The next chapter for IBM Cloud

3 September 2019

Bell Integration’s John Bradshaw discusses IBM Cloud and the readiness of the solution to tackle complex cloud requirements from hybrid & multi cloud to open standards and security management, flexible provisioning and private cloud. Also what could we expect to see from the next cloud chapter: data, AI and ROI moving from compute to storage.


A couple of things about IBM Cloud, but first cloud in general. I see cloud in general, as a book that’s being continuously written. Chapter one was all about re-platforming, re-hosting, cloud native. It was about developers taking the 20% easy workload, the low-hanging fruit and moving them into a compute environment that was going to cost them less, and we all drank the AWS and the Azure Kool-Aid. We got our credit cards out and we spun up lots of instances and we’re now going

‘Great what do we do with all the complex stuff, the other 80% that’s left? How do we move that?’

That’s about chapter 2 and this is where we move into the space where I think cloud for the enterprise, and this is IBM’s back garden, this is where it plays, this is where it’s strong.

So, chapter 2 in the cloud journey is around modernisation, management, it’s around infrastructure, security governance, and above all else integration. Customers have now got environments that are very hybrid, multi-cloud they’re using Salesforce, SAP and Workday and their data is everywhere, and so therefore, they need to work with a cloud provider that can cover all of that for them with a complete secure wrapper, and this is definitely IBM’s territory.

So, IBM Cloud is delivered around five core principles that address the challenges I covered in Chapter two, the first is hybrid, second is multi-cloud, third and probably one of the most important is around open standards. 70% of IBM Cloud is built on open standards technology, which avoids some of the problems around vendor lock-in that we’re seeing in a market today. So, the fourth is about security, and IBM needs no introduction around its heritage around security. The last one is around management, and IT Directors these days are faced with the challenges of their data and integrations being all over the place, and we need consistent logging, reporting and a management infrastructure to help deal with some of the challenges in Chapter two. IBM is excellent at delivering all of this at scale with a highly secure wrapper- it’s enterprise cloud.

I’ve talked about the core principles on which IBM Cloud founded. Here are some of the unique features that I think differentiate IBM Cloud to the other vendors out there. The first is unparalleled integration of VMware, I think it’s ahead in the marketplace in what its offering in this space. the second is you can choose your infrastructure platform whether it’s power, x86, high performance computing GPUs or bare metal it offers a completely flexible way of provisioning, unlike anything else at the marketplace. The third is around its open standards and containerisation, it provides Kubernetes with a security wrapper, and it allows in container monitoring, which I don’t believe anybody else in the marketplace is currently offering.

Lastly, IBM Cloud private, so everything I’ve talked about you can take, and run on your own infrastructure, and then IBM provide all of its core heritage around application middleware, and integration, and databases, and AI, you can run all of that on your own infrastructure in IBM cloud private.

If you add to this some of the services from IBM Cloud you get a really powerful platform, you’ve got multi zone regions, you’ve got a mesh network across three data centres and not two, you’ve got an unlimited, unmetered, Internet backbone where you’re not even touching the internet. So customers can replicate between data centres with no charge, and unlike a lot of the other providers IBM doesn’t charge you for an egress of data, which I think is really quite powerful at the moment. You would never consider putting your money into a bank, and then them charging you to take it out. Well IBM doesn’t do that, we’re still taking a compute only view on cloud consumption at the moment and as we end chapter two and move into chapter three, data and artificial intelligence will take over and we will move the ROI metrics from compute to storage.

So the easy works been done, we’ve got the complex stuff left to do and this is all about enterprise computing and IBM is in the best place for this. I don’t believe anyone else out there has the enterprise experience, IBM Cloud is ahead of the game.

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