New IBM Cloud Private software delivers cloud-native environment to private clouds



IBM announced on Wednesday a new IBM Cloud Private software platform to help companies unlock billions of dollars in technology investment in core data and applications and extend cloud-native tools across public and private clouds.

IBM Cloud Private software is designed to enable companies to create on-premises cloud capabilities similar to public clouds to accelerate app development. The new platform is built on the open source Kubernetes-based container architecture and supports both Docker containers and Cloud Foundry. This facilitates integration and portability of workloads as they evolve to any cloud environment, including the public IBM Cloud.

While public cloud adoption continues to grow at a rapid pace, organizations, especially in regulated industries such as finance and healthcare, are continuing to leverage private clouds as part of their journey to public cloud environments to quickly launch and update applications. IBM estimates companies will spend more than $50 billion globally starting in 2017 to create and evolve private clouds with growth rates of 15 to 20 percent a year through 2020, according to IBM market projections.

A pre-packaged enterprise-class solution, IBM Cloud Private delivers a single platform located behind the firewall. Users can leverage on-premises software portfolio or integrate next-generation data and software optimized for cloud.

Built on open source frameworks, like containers, Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry, IBM Cloud Private offers flexibility, control, security and easy integration with public cloud. Plus cloud management solutions are included so users can govern multi-cloud infrastructures and applications.

IBM Cloud Private features include cloud management automation to deliver streamlined management across cloud environments to help launch, monitor and manage services and help ensure consistent security protocols; Security Vulnerability Advisor to scan containers across the cloud to surface potentially serious issues and weaknesses, and the ability to encrypt all data in flight and provide for strict access control by users within a cluster.

The new offering also includes a container engine, Kubernetes orchestration, Cloud Foundry and essential management tools surrounding developer runtimes, which are fully integrated and automated. It is compatible with systems from manufacturers including Cisco, Dell EMC, Intel, Lenovo and NetApp, as well as IBM Systems, including IBM Power Systems, IBM Z and IBM Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix software.

IBM also delivers integrations with database services, such as IBM Db2, PostgreSQL and MongoDB, to leverage data and gain business insights.

The containerized versions of software and development frameworks, including IBM WebSphere Liberty, Open Liberty, MQ and Microservice Builder, as part of software bundles; Optimized management and DevOps tools, including APM, Netcool and UrbanCode, which can be added for a separate fee. IBM also offers cloud deployment, management, brokerage and storage services to help clients manage multiple clouds and can help clients with migration of applications to IBM Cloud Private.

“Innovation and adoption of public cloud services has been constrained by the challenge of transitioning complex enterprise systems and applications into a true cloud-native environment,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president for IBM Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research. “IBM Cloud Private brings rapid application development and modernization to existing IT infrastructure and positions it to be combined with the services and experience of a public cloud platform.”

IBM also announced new container-optimized versions of core enterprise software, such as IBM WebSphere Liberty, Db2 and MQ – widely used to run and help secure the world’s most business-critical applications and data. This makes it easier to share data and evolve applications as needed across IBM Cloud private and public clouds and other cloud environments with a consistent experience.

IBM Cloud Private is another significant step in IBM’s support for organizations to create, deploy and manage apps in the cloud environment of their choice. IBM and Google recently announced an effort to create and open source the Grafeas project to help developers with security of containers. Last month, IBM released Open Liberty, a new lightweight, open-source version of its WebSphere Liberty Java application server, to make it easier for developers to get apps up and running in any cloud environment.

IBM also is a founding member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which hosts Kubernetes and Cloud Private is in compliance with its interoperability conformance tests.

An airline, for example, could use IBM Cloud Private to bring a core application that tracks frequent flyer miles into a private cloud environment and connect it to a new mobile app in the public cloud. A financial services firm could use it to keep customer data in-house as it works to meet its security and regulatory requirements while taking advantage of new analytic tools and machine learning in the public cloud to quickly identify investment trends and opportunities.

The Hertz Corporation, a car rental company, believes both public and private cloud is critical to achieving its technology objectives.

“Private cloud is a must for many enterprises such as ours working to reduce or eliminate their dependence on internal data centers,” said Tyler Best, Hertz chief technology officer. “A strategy consisting of public, private and hybrid cloud are essential for large enterprises to effectively make the transition from legacy systems to cloud. Hertz is an early adopter of both public and private IBM cloud and we could not accomplish our technology goals without private cloud as part of our overall cloud portfolio.”

Ilmarinen, a Finland firm responsible for the pensions covering approximately 900,000 Finns, has started a pilot project with IBM Cloud Private and plans to be in production in early 2018.  “Ilmarinen is excited about the capabilities in IBM Cloud Private as a flexible, compliant cloud-native platform that it can deploy and manage behind our firewall for creating new applications and modernizing traditional workloads,” said Jani Itkonen, Production Manager, Ilmarinen.

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