IBM + Red Hat = An open source hybrid cloud

IBM's public cloud will run Red Hat's OpenStack and Ceph storage products

partnerships tech
Credit: Thinkstock

IBM Cloud and Red Hat OpenStack and storage teams are partnering to integrate their products and in doing so are creating a compelling hybrid offering for open source-minded customers.

The announcement came at IBM’s InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, where an estimated 20,000 developers, customers and IBM partners are gathering.

+MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: How IBM wants to bring blockchain from Bitcoin to your data center +

The crux of the partnership is that customers who use Red Hat’s OpenStack private cloud platform and Ceph Storage product will now be able to run both of those in IBM’s cloud. Don Bulia, a general manager in IBM’s cloud division says the idea behind the partnership is that Red Hat customers would be able to extend their Red Hat-based environments into the IBM public cloud, which will run the same management and software tools they have on premises.

“Once you develop this consistency across environment, it gives you the ability to expand out into the IBM cloud with the same management experience, giving you the ability to virtually add capacity as needed,” Bulia says.

It’s not an entirely novel concept. The move is similar to an announcement that IBM and VMware made early last year. IBM also runs VMware management platforms, including its suite of software defined data center products ranging from vSphere to NSX and Virtual SAN.

IBM is attempting to position it’s cloud as a natural destination for large companies with big investments in on-premises management software from Red Hat and VMware. Neither of those companies have a public cloud platform that would be the go-to destination for these workloads. VMware has wound down its vCloud Air public cloud platform, but it does have a series of service provider partners that customers can deploy their workloads on to. Red Hat has a hosted version of its OpenShift PaaS, but it has long made an effort to partner with the major public cloud vendors instead of competing with them on the IaaS layer. Red Hat offers its software on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google’s cloud too but this IBM-Red Hat partnership seems to be deeper product integration than those.

For Red Hat customers, the partnership with IBM creates another option for hosting their workloads. For IBM, it’s another way the company is attempting to gain share in the public cloud versus rivals with larger IaaS public cloud market share.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10