Bring your Heritage Apps to the Cloud: The IBM Cloud Private Way

2 April 2018

The daily dilemma facing a modern enterprise is one of wishing to embrace new ways of working, deploying new technologies and innovative paradigms to produce business advantage, while gently trying to preserve and maintain business continuity. Core enterprise applications, developed and maintained in-house, provide organizations with the stability to capture new markets while also enable them to respond pro-actively to changes in consumer preferences.

Moving these heritage apps to the cloud can open up immense possibilities for enterprises. But deploying applications straight into the public cloud can only, at best, ruffle feathers. At worst, business can actually be impacted negatively by ill-perceived, premature migration.

The cloud’s benefits are well known and will not be discussed here, but the transition to where applications are fully cloud-optimized isn’t as easy as the big public cloud providers would have us believe. Enterprises are faced with challenges like privacy and security of data in a public cloud setting, running mission-critical applications on public cloud, cost of networking bandwidth and data movement for data-intensive workloads (scaling up), and application performance issues.

Additionally, naturally conservative C-levels are wary of rapidly moving precious data out from behind the corporate firewall into the public cloud without due diligence.

Many organizations have already started down the road to a cloud transformation, or at least, are employing methods which are cloud technique compliant, especially in dev ops. Virtualized servers are now joined by network infrastructure moving to hyperconvergence both in and outside the data center, storage, serving networks are gradually uniting, and software abstraction is removing the need to iterate developments, so apps are platform agnostic.

The new currency of containers, micro-services, and automated deployments allows enterprises to build quickly and granularly, and these tools and methods of working will help lead teams into the public cloud. Last year, Big Blue’s release of IBM Cloud Private started many on that road.

Journey to the Public Cloud

IBM Cloud Private allows development professionals and management a route into public cloud deployments, but without compromising the business functions day-to-day. Big Blue’s open source-powered cloud helps customers take their existing IBM middleware and other legacy applications, place them inside containers and deploy them with the flexibility offered by a Kubernetes-based container architecture. Kubernetes’s container orchestration technology enables companies to create solutions on-premises and roll them out rapidly onto public clouds.

Globally companies are expected to spend more than $50 billion per year, to create and evolve their private cloud, at an estimated growth rate of 15-20 percent a year until 2020. Though public cloud adoption continues at a rapid pace, 7 in 10 decision makers say that they’ll always have a blend of traditional IT and Cloud. Especially regulated industries such as government, healthcare, and banking continue to leverage private clouds while warming up to public cloud environments.

Now with the GDPR coming into effect, companies are progressively considering a hybrid cloud architecture, with the private cloud meant to protect sensitive data, the public cloud to enable scaling and the hybrid capability to unify/connect multiple clouds, services, and data.

Key Tenets of IBM Cloud Private

To begin your organization’s journey into the public cloud, IBM Cloud Private offers a secure, viable, tried and tested framework to develop cloud-based business applications. It has something for every IT professional, right from the CTO to junior programmer.

Rapid Innovation: A complete platform for enterprise developers to quickly create and deliver cloud-native applications to the market, using Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and an integrated Dev Ops toolkit.

Differentiated Integration: Opens the data center to other clouds, integrating capabilities and services with the applications in development. Integration services and full spectrum APIs are ready to create useful synergies.

Investment Protection: Existing middleware and infrastructure investments are utilized in new and innovative ways. Containerization of WAS, MQ, Db2, etc. is supplemented by the use of IBM’s Transformation Advisor, which scans applications and advises on suitable candidates for modernization with IBM Cloud Private.

Management and Compliance: Core operational services help manage your environment, including monitoring, log management, and security. Also, IBM Cloud Private provides the flexibility to integrate with existing tools, aligning with organizations’ IT standards.

Additionally, IBM Cloud Private’s open source components offer a responsive framework to develop applications which are fully functional, yet can be subject to rigorous real-world testing in the private cloud. Perhaps one of the keys to Cloud Private is its underlying ethos of bringing the cloud to the enterprise, not pushing the enterprise to the cloud in a clumsy burn-and-rebuild undertaking – one which has potentially disastrous consequences.

Last but not the least, the path to the public cloud comprises of small steps, and IBM’s on-premise or private infrastructure emulates the public cloud in the essential ways. By deploying the open-source components and industry-standard practices & tools, methodologies and skill sets will remain consistent, whatever the eventual desired platform or mix of platforms.


IBM