March 1, 2021 By Henrietta Akpata 4 min read

Prolifics and IBM: Build faster, securely, anywhere with IBM Cloud Satellite.

Cloud adoption is driving business transformation, allowing companies to scale up quickly, modernize critical workloads and grow their use of artificial intelligence (AI) and edge applications. But, for some industries, these advances create new challenges, resulting in a complex set of cloud environments. Being able to access, build and manage across all public, edge and on-premises environments is one of the challenges IBM sought to take up when it developed IBM Cloud Satellite, a distributed cloud that is managed as a service.

In a recent conversation with Greg Hodgkinson, CTO of Prolifics, we discuss why this is a game-changer for managing cloud systems and application modernization initiatives. You can hear our whole conversation below. First, let’s dive into what makes IBM Cloud Satellite such an innovative shift in providing and managing cloud services:

Industry challenges

Many clients are not taking full advantage of the benefits that using the public cloud offers —flexibility, scalability, ease of use, speed to market and lower IT costs. There are various, often overlapping, reasons for the hesitation:

  • A significant existing investment in on-premises infrastructure can preempt or delay spending to implement a cloud strategy
  • Caution about cloud security and data privacy keep workloads on-premises
  • Legal/regulatory mandates require data to remain on-premises
  • Real-time or data latency concerns require on-site computing
  • A reluctance to internally develop or externally hire the necessary cloud native expertise to run and operate specific workloads.

In short, in some industries, teams cannot run key workloads on public clouds due to regulatory, legal or privacy concerns. Still, other companies need to operate in edge environments to avoid latency that could diminish user experience.

Companies in the financial industry face similar challenges. Regulations dictate how financial data is stored while users demand access to their banking information instantaneously, wherever they are. So financial services companies may need to host solutions in edge environments that can process sensitive information more securely and at high speed.

The separation between on-premises, edge, and public clouds can lead to inconsistencies in security and compliance, diminished visibility across a hybrid cloud and limits on operations when cloud software can’t run within on-premises environments. The resulting complexity in operations creates more work and may even overmatch the skill set of the people charged with running these environments. Companies that need consistent security and compliance controls often don’t even have a central view of their operations across all environments.

Developing the distributed cloud

What do we mean when we refer to IBM Cloud Satellite as a distributed cloud? It is the distribution of public cloud services to different physical locations, while the maintenance, governance and evolution of the services remain the public cloud provider’s responsibility. IBM Cloud Satellite provides consistent cloud services across any cloud, on-premises or at the edge, giving companies previously unavailable flexibility in how they architect the technical solutions through which they reach their customers. With Satellite, IT practitioners can keep critical operations within private or edge environments, as needed, while monitoring and managing cloud services and applications, with simplicity, in a single view.

The distributed cloud model removes several challenges businesses face when deploying cloud services. By giving you the ability to manage services and applications across locations remotely, IBM Cloud Satellite enables your business to scale workloads and focus your technical staff elsewhere. While the business benefits from the speed and agility of using public cloud services, essential data stays in-country, meeting local compliance requirements and regulations. IBM Cloud Satellite lets you keep data where you want it. Your teams can securely run analytics across all environments while maintaining transparency and consistency in the tools, processes, and results.

IBM Cloud services in the extensive catalog are available to run in Satellite locations. That means you can now consume Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud on-premises, eliminating the need to develop all the expertise to manage the OpenShift platform’s versioning lifecycle. Using Kubernetes and container technology, OpenShift allows you to focus on creating your application while the infrastructure is taken care of for you through the IBM Cloud and maintained by IBM. With Satellite, companies get the full range of IBM Cloud services, the ability to run on their existing infrastructure and the flexibility to scale up the infrastructure they need tomorrow.

The future of the cloud

The evolution of the cloud will continue as companies grow, regulations shift and new IT challenges arise. IBM Cloud Satellite helps companies rise to those challenges with an approach that’s more flexible and agile to provisioning and managing cloud services than many competitors’ cloud architectures. Simply put, IBM Cloud Satellite saves time and empowers teams. It enables them to quickly deploy a cluster to an on-premises location, securely register an on-premises location with IBM Cloud and deploy access and security policies across all environments. By offering greater system-wide visibility and tools where they need them, teams can execute operations with a few clicks. Beyond providing the benefits of a distributed cloud architecture, IBM Cloud takes cloud management to another level.

But we won’t do it alone. Our collaboration with a growing number of enterprises from IBM’s partner ecosystem, such as Prolifics, will help scale IBM Cloud Satellite’s open architecture across environments, accelerating customer innovation. With our partners, IBM can offer consistency, transparency, and flexibility to help enterprises run workloads where it makes the most sense for their business — whether that is a public cloud, their data center or at the edge.

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