How enterprises can accelerate digital transformation and foster innovation with hyperscalers
The global pandemic set off an economic shock that disrupted industries worldwide, with the full extent of its consequences yet to unfold. But one silver lining to this unforeseen event has already become clear: organizations are now hastening to adopt technologies that will empower them to innovate at unprecedented speed. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and cloud-native and microservices architectures are among the advances that are making it possible for enterprises to deliver more value to their customers.
To realize digital transformation’s full promise, however, organizations must leverage tools and technologies that allow for flexibility as well as efficiency, and that facilitate agility alongside resilience.
Although cloud adoption has moved into the mainstream, enterprises still face significant stumbling blocks that prevent them from moving all their workloads to the cloud: these include regulatory requirements as well as major investments in legacy infrastructures that they’ve already made. Adopting the right hybrid cloud strategy will enable the business to capitalize on the benefits of the public cloud while also maximizing the value of their existing hardware and capabilities.
Hyperscalers make it possible for enterprises to seamlessly build, deploy, migrate, and modernize workloads – both on-prem and in the cloud of their choice. This way, they can create the multi-cloud or hybrid environment that’s the very best fit for their business and computing needs. This accelerates time-to-market and supports the rapid delivery of new features – and value – to customers.
Empowering developers to innovate
Enterprises need tools that will help them break down the barriers that have long prevented them from running production workloads in containers. Offerings that support on-premises and cross-cloud integration from day one will enable developers to quickly build and deploy containerized applications without having to spend time and effort managing infrastructure. Code deployment must be standardized, so that it’s simple to build application workflows that run across on-premises and cloud environments. And must be possible to move containerized applications between clouds (or cloud and on-premises infrastructures) without making code changes.
The objectives should be simplicity, ease of use and standardization. This way, developers can take advantage of preexisting skills and familiar tooling to provision and manage clusters. When there’s version consistency everywhere, developers can re-use the same code across the entire environment. This eases the implementation of end-to-end automation.
Hyperscalers give enterprises the means to leverage the full power of the cloud and to make transformational changes in the systems they use to engage customers, integrate services and provide back-end support to the business. This brings maturity and standardization to the customer’s cloud operating model, and it accomplished this on an agile, flexible, resilient, cross-platform integration architecture.
Harnessing the transformative potential of the cloud
Building on public cloud infrastructure gives developers access to world-class, pre-built services (including ML and AI) as well as scalability, reliability and unbeatable performance. With a hybrid cloud strategy in which workloads are portable, they can also take advantage of additional engineering possibilities.
A container platform that can manage high-volume and high-value workloads with ease can handle everything from prepackaged solutions to mainframes exposed as APIs and cloud-native builds. This greatly simplifies the adoption of advanced cognitive technologies, making it possible to quickly scale machine learning models inside containers for training, then run them close to data sources — on any platform — for inference.
Taking this approach will help developers build more quickly so that the enterprise can bring new innovations to market faster. This gives the enterprise a smooth, clear pathway to the cloud, removing many of the challenges associated with running containers and enabling development teams to keep their focus on what they do best. And it eliminates much of the complexity and costs associated with hybrid deployments, so that the enterprise can put business needs – and its customers’ desires – first when designing its cloud strategy.
Key use cases to address in a hybrid cloud strategy
A hybrid cloud strategy will provide maximum business value when it addresses a broad array of diverse scenarios:
- Cloud-native builds. Look for a solution that provides process isolation. This makes it easy to break apart and run applications as independent components, which is the foundation of a microservices architectural approach, and essential for business agility.
- Batch processing. Platforms that can automatically package batch processing and ERTL jobs into containers enable them to be started and stopped quickly. This way, they can scale dynamically in response to demand.
- Build hybrid applications. Ensure that code is deployed in a way that is fully standardized, making it easy to build application workflows that run reliably and securely across on-premises and cloud environments.
- Application migration. A platform-based solution can greatly simplify lift-and-shift migrations, enabling developers to package entire applications and move them to the cloud without any code changes.
- On-demand platform creation. Because configurations can be automatically replicated everywhere with a hyperscaler, you can leverage a platform that removes the need for DevOps teams to manage infrastructure at the same time that you’re standardizing how applications are deployed and managed.
Together with AWS, IBM has recently launched a new solution expressly designed to smooth the process of hybrid cloud transformation for businesses using the AWS cloud. Red Hat OpenShift on AWS (ROSA) makes it easy to take full advantage of the AWS cloud’s potential, allowing businesses to focus on their applications instead of on managing the environment. It delivers a consistent experience through a single platform that’s managed, purchased, supported, and billed through AWS. And it offers a full OpenShift experience that’s closely integrated with AWS services.
“ROSA offers a combination of capabilities that normally would be provided by Red Hat, in conjunction with access to the AWS cloud,” says Leo LaBranche, Director of Global Strategic Initiatives at AWS, on the Cube at IBM Think 2021. “The strength of IBM’s services and Red Hat’s software, combined with the strength of our platform, is proving very beneficial for our customers. With our partnership, we’re seeing wins all around the world, across a broad set of industries.”