Planning Your Hybrid Multicloud Success with Open Source

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Open source is now an enterprise reality. According to Forrester1, 90% of enterprises are already using two or more types of open source technologies; more than half are using five or more.

IBM’s recent US$34 billion acquisition of Red Hat has helped accelerate the enterprise adoption of open source. CIOs can now more readily access open-source innovation through Red Hat open architecture capabilities in order to drive critical initiatives like hybrid multicloud, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and infrastructure automation. As with anything, proper planning and strategy is required to foster success.

The Value of Open

 There are many reasons for using open source for hybrid multicloud – cost and technical efficiency, more agile and cutting-edge development, open standards and great talent pools.

Open source’s promise of “modernize once, innovate anywhere” is very attractive.  But, companies need to consider the following issues when developing their future enterprise architecture and open source’s role in it:

  • Delivering application modernization and migration at speed
  • Supporting cloud-native innovation with agility
  • Driving business resiliency in a hybrid multicloud environment
  • Orchestrating and simplifying ongoing management and support

Essentially, CIOs must think through the role of open source technology in their business and take a measure approach to its implementation.

IBM offers one such approach. It features four common layers: Foundation, Capabilities, Advanced Services, and Expertise all layered on top of the Infrastructure layer as seen below.

The goal of this approach is to help clients develop a framework to understand how open-source technology and open architecture (both current or future ones) fit into their overall approach and specifically how open source can and will drive their hybrid multicloud strategy.  A key aspect of the approach is that it is a lifecycle approach that is tailored to each client’s current maturity and capabilities and aims to leverage existing investment and skills into the future roadmap.

Foundational Step

IBM believes that each of the four layers defined above are of equal importance, but that developing and implementing the Foundation layer first, is crucial for long term success. For example, Company A has decided to implement a microservices and container platform for application development and deployment. It may make a technical choice to use a Kubernetes platform in one cloud environment and another technology for their on-premise environments, thereby creating the need to maintain multiple technical capabilities and creating unnecessary complexity and adding unnecessary cost.  In a hybrid multicloud world, open source is intended to reduce complexity, improve automation and accelerate digital transformation.  Proper planning at the Foundation layer is required to simplify these technical platforms and position a client for scale in a hybrid multicloud world.

The Future is Open

Open source technologies and open architectures will play an increasingly central role in the implementation of hybrid multicloud architectures. The right approach up front will materially impact the cost and eventual success of these efforts. There is no better time to take a step back, think about what tomorrow may bring and to plan for this future together.

Look out for our subsequent blogs, where we will take a deep dive into scenarios and use cases where enterprises unlocked the hybrid multicloud advantage with open source and open architectures.

Next Steps

Take a step back, and understand the breadth of cloud services IBM already offers at:

  1. A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM, September 2019


General Manager, Global Technology Services, IBM Hong Kong

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