As per the recent announcement, IBM is acquiring Red Hat in deal valued at $34 billion. This is another one in a row of deals I did not expect to happen:

– Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems

– Microsoft acquired GitHub

– Dell acquired VMware

This deal is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in late 2019, but for the time being, might be interesting to consider how the potential marriage will affect the global Multicloud portfolio, and what can be expected “after the honeymoon.”

Sure, 34 billion is a big sum, but also a bold move by IBM on the conquest to the multicloud market. Combined we’re looking at (to name a few):

– Ansible for the automation

– OpenShift, as the best of breed PaaS based on Kubernetes

– CloudForms as a potential CMP (I wonder how this will work out…)

– Watson for all AI/machine learning-related

– IBM Cloud as a public cloud platform

Is this a winner combo? Or do other hybrid cloud promoters, like Cisco and VMware have equally good lockin-free proposals?

As a hybrid cloud and DevOps advocate, and a European CTO, I’ve had the experience to “casually chat” to many European companies about their cloud strategy. Two things are evident:

– The buyer is changing, Multicloud is an APPLICATION strategy, not an infrastructure strategy.

– Companies don’t really know who to trust, as what they’re being told by various vendors and providers is not really coherent. This makes is pretty difficult to actually build a cloud strategy (don’t get me started on CEOs who’ll just tell you “We’ve adopted Cloud First”, and actually think they have a cloud strategy).

Due to all this:

– IBM and RedHat, as software companies, will be able to get to the application market.

– Neither of the two can do Infrastructure as well as VMware & Cisco.

How important is this? Very! And here is why.

Cisco has:

CloudCenter, a true application oriented micro-services ready Cloud Management Platform (CMP), public cloud and automation tool agnostic, equipped with the right benchmarking and brokering tools, that integrates quite well with the infrastructure, and workflow visibility platforms.

ACI and Tetration, that enable the implementation of coherent and consistent network and security policy models across multiple private and public clouds, along with workload visibility.

HyperFlex and Cisco Container Platform providing enterprise production-ready, lockin-free Kubernetes solution on a Hyper Converged infrastructure.

– AppDynamics and Cisco Workload Optimization Manager (CWOM), a true DevOps combo for the Day 2 we’re all fearing in cloud, letting the application architects model their post-installation architecture, and monitor the performance of each element, and latency between different elements, and assure the optimal user experience.

VMware has:

– vRealize Automation, the best of breed automation and orchestration hybrid cloud ready platform.

– PKS and VKE, KaaS platforms that provide the enterprise production-ready Kubernetes solution, with a fully prepared operations piece, in both – private and public cloud.

– Wavefront, application visibility tool running on containers, designed with cloud applications and micro services in mind, with just insane performance.

– NSX, including the full SDN stack in both, data center and cloud.

– Partnership with AWS, Azure, GCP and IBM, to leverage the most demanded hybrid cloud use cases in a “validated design” fashion.

What does this all mean?

Multiloud is still a space that, based on Gartner and IDC, over 90% of companies are looking at. Big companies are making their moves… so just grab your popcorn and observe. It’s going to be a fun ride!


*Mateja Jovanovic is a Guest Blogger of the platform and this is an opinion piece.


Mateja Jovanovic

European Chief Technologist for Hybrid Cloud and IoT

Logicalis, A Cisco Gold Partner