How to manage both cloud-native and cloud-enabled apps

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Until the cloud becomes more pervasive, businesses have to manage two separate types of applications: traditional enterprise software that have been cloud-enabled, and applications that are cloud-native, or born in the cloud. In this post, I’ll explain how you can manage both types of applications on one system in your private, local cloud. This can save you time, effort and resources.

The two types of cloud applications

Most organizations have a mix of both cloud-enabled and cloud-native applications. To understand these two types of applications a little better, consider a hypothetical hospital.

A hospital has many operational applications that run their business: check-in and check-out, patient monitoring, prescription ordering processes, patient records and more. Many of these apps might be cloud-enabled, for example, to allow patients to schedule an appointment or access their medical records online. App users want a stable and consistent experience so they can get what they want quickly.

Many hospitals are also looking for innovative ways to better serve their patients. For example, they may create a mobile app that provides referrals to additional medical specialists, tap into third-party health information sites or provide access to lists of current clinical trials. These cloud-native apps are updated frequently to keep up with new information sources and the evolving preferences of users.

Two environments, many challenges

Managing the IT environment for these two types of apps throughout development, test and production is not easy. Traditionally, each application environment is managed individually, causing unnecessary complications and inconsistencies that can eat up resources. IT staff use scripts and other techniques to streamline provisioning and deployment, but these still fall short in providing end-to-end deployment and management of the entire application environment.

Organizations are looking for simplicity, automation and better resource efficiency to accelerate application delivery and streamline ongoing management.

Convergence of cloud-enabled and cloud-native applications

This is where an application platform and automated patterns enter the picture. An application platform provides the full hardware and software environment for the application: server, compute, networking, operating system, application management, monitoring and more. Patterns are the templates that capture the full-stack configuration for the application.

These patterns can be deployed repeatedly with just a few clicks to provision the complete application environment. Patterns can be used to stand up multiple development, test and production environments, ensuring that each one is identical. As a result, you can eliminate complexity and inconsistencies and reduce application delivery time from months to minutes.

With the IBM Bluemix Local System, organizations can manage both cloud-native and cloud-enabled apps on one platform. Bluemix Local System is an application platform for private, local clouds that provides the hardware and software infrastructure with full separation and security between various cloud groups and applications. Patterns can be used to capture the whole application environment so it can be deployed repeatedly without error.

Bluemix Local System provides application-aware resource optimization, placement and scaling so you don’t have to over-provision traditional infrastructure to handle peak loads. It manages software license tracking, metering and billing so you can allocate and manage costs across multiple departments. It gives you high availability with no single point of failure. And it provides easy backup and restoration.

In addition, the platform’s single console provides integrated cloud application management, monitoring and maintenance. You don’t have to deal with multiple consoles or the headaches of management and maintenance across each component of a traditional environment.

Your company can benefit when you enhance the management and deployment of your cloud-native and cloud-enabled application environments. Learn more about IBM Bluemix Local System (formerly IBM PureApplication System) and how it can accelerate application environment provisioning. To see it in action, watch this short video from Blue Cross of California:

Manager - IBM Application Delivery, IBM Cloud

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