Is the public cloud ready for mission-critical applications? IBM says yes

A recent IDC survey shows that 85% of medium and large organizations in Canada are going ahead with digital transformation, despite the COVID-19 crisis.

“Many Canadian organizations see cloud as strategic to achieve their transformation goals,” said Megha Kumar, Research Director, Software & Cloud with IDC Canada at a recent ITWC webinar. “And they clearly see the value of cloud for business continuity.” IDC is forecasting that the public cloud services market in Canada will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4 per cent to reach $12.5 billion by 2024.

Currently, less than 20 per cent of enterprise IT workloads have been moved to the cloud. But Kumar said Canadian organizations are thinking about how they can shift their mission-critical applications to the cloud, especially given the need to support remote work.

IBM has re-engineered its cloud to support the new workload demands, said Manav Gupta, Director & Distinguished Engineer, Cloud Native Competency, IBM. “It’s designed for a better user experience, with industry-leading capabilities when it comes to security,” he said.

Enterprise-grade solutions on the public cloud

IBM is planning to launch its new multi-zone region in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2020. Located in Toronto, the cloud service relies on three or more data centres within a short geographical distance so there can be no single point of failure, said Gupta. “What this allows us to do is provide our clients with a very high level of availability,” he said. “We’re talking about 99.99 per cent or higher.”

The multi-zone region will have an API-driven control plane. As a result, users won’t need to worry about which data centre they’re provisioning, because the API will take care of that, said Gupta. “It’s going to be a radically different experience with all of the capabilities that our enterprise clients require, including enterprise-level security,” Gupta said.

IBM is also offering a new financial services-ready public cloud for financial institutions. “When we started talking to our clients in that industry, it became a pattern that they were all trying to solve the same problem,” said Gupta.  From a regulatory perspective, the client’s footprint in the public cloud has to be treated the same way as if it was in their own data centre, with the same level of security and rigor. “The idea is that we’ll provide a common framework, which is regulatory compliant, that our clients can start consuming without having to build their own security frameworks.”

Managing the hybrid multi-cloud environment

IDC’s research shows that nearly 63 per cent of organizations in Canada are planning to implement a hybrid cloud environment over the next 12 to 24 months, said Kumar.  Many of them will also be trying to manage multiple clouds.

IBM has a software capability called the multi-cloud manager, said Gupta. “It essentially provides a single pane of glass for governance, automation and control of not just the traditional infrastructure, but also the Kubernetes cluster and virtual infrastructure, either on-premises or in any public cloud,” he said.

With these capabilities, combined with solid security, enterprises can have confidence in deploying mission-critical workloads in the public cloud, Gupta said.

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Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.

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