Red Hat OpenShift and MAS – a proven combination

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The latest version of IBM Maximo Application Suite (MAS) has recently started running on a Red Hat OpenShift infrastructure. Which new opportunities does this offer and what are the benefits? In this blog, Marc Loos, Evangelist Hybrid Cloud, Enterprise Container and IBM Cloud Advocate, takes a closer look.

Red Hat OpenShift is an open source platform to quickly and efficiently develop, test, bring into production and host applications in a single (cloud) environment. Loos names one reason why such a platform is beneficial right now. “IT departments are using microservices more and more. This enables them to deploy technical and human resources more efficiently. In doing so, applications are often first split into containers. But this quickly leads to unforeseen work. For example, in terms of pipeline software, security, managing containers and network traffic.” Red Hat OpenShift provides a single ecosystem for all these tasks.

The need for Red Hat OpenShift is also fueled by the trend that IT organizations like to build their own development environments. “I call this the do-it-yourself approach,” Loos explains. “This method is often popular among developers: they have the knowledge and experience to build a platform themselves. However they also gradually run into numerous maintenance issues. For example, they start spending increasingly more time on maintaining a good development model than on the applications themselves.” Red Hat OpenShift offers the solution: it allows developers to build their own development environments within a fixed framework and not spend time managing the environment itself.

Physical decoupling
Now that IBM MAS is running on Red Hat OpenShift, developers can equip their applications with MAS tools for visual inspection, asset management and predictive maintenance. One of the benefits is the flexibility the platform offers. Loos: “Red Hat OpenShift is an agnostic interlayer which decouples applications from their physical location. This means you can easily move applications from one underlying infrastructure to another; for example, from an in-house data center to a public cloud or edge. This can be any cloud environment, regardless of provider.” This means organizations no longer have to deal with questions such as: where do applications run, are we not tied to a cloud provider lock-in when we want to move applications, and do we have enough capacity?

Due to its flexibility, Red Hat OpenShift also makes IBM MAS applications extra scalable. For example, do you want to add an extra production line? Then you can copy-paste the software for inspection, asset management and other MAS tools. “This saves time: developers don’t have to set up a new application stack first,” explains Loos. In addition, the flexibility offers benefits in terms of data management. “Organizations can move around with storage capacity and computing power. For example, by using it at night for report management and during the day for query management. Or directly process data from additional sensors by switching capacity – very useful in light of the growing IoT and the increase in edge computing where more and more data is generated.”

Operator support

IBM MAS on Red Hat OpenShift supports operators in their daily work. For example, it allows them to quickly and easily roll out predictive maintenance or monitoring solutions across more locations. In addition, IBM MAS automates repetitive tasks, such as inspecting equipment. “Maximo takes work off the hands of operators, giving them advice based on AI and data, to help them to perform tasks better and faster. This leaves them time for more challenging tasks which require human intelligence.” In addition, the licensing model within MAS is very flexible and offers the opportunity, if there are enough App Points, to install other modules within the IBM MAS solution to drive incremental innovation. “Operators can install the modules themselves and experiment to their heart’s content. If it doesn’t work? Then they remove it again.”

The combination of Red Hat OpenShift and MAS is enterprise-ready. “All the different tools are integrated into Maximo and pre-programmed for Red Hat OpenShift. This means everything works together seamlessly and you do not have to worry about an employee experimenting and breaking something,” Loos explains. Red Hat OpenShift has also proven to be reliable when upscaling. “IBM MAS applications are so intertwined with the platform that they automatically scale to it, including security”. The IBM MAS and OpenShift suite is used extensively on the Mayflower. This fully autonomous ship will cross the Atlantic Ocean this year. The Mayflower will use IBM MAS to take measurements and monitor the well-being of the ship, among other things, completely autonomously and ‘self-supporting’.

Would you like to find out more about the Mayflower? View>>

Read more about Red Hat OpenShift

Marc Loos

IBM Cloud Advocate

Ronald Teijken

Business Partner Manager Netherlands @ IBM for Asset management, Internet of Things, Supply Chain and AI.

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