IBM Launches Hybrid Cloud Mesh to Help Enterprises Regain Control
by Steven Dickens | May 22, 2023

The News: IBM today announced the launch of IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh, a new service that helps enterprises regain control of their multi-cloud infrastructure. See the full Press Release from IBM.

IBM Launches Hybrid Cloud Mesh to Help Enterprises Regain Control

Analyst Take: IBM’s launch of IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh should be welcome news for enterprise IT teams, for a variety of reasons, and it’s indicative of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy overall.

IBM has strategically positioned itself as a leader in the hybrid cloud and AI domains, emphasizing its commitment to driving innovation and digital transformation and this starting to show results in revenue growth and stock appreciation. With a strong focus on hybrid cloud, IBM is looking to offer a comprehensive suite of solutions that enable organizations to seamlessly integrate their on-premises infrastructure with public and private cloud environments. This IBM focused approach coupled with Red Hat’s portfolio allows businesses to leverage the benefits of cloud computing while maintaining control over their sensitive data.

In addition to its hybrid cloud offerings, IBM is at the forefront of AI advancements. The company’s AI technologies, such as the recently announced watsonx, which The Futurum Group CEO, Daniel Newman recently covered following the launch at Think, provide powerful capabilities for organizations to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data and enhance decision-making processes. IBM’s strategic emphasis on AI reflects its understanding of the increasing demand for intelligent automation and predictive analytics in today’s business landscape.

IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy offers organizations a comprehensive and effective approach to embrace cloud computing. The strategy revolves around key principles such as agility, scalability, and security, ensuring businesses can swiftly adapt to evolving needs, scale resources as required, and protect their data and applications. Supported by advanced technologies like Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud Paks, and IBM Cloud Integration Services, the strategy provides a holistic solution for organizations looking to migrate to the cloud.

That’s where IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh comes in. As part of this holistic strategy IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh provides a unified way to manage and secure applications across multiple clouds, making it easier for enterprises to move applications between clouds and to optimize cloud costs and more fully implement a FinOps discipline.

Multi-Cloud Approaches are Widespread, and Have a Multi-Pronged Impact on Networking Requirements

In today’s business landscape, the widespread adoption of multiple public and private cloud platforms has had a significant impact on networking requirements. The emergence of multi-cloud approaches has further amplified the need for comprehensive network transformation to support digital business operations. As enterprises migrate their applications to multiple public IaaS clouds, there is a growing demand for on-demand, scalable, and highly available multi-cloud networks.

To ensure seamless connectivity compatibility, any multi-cloud network must align the principles and attributes of cloud environments it connects and traverses. It should possess characteristics and capabilities as cloud environments it connects and traverses. The key objective of a multi-cloud network is to simplify complexity, enabling enterprises to establish consistent network and security policies across diverse IaaS clouds.

By adopting a multi-cloud network, organizations can overcome the challenges of managing disparate cloud environments. A multi-cloud network provides a unified and streamlined approach to network management, allowing businesses to achieve agility in deploying and managing their applications. Simplicity is the guiding principle of the multi-cloud network, which empowers enterprises to efficiently navigate the complexity of the multi-cloud landscape and unlock their full potential.

Moreover, a robust multi-cloud network architecture facilitates rapid scalability, enabling organizations to dynamically adjust their network resources to meet unpredictable workloads. It offers the flexibility to scale up or down based on varying demand, ensuring optimal performance and resource allocation across multiple cloud platforms. In addition to scalability, the multi-cloud network prioritizes high availability to maintain uninterrupted connectivity and business continuity. By leveraging redundant and resilient network designs, enterprises can minimize downtime and ensure reliable access to their applications and services across the multi-cloud environment.

Benefits of IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh

IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh appears to offer numerous advantages for enterprises. Firstly, it enhances visibility and control by providing a unified platform to manage and secure applications across multiple clouds. This enables enterprises to quickly identify and address issues within their multi-cloud infrastructure. Secondly, it promotes agility by simplifying the movement of applications between clouds, allowing enterprises to choose the most suitable cloud option and optimize costs accordingly. Additionally, it bolsters security by offering a centralized mechanism to enforce security policies across various clouds, safeguarding data and applications from unauthorized access. Lastly, it helps reduce costs by streamlining application migration, automating deployment, and scaling processes, and ultimately optimizing cloud expenditure.

Put simply, IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh appears to provide a unified way to manage and secure applications across multiple clouds, making it easier for enterprises to move applications between clouds and optimize their cloud costs.

Looking Ahead for IBM, Hybrid Cloud and AI

IBM is doubling down on the dual pillars of Hybrid Cloud and AI and this focus is starting to pay off for the company. IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh is yet another point on this continuum, and based on the scant announcement details available thus far, the offering appears to be a powerful tool that can help enterprises manage and secure their multi-cloud infrastructure. IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh, according to IBM, provides a unified way to manage and secure applications across multiple clouds, with the promise of making it easier for enterprises to move applications between clouds and optimize their cloud costs.

IBM is looking to establish itself as a leader in hybrid cloud and AI, emphasizing its commitment to innovation and digital transformation, resulting in revenue growth and stock appreciation. With a strong focus on hybrid cloud, IBM aims to provide comprehensive solutions for seamless integration of on-premises infrastructure with public and private cloud environments (both IBM Cloud and other providers), enabling businesses to leverage cloud computing benefits while maintaining data control. When you consider the recent watsonx announcements and the resulting integration of hybrid cloud and AI, IBM is well-positioned to enable businesses to leverage cloud scalability, agility, and security while harnessing AI’s potential to improve operational efficiency.

In summary, the implementation of a well-designed multi-cloud network is crucial for organizations operating in a multi-cloud ecosystem. By adhering to cloud principles and embracing simplicity, enterprises can address operational complexities, enforce consistent policies, achieve agility, and optimize network performance in their multi-cloud environments. With the right multi-cloud networking strategy, businesses can effectively harness the potential of multiple cloud platforms and drive their digital transformation initiatives forward.

We will need to further track this solution as it moves to full GA status but based on the announcement details, IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh provides a unified approach to managing and securing applications across multiple clouds, facilitating application movement and cost optimization and this is certainly a much-needed solution for many enterprises.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

IBM Think – The Six Five Podcast

The Six Five Insider at IBM Think: Unleashing the AI-First Enterprise

IBM Think 2023: IBM Charts the Course to Quantum Safe Computing

About the Author

Steven Dickens is Vice President of Growth and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research. Operating at the crossroads of technology and disruption, Steven engages with the world’s largest technology brands exploring new operating models and how they drive innovation and competitive edge for the enterprise.  Read Full Bio.