Application Modernization Q&A with CoEnterprise, IBM, and RedHat

By: Tauni MacLean | June 15th, 2021
We recently teamed up with IBM and Red Hat to host a webinar where we discussed:
  • Why containers and container orchestration are a leap forward in operational efficiency, allowing administrators to deliver value rather than building repetitive instructions and maintaining systems.
  • How Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform delivers a production-ready platform that can accelerate your container journey for IBM Sterling, as well as your custom applications, and avoid the risks of assembling your own container platform.
  • Why Red Hat OpenShift is more than just Kubernetes, and how value-added services like Operator Lifecycle Management, Cluster Monitoring, and Advanced Cluster Management help you reduce costs and avoid risks.
  • IBM Sterling’s roadmap and investment in Certified Containers resulting in simplified maintenance and management and “Always On” system availability.
  • How being successful on a container isn’t just technology, it’s experience and knowledge and how the partnership between IBM Sterling, CoEnterprise, and Red Hat can help you take the next steps.

In case you missed the session, click here to check out the replay. We are offering up a limited time only free assessment, so contact us today if you’re interested in setting that up!

The session had a lot of great questions, so we compiled the responses below for anyone who had similar questions. Check them out:

Q: Other than cost, is there a reason why a company wouldn’t use OpenShift?

A: OpenShift Business value contributes heavily to our customers successfully on the container and hybrid cloud journey, which can be considered more of an investment than a cost. Check out this analyst paper regarding the Value of OpenShift to business and why you should consider investing into. For further inquiries, please reach out to Red Hat Account team or Partner through this form.


Q: If an app is already containerized, what about the database?

A: For now, the database from our perspective is the same. The database is a prerequisite to install. However, DB2, Oracle and SQL Server may offer container options, and is something the client is welcome to use. From a B2Bi/SFG roadmap we are looking at ways to consolidate onto noSQL which is easier to manage in a container environment.


Q: What event logging and alerting does OpenShift provide for Sterling B2Bi? Does it provide alerts for failed user login alerts
?

A: OpenShift provides the ability to aggregate the monitoring and logging into a single console across all of the containers, and provide the tools to visualize and search those metrics/logs. Yes, we will be aggregating all logs on the EFK stack in RHOCP. With this, the customer will have ability to visualize logs and set up alerts for events.


Q: Are the certified containers for SI/SFG still built using Docker or some other container technology? Do we need Docker Enterprise to deploy and run these containers?

A: It is a Docker container, but with the certification process, the container runtime is just one small piece. Red Hat OpenShift contains a docker runtime engine, but customers can use other platforms.


Q: Currently, patching/upgrading Sterling B2Bi can be more than an hour of downtime. What does that timeframe look like when patching/upgrading with OpenShift?

A: OpenShift Container Platform supports live updates without the need for down time to minimize impact over customers’ workloads. All services are containers and managed by an internal operator framework which takes care of the health of cluster services, upgrades, and live updates. With many channels available for upgrade, customers can choose between a stable channel which is recommended for production environments and other fast channels to cope with new changes quickly.

The timeframe depends on the release. IBM releases software with a V.R.M.F. Fourth digit releases as fix packs and do not contain schema database changes. If there are no schema changes, you can patch in minutes. If database updates are required (which we try not to introduce) downtime would be required, and the length would be determined by the health of the database to apply the schema changes.

Q: Does RHOS require special licensing to perform Sterling POC on public cloud?

A: OpenShift can be consumed as a service under your Organization account within the cloud provider (IBM Cloud, Azure, AWS) or through Red Hat subscriptions. Please reach out to the Red Hat Sales account team for information on how to proceed with a POC here.


Q: Talking about on-premise Sterling installs, how does the installation process look like? Do we first need RHEL VM’s, then install OpenShift, then pull the certified containers?

A: OpenShift installation is fully automated even in on-premise environments as the platform leverages integration with underlying infrastructure, which makes it possible for an OpenShift installation to finish in less than one hour.

Even if we use your partners like CoEnterprise to help adapt the technology, we need to make sure we have skills to support it. I would ask IBM to please consider comprehensive guided education for new technology. We are spinning up education services within IBM and hope to have new options in the field soon. For now, there are great resources on the web.

Here are a few good options: Foundational Container Learning and Red Hat Open Shift Learning.


Q: Does Certified Containers require Kubernetes or can it just be run on Docker/Nomad?

A: You can just elect to run the certified container on a docker runtime (Docker CE, EE, Red Hat Linux 8 can even run containers). However, you don’t get the full benefits of orchestration (auto healing, scaling, etc.) It could be a good way to start and then move up to more functionality.

To learn more about modernizing your applications and to receive a FREE assessment, drop me a line today.

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