IBM® Cloud Private overview

IBM Cloud Private is an application platform for developing and managing on-premises, containerized applications. It is an integrated environment for managing containers that includes the container orchestrator Kubernetes, a private image registry, a management console, and monitoring frameworks.

IBM Cloud Private delivers a customer-managed container solution for enterprises. It is also available in a community edition, IBM® Cloud Private-CE, which provides a limited offering that is available at no charge and ideal for test environments.

For the best experience in using IBM Cloud Private, you must understand how Kubernetes, Docker, and Helm work. These open source components are fundamental to the IBM Cloud Private platform. You use Kubernetes deployments to place instances of applications, which are built into Helm charts that reference Docker images. The Helm charts contain the details about your application, and the Docker images contain all the software packages that your applications need to run. You can learn more about these components in the documentation for each component:

IBM Cloud Private Version has the following features and functions:

A unified installer

Rapidly set up a Kubernetes based cluster that contains master, worker, proxy, and optional management and Vulnerability Advisor nodes by using an Ansible based installer. This Ansible based installer is fast and simple to use. Run a few simple commands from a single boot node, and your cluster is up and running in a few minutes.

IBM Cloud Private management console

Manage, monitor, and troubleshoot your applications and cluster from a single, centralized, and secure management console.

Private Docker image registry

The private Docker registry integrates with the Docker registry V2 API to provide a local registry service that functions in the same way as the cloud-based registry service, Docker Hub. This local registry has all the same features as Docker Hub, but you can also restrict which users can view or pull images from this registry.

A Catalog of containerized software and services

The Catalog provides a centralized location from which you can browse for and install packages in your cluster.

Packages for additional IBM products are available from curated repositories that are included in the default IBM Cloud Private repository list. Your environment must be connected to the internet for you to access the charts for these packages. To view a list of all the IBM Cloud Private charts, see External link icon.

Helm, the Kubernetes native package management system, is used for application management inside an IBM Cloud Private cluster. The Helm GitHub community curates and continuously expands a set of tested and preconfigured Kubernetes applications. You can add items from this catalog of stable applications to your cluster from the management console. Installing this Helm community catalog provides an extra 80+ Kubernetes applications that are ready for deployment in your cluster. To view a list of all the stable applications that are available from the Helm repository, see External link icon.

Isolated Tenant Networks

Calico allows for improved performance and network isolation inside your cluster. With Calico, you can create an isolated subnet for each project inside your cluster. This network isolation provides you with added security during data transmissions and reduces the chances of compromising applications and their data. Network isolation is particular important in environments where you have multiple applications that are running on the same physical or virtual machines.

Calico also facilitates the creation of new network policies that can enable fine grained control over the sharing of objects within a single namespace.

Robust monitoring and logging with ELK stack

IBM Cloud Private uses Elasticsearch, Logstash, Filebeat, and Heapster for the collection, storage, and querying of logs and metrics. This monitoring and logging process provides a centralized store for all logs and metrics, better performance, and increased stability when you access and query logs and metrics.

You also can install Kibana or Grafana to query the data in the Elasticsearch database. You can use the results from these queries to produce insightful graphs and reports.