Big Blue leverages newly acquired Red Hat assets, opens its applications to run in any cloud environment
In the first major move since acquiring Red Hat, IBM announced that it’s made all of its software products cloud-native and able to run in any cloud environment through containerization technology. By moving to a cloud-neutral position, IBM is looking to capture more enterprise software business even if the applications aren’t hosted in the IBM Cloud.
The Lowdown: The cloud-native IBM applications are pre-integrated into packages called “IBM Cloud Paks” – certified, containerized packages that provide enterprises with a common operating model and support services, including identity management and security monitoring. The approach, IBM says, will provide enterprises with a means for quickly building and deploying mission-critical applications in their cloud environments of choice.
The Details: IBM is making more than 100 applications and packages available through the new cloud-native packages. The software portfolio runs on Red Hat OpenShift, a market-leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the leading open-source operating system. IBM is releasing five Cloud Paks immediately, including Cloud Pak for Data, Cloud Pak for Applications, Cloud Pak for Integration, Cloud Pak for Automation, and Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management.
Additionally, IBM is releasing several new products and resources associated with the Red Hat acquisition, including:
• Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud: a flexible managed service of OpenShift on IBM’s public cloud
• Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxONE: an implementation of hybrid cloud computing capabilities built specifically for IBM’s mainframe products
• Red Hat consulting services: a newly organized support and resource for helping enterprises migrate and optimize cloud workloads delivered by a team of more than 80,000 cloud specialists
The Impact: IBM already has several large customers leveraging the Cloud Pak capabilities to migrate workloads or optimize existing cloud-based capabilities. Making its software cloud-native may not help build IBM’s cloud service market share, but it could put IBM software in a better competitive position in the cloud era.
The Buzz: “IBM is unleashing its software from the data center to fuel the enterprise workload race to the cloud. This will further position IBM as the industry leader in the more-than-$1 trillion dollar hybrid cloud opportunity,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Cloud and Cognitive Software at IBM. “We are providing the essential tools enterprises need to make their multi-year journey to cloud on common, open standards that can reach across clouds, across applications, and across vendors with Red Hat.”
“Red Hat is unlocking innovation with Linux-based technologies, including containers and Kubernetes, which have become the fundamental building blocks of hybrid cloud environments,” said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat. “This open hybrid cloud foundation is what enables the vision of any app, anywhere, anytime. Combined with IBM’s strong industry expertise and supported by a vast ecosystem of passionate developers and partners, customers can create modern apps with the technologies of their choice and the flexibility to deploy in the best environment for the app – whether that’s on-premises or across multiple public clouds.”
“One of the great things about the Cloud Pak for Data System is the speed with which we’ll be able to launch and scale our analytics platform,” said Steve Lueck, vice president of Data Management at Associated Bank, which is in the process of deploying several new systems. “The integrated stack contains what we need to improve data quality, catalog our data assets, enable data collaboration, and build/operationalize data sciences. We’re able to move quickly with design, test, build, and deployment of new models and analytical applications.”
“We tapped into the IBM Cloud Pak for Data to take advantage of Watson Studio and Machine Learning,” said Michele Gehl, vice president of OSS Applications & Operations at Sprint. “With this container-based platform, we’re able to build models quickly to generate insights about client-facing issues from diverse datasets and respond accordingly.”
Channelnomics Point of View: Many analysts and observers have wondered just how IBM would leverage its $36 billion acquisition of Red Hat, which is widely known and appreciated for its open-source software and market-neutral interoperability. IBM said it would use Red Hat and its Kubernetes capabilities to help enterprises move to the cloud faster and easier. The opening of its applications to run in any cloud environment – such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Alibaba, and Google Cloud – signals that it’s emulating Microsoft’s strategy of building software to run wherever customers want it.