The goal of the strategy is to make it simpler for IT organizations that are building stateful applications to mix and match databases as they best see fit.
IBM is gearing up to make leverage Operators software to provide a consistent set of tools for deploying multiple types of databases, including now Postgres, on top of Kubernetes clusters running on-premises or in the cloud.
As part of a Cloud Pak for Data suite of offerings, IBM has already containerized its own databases and middleware platforms. In the wake of an expansion of an alliance with EnterpriseDB, IBM is now moving to containerize instance of the Postgres says Matthias Funke, director of offering management for IBM Data and AI.
The goal is to make it simpler for IT organizations that are building stateful applications to mix and match databases as they best see fit, says Funke.
At the same time, it’s also much simpler to lift and shift a containerized database between an on-premises IT environment and the cloud or vice versa.
IBM has previously provided support for the distribution of Postgres provided by EnterpriseDB. With this latest agreement, IBM is now making available an instance of the Postgres database curated by EnterpriseDB available as an offering dubbed IBM Data Management Platform for EDB Postgres Enterprise. That option will make it simpler for organizations that have standardized on Oracle databases to migrate to a compatible open-source alternative with help from IBM.
Both IBM Data Management Platform for EDB Postgres Enterprise and all the other databases IBM provides can be deployed using Operators tools based on a framework for Kubernetes clusters originally developed by CoreOS. Red Hat acquired CoreOS in early 2018, which was shortly followed by the acquisition of Red Hat by IBM. Since the acquisition of Red Hat, the cross-pollination of cloud-native technologies between Red Hat and IBM has significantly increased.
In general, the number of stateful containerized applications that need to access persistent storage in the form of a database has been steadily increasing. Initially, containers were primarily employed to build stateless applications. Now, however, many of those stateless applications are being shifted toward serverless computing frameworks, while stateful applications that tend to be longer-running are being deployed on Kubernetes clusters. In many instances, containerized applications based on microservices are also accessing multiple data stores. However, Funke notes that IBM recommends IT organizations keep the number of data stores being accessed by any single application to a minimum to both reduce costs and maximize performance.
It’s too early to predict how many databases will wind up being deployed as containers running on top of Kubernetes. IBM clearly views the transition to microservices-based applications to regain lost ground in the database arena. However, rather than betting on a single database to regain share IBM now provides customers with a range of SQL and NoSQL databases that can all be deployed using containers a part of an overall hybrid cloud computing strategy revolving around Red Hat. The challenge IT organizations now face is figuring out not just what type of database to employ, but also where best to deploy it.