Blog: Self-Service Application Development Using IBM Cloud Paks on IBM Z

July 31st, 2020 Blog: Self-Service Application Development Using IBM Cloud Paks on IBM Z
Marianne Eggett
IBM Z Solutions Consultant


Our two most recent IBM Z blogs, 2020 – The Year for Private Cloud on IBM Z and Benefits of IBM Z for Private Cloud, introduced IBM Cloud Paks and Red Hat OpenShift with the underlying Kubernetes open source software for container management. We discussed the IBM Z server with its six key factors that make it ideal for your private cloud. So why are IBM Cloud Paks a game changer for IBM Z?

Think about what is most critical to your organization’s success. Good people. And how do you make them more efficient and improve their productivity? Technology.


Use Case: A Customer’s Commitment to Build and Deploy Faster


One of Mainline’s customers has a small yet highly skilled IT staff that has embraced Agile application development, which made a significant difference in the success of their business applications. They didn’t want to stop there. They approached us asking for a self-service application development platform on all their servers, including IBM Z. Their goal was to implement an easy-to-use developer’s platform to create and manage containerized projects. We proposed Red Hat OpenShift because it checked all the boxes.


Red Hat OpenShift for Container-Based Project Management in a Multicloud Environment


With Red Hat OpenShift, developers can optimize their cloud-native development by managing their own containerized projects. It provides built-in container management, including deployment, application lifecycle management, and production management with logging, monitoring, versioning, and roll-back for on-premise private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud. Plus, it reduces the burden of interoperability between a business’s many multicloud providers. Administrators configure the Red Hat OpenShift environment, then monitor the container usage, including active and inactive containers, easily identifying unused containers ready for deletion. The look and feel are identical on x86 and Linux on IBM Z. That means no learning curve for the administrators or the developers, bringing the same self-service experienced on x86 to IBM Z.

We are currently starting a proof of concept with this customer, with a goal to evaluate the self-service environment for Linux on Z.


IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center for Self-Service Management


In addition to Red Hat OpenShift, the customer is evaluating IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center (ICIC or CIC). IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center is an iaas self-service management software product for virtual machines (VMs) based on the open source software OpenStack. ICIC offers self-service lifecycle management of VMs deployed under z/VM. It simplifies spinning up virtual servers with preconfigured server templates to choose from. As with Red Hat OpenShift, it manages the servers as projects and tiers the authorizations between administrators, project managers, and developers. ICIC integrates with VMWare’s vRealize to offer a seamless VM deployment across x86 and IBM Z. Today, ICIC 1.1.1, which was announced in June, only spun up Red Hat servers but recently, IBM added SUSE and Ubuntu server deployment.

In the end, this customer will have self-service infrastructure for both virtual servers and containers, satisfying their goal of simplifying Linux on Z management and helping their good people perform even better.


IBM Cloud Paks: Your Delivery Vehicle for Red Hat OpenShift


Though Red Hat OpenShift is the answer for containers, IBM Cloud Paks are the delivery vehicle for this self-service environment. The IBM Cloud Pak for Applications became available on IBM Z in February of this year. June brought the newest release of Red Hat OpenShift, 4.4, with added support for many Red Hat OpenShift features. The full function of Red Hat OpenShift is still rolling out for IBM Z. IBM will announce new releases throughout this year for Red Hat OpenShift 4.5 and 4.6, with the IBM Z software team intending to catch up to the x86 Red Hat OpenShift full function by early next year.

This is the time to get acquainted with Red Hat OpenShift through the IBM Cloud Pak for Applications for IBM Z. You’ll want to watch this space this year and next as this game-changing software matures its offerings on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE platforms. Reach out to Mainline for assistance in supporting your good people.

More Information
As an IBM Platinum Business Partner, Mainline has extensive experience with IBM Z mainframe systems and operating systems and we can help you with z/OS, z/VM, Linux on IBM Z, and LinuxONE. To set up an in-depth discussion about how to get started using these technologies, please contact your Mainline Account Executive directly orclick here to contact us with any questions.

Related Blogs, Videos, and Documentation:

Blog: Benefits of IBM Z for Private Cloud

Blog: 2020 – The Year for Private Cloud on IBM Z

Webinar Replay: Introducing the new IBM z15 T02

Press Release: Mainline Wins IBM Beacon Award for Most Innovative Client Experience on Z

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