Want less IBM with that? IBM Cloud and Blockchains get cosy with rivals

IBM image via shutterstock
IBM image via shutterstock

IBM will embrace customers’ multi-node clouds and blockchains with changes to its virtual cloud stack in early 2019.

The systems giant is introducing changes that’ll ease installation and simplify management of IBM Cloud Private service and Blockchain Platform on non-IBM clouds. They already run on AWS and Azure – but with some effort.

Support for Google Cloud and OpenShift from Red Hat, the Linux-spinner (almost) bought by IBM for $34bn, is coming, too.

Also, coming is deeper integration between IBM’s Cloud Kubernetes service and competitor’s clouds.

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Gari Singh, IBM Blockchain platform CTO, promised changes in the first or second quarter of 2019 speaking at the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Forum in Basel.

IBM is one of the open-source Hyperledger blockchain-for-business project’s largest individual contributors, with its Wal-Mart Food Trust network and Tradelens with Maersk serving as flagships.

Singh reckoned that as early blockchains have grown customers have inevitably wanted to bring on other partners who are using clouds from rival providers AWS and Azure. It’s impossible to offer an IBM-only stack.

“One of the things that started to come up was: ‘I want to bring on a company, but they have a contract with AWS’,” Singh said.

IBM, therefore will take steps making it easier to install and manage nodes licensed by IBM anywhere and to use other vendors’ nodes with IBM’s management software and tooling.

“From a technical perspective it’s all possible to do that today,” he said “But from the offering of having more tooling and consoles – that’s what we have coming over the next quarters.

“We have been working on the various interoperability layers and our goal is to provide just a set of tools that lets you work with all the nodes – not just use the fabric API itself.”

IBM wants to arrive at a point where it’s “Kubernetes native” he said.

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