Infrastructure

Open technology: The key to an effective hybrid cloud

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At IBM InterConnect 2016, hybrid cloud is everywhere.

On Monday, IBM Cloud senior vice president Robert LeBlanc reiterated IBM’s point of view, saying the company is and plans to remain “all in” on hybrid cloud. That position was reinforced in IBM’s announcement that it would partner with VMware to extend hybrid cloud offerings.

According to a recent survey from 451 Research, 70 percent of enterprise IT customers are using two or more cloud types in their business. And businesses are finding success with this hybrid approach. IBM’s Center for Applied Insight recently found that 85 percent of leading hybrid cloud adopters report that hybrid cloud is accelerating digital transformation in their organization.

But IBM’s message isn’t just that hybrid is the way forward. A hybrid cloud is only as good as the open technology that supports it.

If Sunday’s standing-room-only crowd at the IBM Open Technology Summit (OTS) is any indication, the enthusiasm surrounding open tech is stronger than ever.

A registered crowd of more than 1,400 packed the room to hear from IBM executives and external open technology stakeholders like Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO Sam Ramji and OpenStack Foundation executive director Jonathan Bryce.

Speaking at the OTS on Sunday, LeBlanc, who pioneered IBM’s commitment to open 20 years ago, called open technology “the foundation of the next generation of cloud.”

No one wants cloud molasses

Dr. Angel Diaz, IBM vice president of Cloud Technology & Architecture, has long maintained that if you’re not building your cloud ecosystem with open technology, you’re building “a dead-end cloud.”

Consider an instance where a team decides to build an application while working with a system that has a single source for infrastructure. If that team has to tap into proprietary APIs, proprietary middleware, Diaz insists the team will inevitably find themselves stuck with little to no options.

“[In this scenario] you simply cannot extend your cloud,” Diaz says. “You’re living in the molasses of cloud.”

The solution? Partner with a vendor who uses open technology across their infrastructure, platform, APIs, solutions and services.

“That gives you choice and consistency on-prem and off-prem,” Diaz says.

Choice is power

IBM Fellow and chief technology officer of Cloud Platform Services Jerry Cuomo says “open by design” is more than a slogan—it’s a commitment to open technology that’s providing users with what he calls “freedom of action.”

“You want to be able to work where there’s a grand resource pool that you can choose from,” Cuomo says. “A CIO working with a vendor that is open has choice. Choice brings freedom. Freedom brings power. Power brings acceleration—the ability to get your job done in an amazing way to delight your end users.”

An industry perspective

 Tim Crawford, CIO Strategic Advisor for AVOA, says that every customer is looking for something different. As those customers go through the process moving from current state to future state—and where hybrid fits into that journey—their needs will vary and evolve over time.

“At some point in the journey, everybody could benefit from some component of open,” Crawford says. “I think it will show up and manifest itself at different stages as they go through that process.”

To learn more about IBM open technology offerings, visit developerWorks Open and the IBM Cloud Architecture Center

IBM Cloud

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