Introducing IBM Cloud Enterprises

3 min read

We're excited to announce the worldwide general availability of IBM Cloud Enterprises.

This new functionality enables you to organize multiple IBM Cloud accounts in flexible hierarchical groups to mirror your organizational structure, projects, isolation of workloads, or deployment environments. In addition, you can set up a single payment method for all your IBM Cloud accounts and get a combined view of all the consumption and charges across your accounts with consolidated billing. 

By setting up an IBM Cloud enterprise, you can centrally govern and manage your public cloud operational cost as you move your workloads to the cloud and scale your cloud footprint to suit your business requirements. 

The diagram below illustrates the IBM Cloud resource model: 

IBM Cloud resource model

The following diagram illustrates an example enterprise topology:

Example enterprise topology

Grouping and managing your resources in IBM Cloud

The root of the resource hierarchy is the "enterprise" object, which represents your organization. With access to the enterprise, you can centrally view and manage your hierarchy and gain insights into consolidated billing. 

You can further define your enterprise by creating account groups, which are simply a collection of accounts to represent your organizational structure (e.g., divisions, departments, teams). You can optionally establish account groups to isolate your workloads, different geographies, deployment environments, and so on. Additionally, you can nest account groups within other account groups to better define and reflect your organizational hierarchy. 

4-tier hierarchy

An account group can have multiple IBM Cloud accounts, which could represent your projects, business applications, shared services, environments, etc. You can create accounts directly under your root enterprise node and manage your cloud resources in the accounts. 

You can create accounts directly under your root enterprise node and manage your cloud resources in the accounts.

Governance and access policies that are defined at the enterprise level cascade to the account groups, while permissions continue to be set at the individual account level. While resources are consumed in accounts, as they are today, all IBM Cloud subscription credits are pooled at the enterprise level to cover the entitlements of the entire hierarchy. The IBM Cloud enterprise hierarchy is flexible, and you can change the structure based on your business needs or your organizational changes. 

Key benefits

On-demand account creation and hierarchical management

By using the IBM Cloud enterprise model, you can create and manage multiple accounts. Examples of why you might want to create multiple IBM Cloud accounts include isolating your workloads, logical and administrative grouping of resources, an account per project, billing reasons to match your internal cost centers, or for deployment environments. Whatever your reason might be, you can use the IBM Enterprise Management API or the IBM Cloud CLI commands to automate the creation of the accounts. You can also move or restructure your enterprise hierarchy as your organizational structure changes. 

Consolidated billing across multiple accounts

Managing your billing in an enterprise is simple. The enterprise has visibility into the consumption of all accounts in the hierarchy, making cost recovery easy and accurate. All accounts or subscriptions under an enterprise account are billed together, using only one bill.

Centrally managed governance and access policies

You can centrally manage the enterprise hierarchy by assigning access policies to the enterprise node or an account group. An identity inherits access to the downward tree from the node that it has assigned access to. 

Visibility into consumption of resources across downstream accounts

With consolidated billing, you can centrally manage and view consumption of resources in downstream accounts. 

Managing your enterprise

In addition to creating new accounts and account groups in your enterprise, you can also include existing standalone accounts and centrally manage the billing and access control for those accounts. Access to both the standalone account and destination parent node is required to include the account in the hierarchy. 

You can also move accounts within your enterprise hierarchy and attach them to different account groups. However, an account can only have one parent at any point in time. 

Stay tuned for iterative enhancements to IBM Cloud Enterprises for our enterprise customers, resellers, and business partners.

Get started with IBM Cloud Enterprises

  1. Create your enterprise: Convert an existing subscription account to an enterprise account on the spot.
  2. Build out your hierarchy: Easily add new and existing accounts in your enterprise.
  3. Pay once: Watch as subscription credits are automatically pooled at the enterprise level to cover entitlements for the entire hierarchy.

For more details, check out the “Setting up an enterprise” tutorial.

Watch this short video to learn more about IBM Cloud Enterprises

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