UPDATED 12:39 EDT / FEBRUARY 13 2019


IBM Watson Anywhere gets multicloud juice from containers

It can be tough fitting a single product in all the different-shaped slots in distributed information technology systems. Companies trying to make certain tech work as well on-premises as in several different clouds are in for a challenge.

That’s why IBM Corp. is putting so much muscle — and money — into multicloud portability and integration. Containers, a method for running distributed applications in multiple computing environments with rewriting code, are the nuts and bolts of multicloud portability, according to Arvind Krishna (pictured), senior vice president of hybrid cloud and director of research at IBM. The company recently acquired Red Hat Inc. for $34 billion largely to get more multicloud juice from containers. 

“I think with the announced acquisition of Red Hat, that gets cemented, and that’ll go further once that closes,” Krishna said. IBM showed the world what that next step looks like with its announcement of IBM Watson Anywhere.

Krishna spoke with John Furrier and Dave Vellanteco-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the IBM Think event in San Francisco. They discussed IBM’s intensifying focus on containers and multicloud. (* Disclosure below.)

OpenShift portability rubs off on Watson

IBM runs its Watson artificial-intelligence system with RedHat’s container technology. It gives Watson legs to go across environments in multicloud. Containers’ ability to move across environments is contagious. Anything that runs as a containerized set of services — like Watson — suddenly becomes megaportable.

Watson runs as a containerized set of services on IBM Cloud Private, which in turn runs on Red Hat’s containerization platform OpenShift.

“Where does OpenShift run today? It runs on Amazon; it runs on the IBM cloud and runs on Azure; it runs on your premise,” Krishna said. “That gives you Watson anywhere. You want it close to your data? Run it on-prem. You want to run it on Azure? Run it there. You want to run it on the IBM Cloud? You run it there.” 

Krishna also spoke about potential for a “container fabric” to integrate applications. “You can take that complete set of integration technologies, and those can run anywhere, on any cloud,” he said. 

Here’s the complete independent interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s weeklong coverage of IBM Think. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a media partner at IBM Think. Neither IBM nor sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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