IBM Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift Now Generally Available
Published Jul 10 2024 08:00 AM 1,392 Views
Microsoft

Integration is crucial to every business. While data and applications are at the core of IT (information technology) infrastructure, without integration, data remains locked in silos, and applications become isolated and complex. This lack of integration hampers business agility, slowing down operations and hindering change. 

 

Businesses strive to reduce data exchange barriers through digital transformation to boost innovation and speed to market. However, transformation efforts can increase IT complexity and create more restricted-access business data. Effective integration is crucial for a successful digital journey, enabling secure data sharing between applications and services across hybrid cloud environments. With effective integration, businesses can boost efficiency, productivity, innovation, and knowledge sharing. Applications and data become more accessible, environments more resilient and agile, and new integrations faster and simpler to deploy. 

 

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With IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration, organizations can unlock their business potential, deliver new experiences, improve customer outcomes, and enable scalable automations across the enterprise. Cloud Pak for Integration is a hybrid integration platform that brings together a comprehensive set of integration components optimized to work together, deployed on Red Hat® OpenShift®.  

 

Cloud Pak for Integration meets and expedites any integration need, whether it is accessing and sharing information via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), quickly responding to business events, or securely and reliably accessing and updating record systems at scale using robust messaging and connectivity. This paper explores how Cloud Pak for Integration, deployed on Red Hat OpenShift, provides integrations within Microsoft Azure. 

 

What is Azure Red Hat OpenShift? 

Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) is a fully managed container services platform that enables businesses to focus on deploying applications and accelerating innovation by offloading cluster lifecycle management to Red Hat and Microsoft. Jointly engineered and supported by Microsoft and Red Hat, ARO integrates natively with the Azure portal, reducing complexity and expanding toolsets with native applications and integrations with Azure services.  

Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) enables customers to allocate resources to deliver business value rather than managing the underlying platform.  

 

Why ARO for CPI (Cloud Pak Integration): A Real-World Scenario 

Consider a multinational retail company that has embraced digital transformation to enhance its customer experience and streamline its operations. The company has a complex IT landscape with various applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and point-of-sale (POS) systems, all of which need to integrate and communicate seamlessly. To achieve this, the company decides to adopt IBM Cloud Pak for Integration (CPI) on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO). 

 

Scenario: Enhancing Customer Experience and Operational Efficiency 

Challenge: The retail company wants to provide a unified and personalized shopping experience to its customers across multiple channels (online, mobile, and in-store). This requires real-time data integration from various sources, such as customer profiles, purchase history, inventory levels, and promotions. Additionally, the company needs to ensure high availability and scalability during peak shopping seasons, like Black Friday and holiday sales. 

 

Solution with ARO and IBM Cloud Pak for Integration: 

  1. Integration Hub: By deploying IBM Cloud Pak for Integration on ARO, the company creates a robust integration hub that connects its CRM, ERP, and POS systems. ARO’s managed OpenShift service ensures the integration platform is always up-to-date, secure, and scalable. 
  2. Real-Time Data Synchronization: Using IBM App Connect within the Cloud Pak, the company can achieve real-time data synchronization between its systems. This allows customer data from the CRM to be instantly available to the POS systems, enabling personalized in-store experiences and targeted promotions. 
  3. Event-Driven Architecture: Leveraging IBM Event Streams, the company implements an event-driven architecture where critical events, such as low inventory alerts or high-value customer interactions, trigger automated responses. This ensures proactive inventory management and enhances customer service. 
  4. API (Application Programming Interfaces) Management: With IBM API Connect, the company exposes APIs for its e-commerce platform, mobile app, and third-party partners. ARO’s scalability ensures that these APIs can handle high traffic volumes during peak periods without performance degradation. 
  5. Enhanced Security: Azure Key Vault is integrated to securely manage and store secrets, such as API keys and certificates, used by the integration platform. This enhances the overall security posture of the company's IT environment. 
  6. Cost Efficiency and Performance: ARO's managed service model reduces the operational overhead and cost associated with managing the infrastructure. The company benefits from Azure’s pay-as-you-go pricing, which aligns with its fluctuating resource demands. 

