September 19, 2016 | Written by: Xiao Hua Shen
Categorized: Community | Hybrid Deployments
Share this post:
Last year, we announced that IBM’s partnership with 21Vianet would bring the Bluemix Public Cloud to China. IBM Blue Box Local provided the fully-managed, supporting infrastructure that enabled this deployment.
IBM delivers a full-stack cloud experience for our clients, with its robust platform as-a-service (PaaS) and underlying infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS) layers. Clients in China can build innovative applications using the Bluemix Public PaaS, and they can rest assured that their applications are supported by a highly available Blue Box IaaS.
Why Blue Box?
For its China deployment, IBM Bluemix was seeking a private cloud solution based on OpenStack–one that could be deployed in a highly automatic manner within a 21Vianet data center. IBM Blue Box provided this solution, while offering consistent and complete management throughout the entire cloud life cycle.
IBM Blue Box provides a full-service operations and support model that eliminates the difficult work of cloud management for customers. Our team of experts provides services through the full life cycle of your cloud—starting with procurement, racking, configuration, stacking, and integration of OpenStack. We are equipped with the expertise to customize and optimize your cloud quickly, using predefined automation processes and automation tool suites that we’ve developed in-house.
Blue Box Local Architecture
IBM Blue Box Local shares a common architecture with our IBM Blue Box Dedicated offering that runs in IBM SoftLayer data centers worldwide. Blue Box Local offers a fully-managed, OpenStack-based private cloud solution that we deploy on-premises in our customers’ data centers using IBM Relay technology. We continue to build Bluemix environments, and we expect more to come– each with its own dedicated storage, network, and cloud infrastructure.
Central Management for Blue Box Local is handled by Box Panel, a software tool that acts as a unified interface for centralized authentication services, for configuring deployment modules and add-ons, and for managing Blue Box clouds during deployment and afterward. Box Panel also provides a system for customer relationship management through chat, tickets, and announcements, as well as reporting and monitoring.
A Site Controller system is included as part of each IBM Blue Box Local deployment in the Bluemix 21Vianet data center. The Site Controller monitors the cloud and communicates with Box Panel through a secure VPN.
Why Managed Cloud?
By relying on our expertise for cloud management, the Bluemix team can focus on their PaaS business, without worrying about their infrastructure. Here are a few examples of the benefits that are realized with a Blue Box managed cloud:
- For instances that have been configured for high availability, Bluemix offers a 99.95% availability Service Level Agreement (SLA). The underlying Blue Box infrastructure guarantees this higher level of SLA, by leveraging the multiple availability zones and aggregates provided by Blue Box.
- Blue Box also helps Bluemix to stay in compliance with the IBM internal and industrial security requirements and guidelines, and to stay synchronized with the latest security fixes, thus eradicating security vulnerabilities.
The Blue Box Local deployment for Bluemix China landing has been our largest deployment ever, but it’s not the only large-scale cloud we’ve deployed for customers. As an example, we also rolled out the IBM internal GitHub Enterprise system on Blue Box Dedicated, supporting more than 13,000 IBMers across the globe.
Support that continues after deployment
Together with 21Vianet, the IBM Blue Box Local support team continues to provide operational excellence and overall cloud management expertise to support Bluemix China following its successful deployment. With continued growth due to high-demand, Bluemix expands its computing power with additional Blue Box capabilities, including our scalable architecture that can easily extend with add-on “building blocks.” As an example, we recently completed a compute node expansion for Bluemix.
IBM Bluemix brings the advantage of industry-leading technology to develop, test, and deploy new applications, while Blue Box and 21Vianet together power the industry-leading infrastructure and 24×7 support for this technology. As a result, Bluemix Public customers in China can build their apps, their way, on a digital innovation platform that’s supported by a secure, scalable, and high-performance Blue Box private cloud.