IBM’s new CEO lays out his roadmap

Newly appointed IBM CEO Arvind Krishna helmed his first IBM Think conference this week—via streaming video, due to the ongoing global pandemic. In his keynote, he took the opportunity to reassert his belief that “hybrid cloud and AI are the two dominant forces driving digital transformation today.”

Unsurpisingly, many of the subsequent announcements at the conference hinged on hybrid cloud, enabled in large part by IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat in 2018.

Take the technical preview of IBM Cloud Satellite. This product “extends cloud services to anywhere a client needs them, as-a-service, on-premises or at the edge,” Krishna said in his keynote address. In other words, Cloud Satellite—which is based on Kubernetes—enables IBM customers to run and manage cloud workloads from a single pane of glass on IBM’s public cloud, in their own data centers, or in edge computing locations.

The full cloud stack includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux and a federated Istio service mesh. Services such as Red Hat OpenShift, IBM’s Cloudant database, and the IBM Cloud Continuous Delivery toolchain can all operate in these “satellite” locations, managed via a central dashboard for policy, configuration management, and network traffic control.

As IBM president and former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst put it in his keynote, “You need a common architecture that runs on all environments, not just a management plane that allows you to observe the chaos, but one which allows you to run anywhere.”

Red Hat itself only recently announced the technical preview of OpenShift virtualization, allowing customers to ease the migration of VM-based workloads to Kubernetes by running them alongside containers to be managed as native Kubernetes objects in OpenShift.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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