Hyperscale cloud is rapidly transforming business around the globe, driving growth and delivering new opportunities and new ways to expand and compete. A lot of this has been built on the back of a business case to close down capital intensive data centers and switch to an OPEX model that more closely aligns cost with demand and revenue.

Enterprises are moving towards a DevOps culture; they’re trying to retire the technical debt and move away from monolithic application management and support. To that end, OpenShift is fast becoming the defacto standard in container management and orchestration, partially because of Red Hat’s history of the goto operating system in enterprise applications and partly to ensure that customers avoid any hint of vendor lock-in with the hyperscale providers managed Kubernetes/Container offerings. When organizations look to modernize they’re looking at Kubernetes, and the clear choice for the enterprise is Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

When we look at this digital transformation, two things have been happening, transformation to the cloud and transformation of the data center.

The cloud: the challenge here is that when these plans were drawn up, it the cost business case was typically predicated on the basis that all the workloads could be migrated to the cloud, using the 6 Rs, and predominately that meant either Rehost or Replatform.

Figure 1- 6 Application Migration Strategies: “The 6 R’s” © AWS

Figure 1- 6 Application Migration Strategies: “The 6 R’s” © AWS

The Power platform was usually overlooked or considered to be a problem to be solved over the longer term, and the legacy applications could be retired or rehosted. The cost curve was supposed to show on-prem going down to zero and cloud going up to some fraction of on-prem. The reality is that this hasn’t happened; on-prem costs have decreased certainly, but they’ve plateaued, and cloud spend is only moving up and to the right.

The data center: the need for dynamic workloads and software-defined everything hasn’t stopped with the cloud. Self-hosted application owners have demanded these capabilities and Red Hat OpenShift and OpenStack have stepped in to deliver.

OpenShift on OpenStack 31 0619 1

Figure 2 – Reference Architecture – OCP on OSP link © Red Hat

The gap with both of these approaches is the Power platform and legacy applications. Power runs 80% of the Fortune 100’s critical business applications; these are the ones that keep the lights on, staff paid, and shareholders happy. But in a cloud-first world, they create an unacceptable drag on business, keeping data centers open, requiring a regular capital outlay for hardware refreshes and upgrades. They also tie up application owners, developers and operations teams in maintaining split cloud/on-prem equipment, processes and monitoring.

And, as for legacy applications, many of these do not work in the cloud. They have older service discovery approaches (typically broadcasts), or they rely on versions of operating systems not supported in the Hyperscale cloud (such as Windows Server 2012 or earlier).

Deliver a converged infrastructure capable of supporting your Power estate, legacy applications and your modern container platform Skytap is the only cloud overlay provider that lets you run IBM i, AIX, Linux on Power, Windows NT, Windows Server 2008+, Linux kernel 3 etc. on a single converged platform.

Figure 3 - AIX, IBM i and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4 all running in the same Layer 2 network

Figure 3 – AIX, IBM i and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4 all running in the same Layer 2 network

Using Skytap gives you the ability to completely lift and shift, with no refactoring, applications that keep the data center open. Moving these workloads into Skytap can free up vast amounts of capital and personnel to support the businesses’ modernization agenda. Most importantly is that it gives the organization the time to modernize, it allows staff to retrain in DevOps practices, it provides the business with the dynamism to compete in a changing marketplace and with young upstarts ready to ‘eat your sandwiches’. It also helps to attract new ‘born in the cloud’ talent who want to work with and on the latest and greatest technology.

This simplified converged architecture is massively scalable and repeatable in Skytap. We can convert what you saw above into a template, and that can be cloned in around about one minute. The clone is identical, down to the MAC addresses, to the template and this allows you to create dozens or even thousands of end to end environments for developers to work on. In roughly the time taken to walk to the coffee machine and back.

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