March 15, 2021 By J.J. Lopez 3 min read

I had the pleasure of being on a panel of judges for the final outcome of the IBM IT Infrastructure Challenge on Red Hat OpenShift, launched at IBM TechU last October. The Challenge launched at the conference called for TechU participants to build teams and create a minimum viable product (MVP) using OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) and Ansible on IBM Power Systems or IBM Z.

OCP is designed and optimized to easily deploy web applications and services. When you combine OCP with Power or Z it extends the unique benefits of these platforms’ resiliency, security and performance by bringing them together with applications, platforms and services for creating and delivering cloud-native apps in whichever environment you need to leverage. These include on premises, private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud.

In this Challenge, our teams set out to prove that it works and to figure out some ways that this technology would enable innovative change in their industry. I was excited to see the results.

Our participants were able to kick off the Challenge with some technical training, including a hands-on lab and a demo. From there, the teams worked together in a sandbox environment provided by the Poughkeepsie and Montpellier IBM Garage teams. IBM Garage client centers provide world-class offerings, leverage technical subject matter expertise and provide access to leading systems infrastructure that enable insights and innovation. Three teams stood out in their final presentations. Check out this short video on the challenge.

Healthcare digitization

The Healthcare Digitization team was a diverse team with key stakeholders from Texas Children’s Hospital and team members from IBM, Corehive and CMA Technology Solutions. They had a vision for improving healthcare services by increasing access to patient data by both patient and doctor, specifically in the context of tele-visits. A lot of healthcare provider data sits on IBM i legacy systems and the challenge their demo tackled is to bring together data from different platforms, data sources and applications to serve it up using microservices. The ultimate vision is to extend this solution to more databases such as EPIC and Watson Health services as well as expanding ultimately to IoT-connected medical devices. Pretty exciting stuff!

CEE Systems Tech Sales team

The CEE Systems Tech Sales team, led by Hendrik Wörner, the IBM Technical Sales Leader for CEE, decided to focus less on the actual MVP than on simply proving the claimed benefits of leveraging Red Hat OpenShift CP for two scenarios. The first was to develop new assets on RHOCP and co-locating with traditional z applications and data. The second was to leverage unique IBM z benefits such as crypto and compression in new digital assets not residing on IBM Z. They set out to test whether a non-Z developer could easily create and deploy these applications with little to no IBM Z development skills. And they did it! That’s the beauty of OCP—the ability to extend IBM Z and IBM Power Systems without platform-specific skills.

Financial market research as a service

This smaller team included Parichaiy Bhardwaj, IBM Infrastructure Architect and Deepak Shetty, Pre-Sales Technical Consultant on Cloud & Cognitive Offerings – IBM Techline. These two created an AI-based service meant to enhance the quality of capital market research while simplifying access for financial institutions and ultimately, financial clients. Their proposal was a microservices architecture-based AI application running on OCP fueled by IBM Power Systems using machine learning models to suggest price / time action for a selected financial instrument. The team was excited by this capability to leverage the computing power of Power Systems for machine learning applications with large data sets and the capability of OCP to reduce the time to market and time to develop and deploy ML models.

All in all, the innovative ideas which come out of Challenges such as this one never cease to amaze me. Are you interested in working on your own MVP with OCP and Power or Z? Contact the IBM Garage to explore your options.

>> Contact IBM Garage.

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