IBM Cloud Private – why I need this stuff – NOW
Last week my colleagues and me went to an IBM Cloud private workshop in Stuttgart. This was an introduction to IBM Cloud private plus workshop where we were able to install and test everything.
I would like to share my thoughts about this.
ICP is a platform to create applications based on microservices behind the company’s firewall.
In this post I do not want to generally write more about „What is ICP“ – you can have a look at Nico Meisenzahls blog if you want to get a good introduction into this topic and all the related things.
This post is more meant as a guide what you get if you use or buy ICP instead of just installing Docker and Kubernetes on top of it.
IBMs use-cases for this software are a too general in my opinion:
- Create new Cloud Native apps
- Modernize and optimize existing applications
- Opening up enterprise data centers to work with cloud services
This might be possible with other tools too…
Another important question I asked myself is: Whom to sell such a tool?
When looking into the future it is not the admin anymore you sell software products or services – it is more some special department that requests such a service.
With ICP this seems to be different. The request for such a tool will come from the developers / DevOps themselves. This might change some our consulting strategies.
But coming back to the original question “Why should a customer pay money for stuff they can also install themselves (at least parts of it)”?
Four answers to this question:
>> you can migrate your existing and new applications to a modern platform without the need to move everything out of your datacenter and without having an enormous effort to setup such an infrastructure >>
>> you buy yourself the comfort of not setting setup all the mandatory components <<
>> you get IBM support for all open source components that are part of ICP <<
> you set the technical prerequisites to create a hybrid-cloud strategy where you can decide whether and which data you want to store in a public / private cloud >>
So ICP is especially interesting for customers that want to drive a new technology but do not want to be bound to a public cloud service. No need for complex setup – everything is prebuild and preconfigured. You build your own private cloud in your own data center! Your datacenter = your rules!
If you want to open your mind for public cloud services, ICP prepares you for this! You can drive the system in a hybrid-cloud mode where parts of your environment are hosted on-prem and parts on AWS, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud …
Let`s come to the three different ICP “flavors” (Community / Cloud Native / Enterprise Edition):
All editions include (my favorites):
- Unified installed (ansible playbook based) to setup the full stack
- A simplified management console and the possibility to used private docker image repositories. Monitoring and logging Is fully integrated.
Cloud Native & Enterprise Edition include much more useful features – I will write another blog post with a detailed description about everything.
My favorite feature that you only get when you buy Cloud Native / Enterprise Edition:
ICP Vulnerability Advisor
A IBM X-Force exchange attached tool that connects to your containers and performs a security crawl. What a perfect match – each time you roll out a new container, you let ICP VA check if your containers are secured properly. Each Security officer will like this approach 🙂
The integration with X-Force gurantees that ICP VA always receives the latest security bulletins!
Cloud foundry is an open source PaaS offering that lets developers focus on their code. Means a developer does not have to worry about platforms availability and where the code will run.
Furthermore, Cloud foundry takes care of building images using buildpacks.
If the world is really that easy as IBM claims, the developer just provides its code to Cloud foundry – everything else is provided by the platform.
As I read this, I was remembered a bit on the good old WebSphere Portal days, where IBM tried to simplify development using “Web Experience Factory”. But CF is more as this!
I really like the approach that IBM drives here! Simplification of a quite complex technology as Kubernetes, Docker and the whole eco-system. Support for such components is also an important fact.
ICP is a great way to modernize or create new applications based on a modern container concept without the need to cloudify everything. You build your own private cloud or drive a hybrid cloud approach. For me this sounds like a very good preparation for the future of IT.
Together with innovative concepts such as Garage method (discuss architectures, best practices and toolchains with skilled IBM guys), vulnerability scanner, cloud automation manager and many more IBM adjusted to the growing marked of containerization. A good catch at the right moment.
I am convinced that ICP will be a success for IBM.
For us as an IBM business partner this is a new technical concept for selling licenses and services. And it is a lot of fun to work with such innovative and new technologies.
Are you convinced that it is worth to invest into this IBM Cloud Private? I am 😉
There will be another blog post soon, where I want to write about each tool included in ICP.
We are currently running a demo environment of ICP Enterprise Edition. Some traditionally installed servers are already on our list to be “ICP-/ containi – fied”. Lets share your ideas and comments about ICP as a comment or drop me a mail (email@example.com)