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IBM Cloud Moves Closer to Workloads with Satellite


Think of the Satellite as a ‘mini’ IBM Cloud with the added advantage of providing a single dashboard to orchestrate across all other clouds and on-premise IT resources.

What do you do when you want to have the best of both, on-premise and public-cloud resources at your disposal? Go for a hybrid-cloud approach, isn’t it?

But those who have deployed hybrid clouds have, over time, come to realize some of the disadvantages of the model. Typically, especially in case of resource-intensive workloads, latency becomes a big issue. Large financial institutions may witness a latency of 10 seconds or more, as they have to process web-scale data from multiple sources on the fly.

Another key issue pertains to the rising complexity on account of today’s multi-cloud environments. There is no single pane of glass to view and monitor these multi-cloud systems alongside the on-premise IT assets. There is way too much cloud to handle, which defeats a key objective of deploying cloud in the first place, i.e., ease of management and provisioning.

Time to put the ‘Satellite’ in the enterprise orbit

While hybrid cloud and multi-cloud paradigms have been great, they need a layer of abstraction that can absorb the underlying complexity in a transparent manner. The ‘distributed cloud,’ which was proposed and architected to address the edge-computing requirements of a near-tomorrow, happened to provide an answer.

IBM took the ‘distributed cloud’ concept a notch deeper, and on 1 March 2021, announced the IBM Cloud Satellite offering. The offering extends the reach of the cloud not just to the edge but beyond and makes it available right up to the on-premise data center as well as on any other cloud platform.

This effectively means that the IBM Cloud hybrid cloud services are now available with a fraction of the earlier latency to enterprises, with the same levels of security, data privacy, and interoperability as before.

Doing away with the multi-dashboard conundrum

One of the biggest advantages of IBM Cloud Satellite lies in its single-dashboard view of all IT environments being used by an enterprise. This obviates the need to shuffle between multiple dashboards, which not only consumes much administrative time but also falls short of providing a holistic view of IT operations for various decision-making needs.

The essential components that ensure such experience include instances of Red Hat OpenShift, Edge Application Manager, and the Satellite Links.

Ease of setting up and running

The use of Red Hat OpenShift makes a world of difference, as it can be deployed on any machine that meets the configurational requirements and which has been selected as a Satellite location using an IBM Cloud console. Once that has been done, Edge Application Manager instances can be assigned to the location, as per the requirement based on number of workers in that location. Of course, the host machine should have a minimum network connection of 100Mbps, though the preferred bandwidth is 1Gbps.

The two endpoints of a Satellite Linkallow any client that runs in a Satellite location to connect to a service, server, or app that runs within as well as outside of the location, in a fully secure manner.

The overall functionality of the environment thus created seamlessly mimics that of IBM Cloud itself. The Satellite is indeed the cloud practitioner’s delight.

Learn more about IBM Cloud Satellite.

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