IBM Hybrid Cloud Storage Folds in Red Hat Ceph and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation

In a major growth announcement, IBM said it would transfer Red Hat Ceph Storage (RHCS) and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) to the IBM Storage Hybrid Cloud Data Storage Platform. According to IBM, Red Hat Storage associates will transfer to IBM, indicating no plans to reduce staffing.

In a major growth announcement, IBM said it would transfer Red Hat Ceph Storage (RHCS) and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) to the IBM Storage Hybrid Cloud Data Storage Platform. According to IBM, Red Hat Storage associates will transfer to IBM, indicating no plans to reduce staffing.

According to IBM, the move will bring consistent application and data storage across on-premises infrastructure and cloud environments. Also, IBM will use the same storage technologies from Red Had OpenShift Data Foundation as the foundation for IBM Spectrum Fusion, offering clients IBM data services and accelerating its capabilities in the Kubernetes platform market.

Red Hat Ceph Storage will transition to an IBM Ceph storage offering, delivering a unified and software-defined storage platform that bridges the architectural divide between the data center and cloud providers. IBM believes the expanded software-defined storage portfolio will provide a consistent experience from edge-to-core-to-cloud and advance its leadership in the software-defined storage and Kubernetes platform markets.

Red Hat has clarified that ODF and Ceph solutions will remain 100 percent open source and upstream-first. Also, to ensure customer continuity, Red Hat customers can continue renewing and purchasing ODF and Ceph with their OpenShift and OpenStack solutions.

According to a 2021 Gartner Market Guide for Hybrid Cloud Storage report, 40 percent of infrastructure and operations leaders will implement at least one of the hybrid cloud storage architectures, up from 15 percent in 2021. IBM’s software-defined storage strategy is to take a “born in the cloud, for the cloud” approach, unlocking bi-directional application and data mobility based on a shared, secure, and cloud-scale software-defined storage foundation.

IBM’s Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Storage, said:

“Red Hat and IBM have been working closely for many years, and today’s announcement enhances our partnership and streamlines our portfolios. By bringing together the teams and integrating our products under one roof, we are accelerating the IBM’s hybrid cloud storage strategy while maintaining commitments to Red Hat customers and the open-source community.”

Red Hat’s Joe Fernandes, vice president of hybrid platforms, went on to say:

“Red Hat and IBM have a shared belief in the mission of hybrid cloud-native storage and its potential to help customers transform their applications and data. With IBM Storage taking stewardship of Ceph, and OpenShift Data Foundation, IBM will help accelerate open-source storage innovation for Red Hat and IBM customers and expand the market opportunity beyond what each of us could deliver on our own. We believe this is a clear win for customers who can gain a complete platform with new hybrid cloud-native storage capabilities.”

As customers formulate their hybrid cloud strategies, critical to success is the emphasis and importance of infrastructure consistency, application agility, IT management, and flexible consumption consistency as deciding factors to bridge the divide between on-premises and cloud deployments.

Benefits from a software-defined portfolio

With these changes, clients will access consistent storage services while preserving data resilience, security, and governance across bare metal, virtualized, and containerized environments. Some of the many benefits of the software-defined portfolio available from IBM will include:

  • A unified storage experience for all containerized apps running on Red Hat OpenShift: Customers can use IBM Spectrum Fusion (now with Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation) to achieve the highest levels of performance, scale, automation, data protection, and data security for production applications running on OpenShift that require block, file, and/or object access to data. This enables development teams to focus on the apps, not the ops, with infrastructure-as-code for simplified, automated managing and provisioning.
  • A consistent hybrid cloud experience at enterprise levels of scale and resiliency with IBM Ceph: Customers can deliver their private and hybrid cloud architectures on IBM’s unified and software-defined storage solution, providing capacity and management features. These include data protection, disaster recovery, high availability, security, auto-scaling, and self-healing portability that are not tied to hardware and travel with the data as it moves between on-premises and cloud environments.
  • A single data lakehouse to aggregate and derive intelligence from unstructured data on IBM Spectrum Scale: Customers can overcome the challenges that often come with quickly scaling a centralized data approach with a single platform to support data-intensive workloads such as AI/ML, high-performance computing, and others. Benefits include less time and effort to administer, reduced data movement and redundancy, direct access to data for analytics tools, advanced schema management, and data governance, all supported by cost-effective distributed file and object storage.
  • Build in the cloud, deploy on-premises with automation: Customers can move developed applications from the cloud to on-premises services, automate the creation of staging environments to test deployment procedures, validate configuration changes, database schema and data updates, and ready package updates to overcome obstacles in production or correct errors before they become a problem.

Preserving commitment to Red Hat clients and the community

Under the agreement between IBM and Red Hat, IBM will assume Premier Sponsorship of the Ceph Foundation. Their members will collaborate to drive innovation, development, marketing, and community events for the Ceph open-source project. IBM Ceph and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation will remain 100 percent open source and continue to follow an upstream-first model, reinforcing IBM’s commitment to these vital communities. Participation by the Ceph leadership team and other aspects of the open source project is a key IBM priority to maintain and nurture ongoing Red Hat innovation.

Red Hat and IBM expect the transaction to be complete by January 1, 2023, which will involve the transfer of technology and Red Hat associates to the IBM Storage business unit. Following this date, Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus will continue to include OpenShift Data Foundation, sold by Red Hat and its partners. Additionally, new Red Hat OpenStack customers will still be able to buy Red Hat Ceph Storage from Red Hat and its partners. Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack customers with existing subscriptions can maintain and grow their storage footprints as needed, with no change in their Red Hat relationship. New IBM Ceph and IBM Spectrum Fusion storage solutions based on Ceph are expected to ship beginning in the first half of 2023.

As is the case in most mergers, internal and external, any statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only. Red Hat, Ceph, Gluster, and OpenShift
are trademarks or registered trademarks of Red Hat, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries.

IBM Storage

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Harold Fritts

I have been in the tech industry since IBM created Selectric. My background, though, is writing. So I decided to get out of the pre-sales biz and return to my roots, doing a bit of writing but still being involved in technology.

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