IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh is the latest effort by Big Blue and Raleigh-based to capitalize on growth opportunities in the cloud. Hybrid cloud – a mix of enterprise-owned servers and servers in cloud environments – was a key reason in IBM’s decision to purchase Red Hat in 2019 for $34 billion. The Hatters have become a key revenue generator for IBM.
Andrew Coward, GM of Software Defined Networking at IBM, talked with WRAL TechWire about the mesh, its potential and more.
- How crucial is this offering to IBM’s and Red Hat’s cloud strategy going forward?
We are providing a comprehensive set of modern cloud-native solutions that enable our clients to accelerate their business outcomes by allowing the building, deploying, and managing of applications/services anytime, anywhere. The enabler is the RedHat hybrid cloud platform that provides multi-cloud portability.
- For the layman, how does a mesh differ from a standard hybrid cloud as defined as a mix of enterprise and public (AWS, for example) servers?
Hybrid Cloud Mesh allows organizations to work between different clouds and on-premise, where workloads may be dispersed. Network teams can simply build, deploy, and manage their applications through our mesh manager and gateways to enable an automated experience.
- What were the key customer pain points that set the stage for this “mesh”?
We tried to zero in on simplicity when it comes to connecting applications. When you hear that clients enjoy the ability to connect two applications together versus the traditional alternative of working through long firewall request cycles, I think that’s a great thing. Other pain points have been decelerated delivery value for network ops teams and an overall lack of visibility and compliance from existing monitoring tools.
- Did Red Hat play a significant role in its development?
Red Hat provides a data plane solution through the RHSI gateway that is integrated with the management and control plane provided by Hybrid Cloud Mesh. In the future, Hybrid Cloud Mesh will also integrate other third-party gateway and data-plane technologies.
- Where does this run, i.e. AWS? IBM servers?
Hybrid Cloud Mesh is currently on IBM Cloud and will be on AWS around the second half of next year.
Cloud demand rose to $65 billion in the second quarter of this year, according to Statista. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud are the top four providers followed by IBM.