Sometimes taking an array of individual tools or products and combining them into a single offering can create a success story.
Traditionally we think Swiss Army Knife; multiple useful items such as a screwdriver, allen key, penknife, scissors and corkscrew. And today’s equivalent, the mobile phone; with camera, word processor, games console and social media platform; plus, the ability to make a phone call! We’ll probably have a device that combines all of them one day.
The challenge is to try and make each component of the combined device or tool as good as the individual alternative. A professional tradesman probably still needs a high-quality screwdriver and a photographer probably still needs a Digital SLR camera.
In the IT industry we are seeing a greater demand for integration between solutions. Consumers have become used to being able to share data across applications, cut and paste from one social media platform to another, displaying their screen, and themselves, across various video conferencing systems.
The IBM Hybrid-Cloud strategy recognises this need for integration in their CloudPaks. Building all of their offerings to run on Red Hat OpenShift, IBM have combined different software tools and applications into sets of CloudPaks designed to run on any hardware, cloud or hybrid cloud environment. But unlike the shorter screwdriver or reduced size corkscrew, the products that have been integrated are the full-size IBM software products.
For example, to begin with you might just need CloudPak for Data to enable you to find and connect to your data—no matter where it lives— and then govern it and eventually analyse it, on a secure, containerised platform of your choice. All this in one CloudPak, which you can deploy as needed, bringing flexibility to your environment.
Over the past 5 years most businesses have deployed applications into a public cloud. Initially without too much governance as user departments looked for fast, cost effective and often outside of the budgetary process, solutions. As IT departments have taken back control the number of different cloud providers per enterprise has dropped; see Developing a broader ecosystem (techdata.com).
However, the business challenges are still there:
- The need to remain agile whilst minimising risk of security breaches and non-compliance issues
- The need to manage complex application environments and an explosion of heterogeneous IT data
- The need to track and manage costs across multiple clouds and hybrid environments
To support our partners in understanding how IBM CloudPaks address these challenges, Tech Data has implemented a Red Hat OpenShift based environment and made it available for our partners.
For those partners joining the Multi-Cloud Project, the team will provide access to the platform for you to experiment and optimise your solution for the OpenShift environment. They’ll support proof of concepts to containerise and modernise your applications. Helping you explore how integrating tools from across the CloudPak family could add more value to your offering.
This initiative enables partners to show how their customers can avoid vendor lock-in. It gives confidence to deploy and manage a hybrid cloud environment whilst modernising their applications via containerisation. In conjunction with the latest capabilities such as IBM Cloud Satellite, they can demonstrate how their unique business solutions can be deployed and managed anywhere across the organisation.
If you are discussing cloud deployments with your customers and want to give them confidence in managing their environment today, and not get locked-in tomorrow, please contact one of the project team. The team are currently looking for further partners to work with on this exciting project. If you think your business would benefit from engaging with us please get in touch. We look forward to helping you deploy the best, integrated solution for each of your customers.
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