IBM announced on June 21 that is it expanding its cloud-native capabilities, enabling the Kubernetes-based IBM Cloud Private platform to run on the company's Cloud Managed Services offering.
The new capability brings together IBM's recently launched Cloud Private platform with the managed CMS offering to help enterprises adopt container-based, cloud-native application models.
"CMS is a managed infrastructure-as-a-service offering which is trusted by many large IBM customers due to its security and privacy features," Michael Elder, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor for the IBM Private Cloud Platform, told eWEEK. "IBM Cloud Private now enables Kubernetes-based clusters to run on top of CMS."
IBM Cloud Private embeds many capabilities to support the adoption and operation of Kubernetes in the enterprise, including a built-in Image Registry and Helm Catalog, Elder added. Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration system that was originally built by Google and is now widely deployed by enterprises as well as public cloud providers.
IBM Cloud Private Not Based on OpenStack
IBM Cloud Private was first announced in November 2017 as a hybrid cloud offering. While IBM had previously strongly advocated for using OpenStack-based technology for both private and public cloud deployments, Cloud Private is not based on OpenStack. Elder explained that IBM Cloud Private is a private cloud platform for developing and running workloads locally.
"It is an integrated environment that enables customers to design, develop, deploy and manage on-premises, containerized cloud applications behind the firewall," Elder said. "It includes the container orchestrator Kubernetes, a private image repository, a management console and monitoring frameworks. It can run on-premises, but also in many public cloud environments, and now we are making it available on CMS."
IBM Standardizes on Helm
A core element of application deployment for Kubernetes is the Helm project, which became a top-level project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) on June 1. The CNCF is also the open-source organization where the Kubernetes project has been hosted since July 2015.
"IBM has standardized on Helm charts as our preferred mechanism for delivering containerized workloads," Elder said. IBM Cloud Private offers a rich catalog of Helm charts for IBM middleware, open-source middleware and other third parties such as F5."
Elder added that IBM supports syndicating Helm repositories from the community as well, with built-in role-based access control (RBAC) to allow an enterprise to choose what their team may consume.
CMS has multiple security and disaster recovery capabilities that will now supplement features that are already in IBM Cloud Private. IBM Cloud Private has built-in security for RBAC, data in transit encryption, data at rest encryption, image vulnerability scanning and other capabilities, Elder said.
"CMS will take advantage of these capabilities and offer them to CMS cloud consumers," he said. "CMS will manage the backup and recovery procedures for IBM Cloud Private on behalf of IBM clients."
From a policy management perspective, Elder said IBM Cloud Private administrators will have control over each uniquely deployed cluster. Cluster admins will be able to control behaviors such as segmenting applications and network traffic, and also admission controllers that allow admins to assign their image deployment policies as well.
For organizations looking to deploy applications across multiple providers, the nature of Kubernetes is a key enabler.
"Because IBM Cloud Private is based on open technology, including Kubernetes, Open Container Initiative image formats [Docker], Helm, and Terraform apps written on Kubernetes can be ported across various Kubernetes providers," Elder said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.