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Integration & IT Modernization

Kubernetes, Blockchain, & DevOps at InterConnect 2017

Vegas is bustling this week as IBM InterConnect 2017 officially kicked off Monday. Per the norm, IBM is making several announcements this week to showcase new innovation, strategic partnerships, and commercial offerings. For me, the most exciting announcement thus far is the beta release of Kubernetes on IBM Containers. Kubernetes is rapidly gaining ground as the leading container orchestration tool, thanks largely to years of maturing at Google prior to the project’s donation to open source. Even more impressive is how other organizations like IBM, CoreOS, and Red Hat have jumped onboard this container control plane train and become serious contributors.

Kubernetes is one of the top projects on GitHub now and as a result, the project will likely continue to excel beyond alternatives.

The new offering on IBM Containers is currently available in two tiers: Free and Paid. The Paid tier offers more customization around the Kubernetes Master. New Kubernetes clusters can be provisioned on-demand by authenticating to Bluemix and visiting the Containers dashboard. Multiple Kube clusters can exist in a single Bluemix organization. Kubernetes Worker nodes can then be scaled up from one once the cluster is deployed. The experience is 100% Kubernetes, so once the cluster is provisioned you can use standard `kubectl` commands to interact with the system. I’m anxious to get my hands dirty with this new offering, put it to the test with customers, and start funneling input back to IBM.

Creating a new Kube cluster on IBM Containers

Creating a new Kube cluster on IBM Containers

IBM Blockchain is another exciting announcement which was made this week. The new service on Bluemix is based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, and includes some additional capabilities around security for enterprise-readiness. Blockchain is an exciting technology which no doubt will profoundly impact the way transactional ledgers exist and function in the world. Several companies like SecureKey Technologies and Maersk have already partnered with IBM and efforts are underway at these organizations to improve customer experience or optimize business processes with blockchain technology.

Lastly, a few announcements around IBM DevOps solutions were made this week. DevOps Insights is now available on Bluemix as a beta. This service is able to pull data from change management tools like GitHub, GitLab, Jira, and Rational Team Concert, then produce intelligent output around development best practices, error proneness, open issues, and commits. DevOps Insights employs machine learning techniques to produce predictive analytics in this space. The service also makes some assumptions around how issues are typically introduced into a code base. For example, when a number of developers are making changes to the same file within a short period of time, there is high risk of error associated with the latest version of that file. There is also a Deployment Risk capability in DevOps Insights that allows users to define policies around release management, and uses pipeline gates to enforce those policies as deployables move downstream. Finally, UrbanCode Deploy v6.2.4 was also released and includes new features to better address scenarios such as a canary deploys. Check out this blog for details on these new features.

All in all, InterConnect 2017 is jam-packed with exciting announcements like these. Check out the IBM News Release page for the full list of announcements. As a long-standing IBM partner, Perficient is well-equipped to consult with clients around these announcements and a multitude of other IBM technologies, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

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Murad Korejo, Solutions Architect

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