The Tools You Need to Build

5 min read

At IBM Cloud, we’re revolutionizing the practitioner experience through a series of tools and offerings that spark faster development while simplifying Day-2 operations.

These are “productivity tools” for developers, deployment engineers, and solutions architects wanting to build “productive apps” that help the user accomplish a specific task, like scheduling a hotel reservation, affixing documentation to warranty photos, or placing an order. As you and your team work through the application backlog, you’re looking for tools to build. Tools like the following:

  • Customized templates for standing up infrastructure
  • Lightweight, containerized images to run code
  • Helm charts and Operators to install and manage them
  • An integrated DevOps pipeline
  • APIs to connect proprietary, community, and third-party services, including monitoring, logging, and data security, key management, and advanced services like Watson

What’s new?

Your development tools are all in one place: IBM Cloud Catalog

Your toolbox has several new options, and practitioners can get started via the IBM Cloud Catalog, a single source that is being continually refreshed to include additional images, templates, starter kits, downloadable software, and over 190 services.

These services range from logging and monitoring to key management to Watson Tone Analyzer. Coming soon will be an option for engineers from the same company to create private sections of the catalog and share customized templates:

The Catalog menu filter.

The Catalog menu filter.

Define, install, and update Kubernetes applications with Bitnami Helm charts

Effective immediately, IBM Cloud Catalog users will be able to build with the Bitnami portfolio of software. This includes more than 50 open source Helm charts that are curated and validated by Bitnami. The combination of IBM Cloud and the Bitnami Application Catalog gives you the following:

  • Curated versions of popular open source software, available via the ease of Helm charts
  • Lifecycle test and validation so that you're confident they run every time
  • Simple deployment via the IBM Cloud Content catalog and Schematics

We are actively working to bring Bitnami virtual machine images, Terraform templates, and VMware vSphere/vRealize templates into the IBM Cloud Catalog with the same easy user experience and lifecycle management capabilities through IBM Cloud Schematics. 

Create templates native to your organization’s hybrid cloud environment

IBM Cloud Schematics speeds your time to deployment with repeatable provisioning of resources. That process is often referred to as Infrastructure as Code, which uses the popular open source Terraform provisioning engine. IBM Cloud Schematics helps you manage and deliver cloud resources like virtual machines, Watson AI, and container clusters using the best practices of Infrastructure as Code (IaC).  

IaC reduces costs, speeds delivery execution, and reduces risk by documenting and managing infrastructure using the same tools used in software engineering to document, version, and manage code. This is a fully open, managed service, so you can create templates native to your organization's hybrid cloud environment. Schematics supports Terraform, Helm charts, and Cloud Paks today, with support coming soon for Kubernetes Operators and Ansible.

Build and deploy OpenShift workloads in public environments

Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud provides full Day-0 through Day-2-as-a-Service management of OpenShift and leverages the same control plane and operational experience that underpins the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, which currently maintains 100 million extreme weather views daily at The Weather Company and well over 16,000 production clusters service-wide. The result—engineers get a native OpenShift experience while IBM Cloud’s Day-2 capabilities ease the pain of security, scale, and infrastructure management.

Below are some examples of what IBM Cloud manages for you:

Provisioning

  • Automated provisioning and configuration of infrastructure, including compute, network, and storage
  • Automated installation and configuration of OpenShift, including high availability within a region
  • Automatic upgrades of all components (operating system, OpenShift components, and in-cluster services)

Security

  • Security patch management for operating system and OpenShift
  • Built-in security features, including image signing, image deployment enforcement, and hardware trust

Deployment

  • Automatic multi-zone deployment in multi-zone regions, including integration with IBM Cloud Internet Service to manage cross-zone routing

IBM Cloud manages the master node, and developers can design the worker nodes to be as sophisticated or as simple as they want.

Identify, manage, and secure microservices without tedious coding

Alongside containers, microservices are another key component of building cloud native applications.

Istio is an open source framework that allows you to identify, manage, and secure microservices without tedious coding. IBM is one of the first in the industry to rollout an as-a-Service Istio capability that provides a seamless installation, automatic updates, lifecycle management of control plane components, and integration with platform logging and monitoring tools. With one click, you can get all of the Istio core components, plus additional tracing, monitoring, and visualization tools from IBM Cloud.

Deploy, manage, and scale Kubernetes without being an expert

Knative is a new open source project focused on bringing serverless functions and simpler developer tools to Kubernetes. Knative is made up of two key components: serving and eventing. IBM Cloud users can learn about Knative by using the Knative add-on as part of the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.

Now, you can leverage the full suite of Knative-related tooling in a secure and managed environment, allowing you to deploy, manage, and scale Kubernetes-backed applications without the need to become a Kubernetes expert.

Build, test, and deploy across multiple cloud providers

As engineers set up their delivery pipeline, they can take advantage of the integration of Tekton into IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery. This allows you to define your pipeline as code, version, and share your pipeline definitions, all while allowing you to configure, run, and view pipeline output in the familiar IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery DevOps experience.

Your goal is to modernize continuous delivery by accessing industry specifications for pipelines, workflows, and other building blocks. Tekton lets you build, test, and deploy across multiple cloud providers or on-premises systems by abstracting the underlying implementation details. IBM Cloud has the only as-a-Service offering with Tekton.

Revolutionizing the engineering experience

The result for developers and deployment engineers is a radical enhancement of their experience when they come to the IBM Cloud Catalog to try to accomplish daily tasks like spinning up a cluster, integrating with CI/CD, key management, etc. It’s an arsenal of tools that creates velocity, so engineers can rapidly get the functionality into their applications that the business needs, when it needs it.

The following video provides a short, step-by-step demo of some of the pieces we’ve talked about

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