May 11, 2020 By Sai Vennam 4 min read

This tech preview takes a look at IBM Cloud Satellite, which is IBM public cloud as a distributed cloud.

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IBM Cloud Satellite is a new offering that launches later this year, and it enables you to manage your applications across public and private environments through a single pane of glass, with flexible infrastructure, as-a-service operations, secure connectivity, and app lifecycle management.

In this video, I’m going to demonstrate how IBM Cloud Satellite allows you to manage your critical apps anywhere—on IBM Cloud, on-premises, or at the edge.

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Video Transcript

What is IBM Cloud Satellite?

Hey everyone. Today, let’s cover an all-new offering from IBM: IBM Cloud Satellite.

With Satellite, we’re bringing the strengths of IBM Cloud to public and private environments—extending the capabilities that we have on our cloud while allowing you to run in an environment of your choice. Let’s break that down.

Using Satellite, you can manage your critical applications running anywhere, such as on-premises, hybrid, edge, or any other infrastructure environment using a single pane of glass controlled from IBM Cloud.

Let’s get right into it by understanding exactly how we make this possible.

The control plane

It starts with the base: IBM public cloud with a control plane on top. This control plane hosts a number of components that abstract complexities away from the distributed environments and then brings them together in a single place on IBM Cloud.


First up in the control plane, we’ve got Config, which is based on open source Razee and provides a global view of your applications. It actually takes it a step further by letting you automate deployment of apps as well.


Next up, we’ve got Mesh, and this is based on open source Istio which allows you to manage connectivity, visibility, policies, and much more between your services—and even with services across different environments. Essentially, it’s multicloud and multicluster service meshing.

IBM Cloud observability

Finally, IBM Cloud observability, which provides a central, operational view for all of your clusters and the services within. This is core to strengthening your SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) and provides a single view for day-two operations and security auditing.

Satellite locations

So, now that we’ve covered the control plane, let’s talk about Satellite locations—as in the environments that Satellite manages for you.

A location can be anywhere—bring-your-own-infrastructure, hybrid, or edge environments—and you can create a set of hosts there, basically a pool of resources. This set of Satellite hosts make up a Satellite location.

Satellite link

This location connects back to the control plane running in IBM Cloud using a component called Satellite link. Link comes with the capabilities to help administer networking around your applications, like firewalls, but also for auditing capabilities, which is crucial for your security team to establish trust when using this new paradigm.

IBM Cloud managed services

Lastly, we mentioned how Satellite extends the public cloud to your preferred environments, this comes with IBM Cloud managed services. The primary method for running your workloads will be on Red Hat OpenShift clusters. They’ll be managed by the control plane—much like Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud—but would be running in the Satellite location of your choice.

In addition to OpenShift, we’re enabling a host of IBM Cloud services in these locations. This includes services like IBM Cloud Databases and DevOps tooling.

In addition, to develop your favorite containers, serverless functions, jobs, and more, Satellite will provide an API for developers, which will include capabilities like Knative.

IBM Cloud Satellite is IBM public cloud as a distributed cloud

So, let’s summarize. IBM Cloud Satellite enables you to manage apps across public and private environments with a single pane of glass, allowing for flexible infrastructure, as-a-service operations, secure connectivity, and app lifecycle management.

With Satellite, you get the IBM Cloud services catalog, including managed OpenShift, data, and DevOps services, as well as much more—all in your own data center with full SRE operations. You don’t have to be an expert in running cloud services.

IBM Cloud Satellite is IBM public cloud as a distributed cloud.

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