Lab Services. It claims a 49% lower cost per request than similarly equipped x86-based platforms.

IBM Power Systems Virtual Server gains traction

IBM Power Systems customers who have typically relied upon on-premises-only infrastructure can extend IT resources onto IBM Power Systems Virtual Server. IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers are co-located and connected with IBM Cloud, integrating IBM AIX, IBM I, and Linux capabilities. The result is self-service provisioning, flexible management on-premises and off-premises, and access to a stack of enterprise IBM Cloud services — all with pay-as-you-use billing to quickly scale up and out.

IBM wants to make it easier for customers to get started.  Customers can quickly get started by automating day one and day two operations to deploy and run cloud environments with Ansible. Even those customers new to Red Hat OpenShift and Kubernetes should find it easy to get a cluster up and running.

What this means for you is the ability to quickly spin-up development and test OpenShift clusters for cloud-native application development and application modernization projects. Also, traditional IBM middleware can be transformed into agile, cloud-native, container-based services and co-located with core IBM i and AIX applications. 

Red Hat offering OpenShift on Power Systems Virtual Server opens new doors for running a world of containerized applications, including IBM Cloud Paks, Red Hat Runtimes, open-source software, and applications from independent software vendors.

Hybrid Capacity Credits- spend them anywhere

IBM already has a flexible consumption model for IBM Power Systems, allowing additional compute cores as needed and cloud-like consumption-based pricing.

Now, IBM is extending that ability to the hybrid cloud with a hybrid capacity credits pilot. Credits can be purchased and used to unlock capacity on select on-premises IBM Power Systems servers and IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers, based on where the user needs the additional compute power. IBM is also working with other ecosystem partners to extend dynamic capacity across multiple Linux distributions. 

Red Hat integration on IBM Power Systems

Red Hat Runtimes, part of the Red Hat Middleware portfolio, is a set of products, tools, and components for developing and maintaining cloud-native applications. It offers lightweight runtimes and frameworks (like Quarkus) for highly distributed cloud architectures, such as microservices.

Red Hat Runtimes support is now available on IBM Power Systems. Now, developers looking to create cloud-native applications on IBM Power Systems have access to leading open-source frameworks and runtimes that provide a single development experience for hybrid applications spanning IBM Power Systems and other platforms. 

Enhancing Red Hat Ansible

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform was made available on IBM Power Systems last year. Ansible is a popular automation technology that does not require installing any special software in the operating system endpoints. It is an agentless technology that is extremely easy to adopt.

IBM has Ansible automation for the Power Systems platform, including automation across AIX, IBM i, Linux, private and public cloud infrastructures. Ansible automation delivers the ability to automate just about anything to drive consistency and free up IT administrator time.

IBM continues to create an extensive set of Ansible modules for the IBM Power Systems user community. This year, IBM added 22 new Ansible modules to the collection that bring new automation capabilities for everyday tasks like patch management, security management, operating system and application deployment, continuous delivery, centralized backup, and recovery virtualization management and provisioning. 

Currently, there are 102 Ansible modules, downloaded more than 13,000 times since February 23rd, that support Power Systems and are available to the open-source community on GitHub. Many of these same modules are available as production-ready, enterprise-hardened, and certified Ansible Collections via the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

Wrapping up

These announcements are proof positive of IBM’s commitment on Power Systems to help customers accelerate modernization by integrating the latest technology from Red Hat to develop cloud-native applications and deploy them into hybrid cloud environments. 

IBM has realized for years that it is a hybrid world and I believe has been making the right investments to help customers with the recognition that there are a core set of applications that need to reside alongside the new OpenShift world of cloud-native applications. 

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.