Outcome: By deploying IBM Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift, the retail company successfully integrates its disparate systems, providing a seamless and personalized shopping experience for its customers. The solution scales effortlessly during peak shopping seasons, ensuring high availability and performance. Additionally, the company achieves operational efficiency and cost savings by leveraging Azure’s robust infrastructure and managed services. 

 

This real-world scenario illustrates how ARO, combined with IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, can address complex integration challenges, enhance customer experiences, and drive business success. 

 

Deploying Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift 

Why Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) for Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure? 

Cloud Pak for Integration is built for deployment on Red Hat OpenShift. A Red Hat OpenShift cluster must be configured and running to install and configure Cloud Pak for Integration. Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) provides a managed Red Hat OpenShift cluster and is a supported configuration for Cloud Pak for Integration. Customers need not manage their own Red Hat OpenShift clusters or Day 2 operations such as updates, patching, monitoring, etc.; instead, they can leverage Microsoft and Red Hat's proactive management with Azure Red Hat OpenShift, focusing on business needs rather than infrastructure management. 

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Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Marketplace offers deployment plans for new or existing Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) clusters. 

 

Integrating Azure Services with IBM Cloud Pak 

IBM Cloud Pak solutions are designed to leverage the robust infrastructure and diverse services provided by Microsoft Azure, enhancing their capabilities and providing additional value to enterprises. Key Azure services that can be seamlessly integrated with IBM Cloud Pak components include Azure Files for managed file shares, Azure Key Vault for secure management of secrets, Azure Container Registry (ACR) for storing and managing container images, and additional storage options like Azure Blob Storage and Azure Managed Disks. By integrating these Azure services, IBM Cloud Pak solutions can achieve enhanced performance, security, and scalability, allowing enterprises to fully capitalize on the capabilities of both IBM software and Azure infrastructure. 

 

Why Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO)? 

Cloud Pak for Integration is a unified integration solution optimized for deployment on Red Hat OpenShift. Its components can be deployed as containers using OpenShift operators, leveraging Kubernetes container orchestration. 

 

Traditionally, integration products were deployed as complex middleware infrastructure. Changes were challenging, and risky impacts on other business functions. Cloud Pak for Integration simplifies this by offering a single integration solution deployable within hours, delivering faster innovation with flexibility and efficiency. 

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Designed for cloud-native deployment, Cloud Pak for Integration uses Kubernetes Operators for standardized, powerful deployments with workloads that can deploy, run, scale, update, and restart independently. This removes complexity and maximizes flexibility. 

 

Cloud Pak for Integration provides a comprehensive, consistent integration platform deployable on Azure and anywhere with OpenShift. Flexibility extends to licensing, allowing deployment of any capability with any capacity across containers or VMs under a single entitlement. 

 

With consistent deployment capabilities, Cloud Pak for Integration simplifies building, deploying, operating, and updating integrations for end-to-end solutions. DevOps ensures automated operations, safeguarding and scaling workloads as needed. 

 

Pre-built integration templates are available in the included asset repository, and can be modified before deployment, and new integrations can be rapidly created using guided preset defaults for ease of use. Assets can be flagged as approved to denote compliance with key corporate policies with the potential to enforce those policies at deployment. 

 

Integration assemblies in Cloud Pak for Integration automate integration deployment. An integration assembly manages all integration solution aspects as a unified object, simplifying updates and migrations with a dedicated configuration and deployment tool, and helping to provide an audit point of control. 

 

Summary 

Integration is essential for business transformation and agility. Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO) offers a scalable, secure, and resilient deployment environment managed for you, providing a comprehensive integration solution for connecting and exchanging data across applications. Automation, AI (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE), and the cloud power business transformation, ensuring data accessibility, security, and responsiveness. 

 

Take the next step by understanding more about agile integration with IBM Cloud Pak for Integration on Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO). Contact your Microsoft, Red Hat or IBM Account Executive or explore the blog from IBM’s expert on Agile Integration on (http://ibm.biz/agile-integration) to learn more about migrating and modernizing enterprise integration to understand how best to use IBM Cloud Pak for Integration with Microsoft Azure Red Hat OpenShift (ARO). 

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‎Jul 11 2024 09:08 AM
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