Back in the 90’s I happily worked with many Vendor Technology Platforms, including IBM RS6000 & Netfinity, Sun Microsystems SPARC, Compaq & HP Proliant, Microsoft, Novell, AIX, UX, Solaris, Xenix, Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and no doubt more besides. The diversity and continual learning presented to me are two significant reasons I built my career around this exciting industry.
Still, you can’t be an expert in everything, so I decided to focus on IBM RS6000 (now Power) and AIX. Way back then, I saw IBM hardware and software as the most sophisticated solutions for running the most critical Enterprise software solutions.
Although initially resistant to specialise, working with Enterprise critical solutions for multiple decades wasn’t just about hardware, software, or applications. It was about delivering solutions, understanding the design, implementation, costs, skills transfer, performance, security, availability, backup and Disaster Recovery, and continual lifecycle management, including migrations and updates, all with guaranteed backward binary compatibility.
Technical OpenShift Education
I’ve recently been completing some Red Hat OpenShift learning, and during this time, I was reminded of similar learning experiences from my past. IBM Power, IBM i and AIX are just as important today as they have ever been in running critical Enterprise solutions. Still, we are very much in the third wave of computing, and our Data-Centric workloads need to integrate and complement modern development approaches.
Developers born in the Cloud can pull microservices from a vast array of Vendor Cloud options. Still, each of these does its best to lock customers into that vendor’s offering. Lock-in typically comes at a price, often discovered too late!
IBM and Red Hat have a different view – The Hybrid Cloud. Red Hat OpenShift provides the latest modern developer-rich technologies and makes them available across practically all Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds.
So is it easier to build new Cloud applications from scratch or modernise existing solutions?
It’s generally appreciated to be far easier to build a new application using microservices, so new applications are more often than not born Cloud-Native these days.
Still, it takes time
and effort to containerise existing applications, and businesses need to prioritise them. We do see increasing numbers of ISVs making the latest versions of Enterprise applications available as containers and supported on OpenShift. HCL Commerce and Portal, now known as Digital Experience, are two good examples of this, but it’s often estimated to take 12-18 months for entire teams to complete. This often requires customers to reskill, platform and invest significantly to modernise existing infrastructure and applications, so it does take time.
a third option is to surround existing stable, mature and high-performing data-centric applications with modern development architecture solutions. Running Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power Systems enables the modernisation of applications, whilst still gaining value from the original critical application and infrastructure. This allows integration of additional Cloud services, infusing AI, Continual Integration and Continual Delivery functions speeding development, reducing downtime and delivering new services faster than competitors to win new business.
This is where we often achieve the quickest return on investment and create a pathway to a full Hybrid Cloud.
Recently I have been working with some ISVs who have focussed on application modernisation using Cloud Native principles. Many existing customers have refused to migrate from secure, high-performing, mature and stable on-premise platforms to the Public Cloud. Now we are working together to deliver modern solutions in a Hybrid Cloud. Existing Data-Centric workloads remain on Power, and new containerised workloads sit within OpenShift on the same physical hardware but enable portability anywhere, anytime.
Some customers have spent significant time dismantling elements of the overall solution to gain agility by moving this to Public Cloud, only to find superior performance, security and massively reduced costs by running these workloads on OpenShift collocated with IBM i on Power.
Other customers have previously moved some lighter-weight workloads off Power onto “good enough” platforms. Still, they now discover that with new VPC licensing and subscription models, that economics once again significantly favour the more powerful Power processor, with four or more threads per core.
Java-based workloads, including Websphere and JBoss based solutions, are ideal candidates for running containers with OpenShift on Power. Websphere Hybrid Edition, and Cloud Pak for Applications, typically provides three times the workload per core at half the cost per transaction on Power vs x86. Interestingly errors are also eliminated when run on Power vs x86.
Power colleagues in MEA recently architected Cloud Pak for Data solution on Power using around 25% of the number of cores previously required with x86. Credit to Yasal Akgun’s Technical Presales team and Expert Lab SErvices working with CP4D colleagues to create the optimum customer solution.
I do see an increasing number of Managed Service Providers and Enterprise customers across EMEA using Cloud Pak for Multicloud Manager to manage both containers and virtual machines on both x86 and Power servers in Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds.
IBM & Red Hat recognised as Multicloud Leaders
Click below for the full Forrester Wave Report:
More and more customers see the benefits of running multiple Kubernetes clusters using Red Hat Advanced Cluster Manager. Deploying applications across multiple clusters has never been so easy.
As ISV’s release the latest versions of applications based on containers, it’s far simpler to deploy on the same platform as the original workload, especially when more economical to do so.
In summary, those running IBM Power infrastructure need not worry in the slightest, as the third wave and application modernisation era bring more opportunity and benefit to Power customers than anyone else.
To make the most of these opportunities and help businesses gain an advantage, maximising return on investment, it’s well worth investing in Red Hat OpenShift education. If like me, you believe in continual learning, it will be fun.
Go for it!
Learn how to modernise applications and compliment Hybrid Cloud with Red Hat Power & Red Hat Systems OpenShift
Let me know if you’d like any help with further information, demonstrations and or proof of concepts