At the recent Red Hat Summit 2018 in San Francisco, IBM announced a partnership with Red Hat to certify IBM Cloud Private on Red Hat OpenShift and provide a catalog of IBM middleware as Certified Red Hat Linux containers on OpenShift. IBM Cloud Private is an enterprise cloud platform designed to run on-premises and support application development, from modern containerized microservices, to migration of legacy systems. It delivers a packaged Kubernetes runtime, Cloud Foundry runtime, a catalog of IBM and open source middleware, and a “day two” management control plane required to operate containers in the enterprise. Red Hat OpenShift is an open source container application platform based on Docker containers and the Kubernetes container cluster manager. The combination of Cloud Private and OpenShift will provide a fully supported stack from the hypervisor to the app on one operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and will follow Red Hat’s certified Linux standards. The integrated offering is due to go live in August 2018.
Kubernetes and its ecosystem has grown significantly in the last 18 months, offering a foundational open source management tool for containers and supporting an evolved and competitive ecosystem around it. While there are other container managers on the market, such as Docker Swarm and Amazon Elastic Container Service, Kubernetes has emerged as a de facto standard in recent months, to the advantage of Openshift, which is based on Kubernetes. Kubernetes itself is a project managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which in March 2018 announced that Kubernetes was the first project to earn graduate status, described as “… mature and resilient enough to manage containers at scale across any industry in companies of all sizes”. After Google (the originator of Kubernetes), Red Hat is the second largest contributor to the open source project, and recently acquired the number-three contributor, CoreOS.
IBM Cloud Private in conjunction with Red Hat Openshift enables enterprises to bring the value of the cloud to a broader set of enterprise applications. By combining the simplicity of developer access to existing middleware and new services through a catalog, along with common services that simplify operational management, IBM Cloud Private offers a multicloud foundation for digital transformation. By integrating this with a proven container and operating system platform from Red Hat, enterprises can accelerate their digital transformation across both new applications as well as cloud-enable existing applications with reduced risk.
As Kubernetes has grown, enterprise strategy around cloud services has also evolved. Enterprises want choice and control, particularly around cost, as they continue their digital transformation journey. The challenge of transforming organizational culture to support agile and DevOps, a necessary first step to truly benefit from cloud-native computing, needs to be in line with cloud usage. Simply moving to the cloud without changing how applications are developed and run will not yield benefits, and could increase costs. Hence the move by enterprises to multiple clouds and IBM’s strategic choice for an on-premises solution, Cloud Private. Now enterprises can balance their application environment needs across different clouds and use the latest container technology to move seamlessly across them.
Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, IT Infrastructure Solutions