Red Hat and the mainframe…

In part 2 of this 2 part blog series I plan to cover what the Red Hat acquisition by IBM means for the mainframe and LinuxONE platform.

As you all know, unless you have been living under a rock, IBM has closed the Red Hat acquisition. You may also have seen the coverage in all the major tech press today, as I have and be happy to see IBM Z and LinuxONE in the main coverage. With this in mind a lot of people have been asking one question over the last couple of weeks – What does IBM having acquired Red Hat mean for me as a mainframer? So, let me share my insight.

As mainframe and non-mainframe clients embark on the journey to the cloud and embark on ever more aggressive strategies for digital transformation key themes are emerging that define the transition. These themes include how to operate a multi-cloud strategy, how to navigate the choices of on or off premises for particular workloads and how to increasingly containerize applications and make them cloud native. These operational or IT management themes are then intersected by the overall DevOps approach with the move to Agile and a CI/CD approach to how code is developed.

These themes are impacting new clients, existing clients, Z clients and potential LinuxONE clients alike and we as mainframe advocates all need to be aware of how  our distributed peers and mainframe neophytes react to these themes.

So where does Red Hat fit in this wider market dynamic?

We’ve heard the feedback from our clients and partners and know that 80% want offerings which support hybrid and multi-cloud, including containers and Kubernetes. To help make this a reality for clients, today IBM and Red Hat are announcing plans to bring Red Hat OpenShift to the IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms. Our point of view is simple: we want you to harness the scalability and security of IBM Z and LinuxONE alongside the flexibility to run, build, manage and modernize cloud-native workloads on a client’s choice of architecture.

In addition, today we also announced our intention to deliver simplified middleware & software packages as part of new IBM Cloud Pak offerings for IBM Z and LinuxONE. Bundled into five areas – IBM Cloud Pak for Applications, for Data, for Integration, for Automation, and for Multicloud Management, IBM Cloud Paks are designed to accelerate the IBM software ecosystem that is necessary for enterprise clients to adopt a hybrid multi-cloud environment.

With our plans to bring Red Hat OpenShift to IBM Z and LinuxONE, we are aiming to unlock the true value of hybrid cloud for our clients who gain the benefits of our platforms inherent advantages – security, agility and scalability by:
• Delivering containerized applications that can scale vertically as well as horizontally;
• Accelerating deployment and orchestration of containers with Kubernetes
• Helping IT to support rapid business growth;
• Optimizing workloads to take advantage of pervasive encryption for higher data security; and
• Increasing container density that can make systems management easier and can help reduce total cost of ownership.

“Containers are the next generation of software defined compute that enterprises will leverage to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, said Gary Chen, Research Director at IDC. Chen goes further to say “IDC forecasts that the worldwide container infrastructure software opportunity is growing at a 63.9% 5 year CAGR, and is predicted to reach over $1.5B by 2022.”

My commentary on this momentous day for the mainframe is that hybrid mission critical multicloud is now a reality and for us mainframers this has been long overdue. We mainframers have the ability to hold our heads high and engage with the Cloud Architect in a way we have never had the right to before, we can engage the CTO of an MSP who has built their strategy on Open Shift, we can engage the head of development about a cloud-native cloud strategy as a first tier platform with no excuses. Feels good right?

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