The company’s new software platform is built on open source Kubernetes-based container architecture and supports both Docker containers and Cloud Foundry. This will enable integration and portability of workloads between the cloud environment, as well as management across multiple clouds, according to the company. This includes IBM Cloud, IBM PowerVC, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and VMware on and off premises.
Hybrid cloud environments aren’t going away soon, said John Considine, GM of IBM Cloud Infrastructure. IBM estimates companies will spend more than $50 billion globally starting in 2017 to create private clouds with growth rates of 15 to 20 percent a year, through 2020.
“This is how we create that continuum from private, on-premises to the public cloud,” Considine said. “We’ve put together a new platform to enable this hybridization between the environments. This is moving it up to a container-based delivery mechanism.”
The platform is generally available. Car rental giant, Hertz Corp., and Ilmarinen, a Finland pension firm, are early customers.
IBM Cloud Private includes built-in security features. It scans containers across the cloud to stop issues and weaknesses. It can also encrypt all data in flight and provide for strict access control by users within a cluster.
Additionally, users can choose from multiple infrastructures. While it is optimized for IBM hardware (IBM Z, IBM Power Systems, and IBM hyperconverged systems powered by Nutanix software), Cloud Private is compatible with Cisco, Dell EMC, Intel, Lenovo, and NetApp systems.
Also today IBM announced new container-optimized versions of core enterprise software, such as IBM WebSphere Liberty, Db2, and MQ, which is used to run and help secure business-critical applications and data. The company claims this will make it easier to share data and move applications across IBM Cloud private and public clouds, and other cloud environments.
IBM’s Container Push
The new software platform and the container-optimized versions of software also demonstrate IBM’s continued container push. Last month IBM partnered with Docker to help companies migrate legacy apps to the cloud. Around the same time Google, IBM, and a handful of other companies launched an effort to create and open source the Grafeas project to help developers secure containers.
IBM also is a founding member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which hosts Kubernetes.
“We have been aggressively restacking our services into this container-based mechanism,” Considine said.
These efforts also reinforce IBM’s commitment to open source, he added. “By basing our platform and our services on these open-source technologies, the portability remains. We’re not binding you to an IBM world. We think this is the better approach.”