Redhat isn't going to save IBM. They sold because they had an unsustainable business, and Openshift is still a risky play to run a stable business on. The container space is starting to get awfully crowded, and cloud providers can provide better tailored experiences and skip containers altogether with serverless.
As a long time taker of Redhat certs, I hope they pull through and still look something like the Redhat I have loved and known.
OpenShift won't compete with the cloud offerings in the long run. Redhat are currently competing with On-Prem offerings and trying to make a case for 'hybrid'.
Even in this market OpenShift is competing against at least 15 alternatives. For anyone interested I've been crowd sourcing data for each and trying to work out key differentiators.
OpenShift is definitely differentiated in terms of security. They also have network and storage features that are arguably valuable to enterprise customers.
Google GKE On-Prem is out soon. I never see Azure Stack mentioned so maybe Microsoft will look into a Docker acquisition to boost their enterprise footprint.
The cloud seems like the bigger growth area though so perhaps this On-Prem container platform land grab will be short lived.
The companies using Azure Stack today are some of the least likely to be parroting that fact. Microsoft's on-prem is pretty well entrenched, particularly in "boring enterprise" where pragmatism beats idealism, are quiet "do the work, don't leak the work" more than proudly proclaim to be chasing the trends.
That said, Azure Stack (and Azure) already have strong Docker support, without an acquisition to date.
More interestingly, in my opinion, though, is that right now Azure Functions is the only "serverless" runtime with a strong open source story, and equally strong on-prem (both as part of Azure Stack and, increasingly from what I hear, standalone) as well as Cloud support.
* Subscription pricing like a cloud service, even though it's on-premise.
* Only runs on certified hardware appliances... You're looking at an investment of at least $300,000 for a base configuration.
So, OK, I get it, you're getting a private cloud and you're not supposed to worry about hardware anymore, but it's probably too big a mental shift for most traditional enterprises. And people with that kind of budget are already locked into a VMWare infrastructure for the next couple of years.
Maybe I'm confused about what you mean by "Azure Stack", but there was most certainly an acquisition related to Azure's docker support, the Deis team (now part of Azure team) were some of the earliest contributors to the Helm project, and this buyout was widely hailed from what I can remember as Microsoft's first big investment in Kubernetes.
Many of those people remained with the Azure team, and none of them work on Deis today. So, instead, they are driving the development of tools like Draft, AKS, OSBA, and Virtual Kubelet.
And of course MS also made a high-profile acquisition of GitHub, just not sure that one is relevant to Azure Stack.
But correct, there have been related acquisitions.
To be honest that's a great feature and one reason why I am not terribly scared about consequences of any news about a RedHat acquisition; that being so even though I do follow OpenShift with some interest.
I'm sure that Docker is also a target for acquisitions by these bigger companies but while we're on the subject thanks to Kubernetes and the CRI, it's pretty darn unlikely that anyone is ever going to totally corner the market on Linux containers, at least any time in the foreseeable future.
It would be great to see Forrester more forthright on such methodology, however, and this may be a good reminder that Forrester here is not a transparent, peer reviewed journal and doesn't have to show their homework.
AzureStack presumably runs AKS, the same as the Kubernetes service that runs in Azure, which is totally different.
The market size can't be attributed in any way to Azure Stack which is why I was surprised you mentioned it was heavily used. Gartner talks to a wide range of companies usually.
> "We did not evaluate native public cloud container or Kubernetes services."
In which case AKS doesn't show up because the report intentionally excluded it.
Again, I don't understand anything about the methodology of this report, it's very clear it's designed to present some bias, but there isn't enough transparency on what/why/where, and every time I skim it I come up with other questions as to the validity of this report towards any market size determinations whatsoever.
I have another comparison sheet for those if anyone is interested.
The report is from Forrester. I hardly ever read them but Docker has it posted all over its website so I was curious.
Forrester and Gartner seem too high profile to be biased. This one isn't sponsored so the researchers will have had free reign over what was added. If Azure Stack is really in use by many companies I'd be surprised if they missed it.
We compete with Red Hat in on-prem and hybrid scenarios but we're also cooperating with Red Hat, Google, IBM and SAP on Knative.
Podman is looking better and better every day.
However, I am not optimistic that a Glorious Future will be the outcome from the RedHat acquisition;
While at Mirantis, I was assisting in RedHat's implementation of OpenStack with Intel/IBM and it was a nightmare.
OpenStack, at that time was very difficult to implement with smooth success (much like a JBOSS / WebObjects / Tomcat nightmare implementations back in the early days) -- and the BigCo process-procedure-competency-silos that goes along with it...
I can only expect that adding more layers of abstraction and ambiguity of ownership will make for headaches.
Here is to hoping that my pessimistic outlook is proven wrong.
OpenShift, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air (k8s in general is - the quality is so much higher). Things just work and the docs don't conveniently leave out all the important details.
I was the lead PM responsible for managing the implementation of the OpenStack on RedHat+IBM with Intel TXT being the premise of the implementation such that RH could go back and replicate into their own thing...
It was a nightmare project, but on no part, individually of RH, Intel or IBM or Mirantis...
Openstack just was NOT READY for production secure workloads.
The project was just a bunch of people trying to do their best with shitty tools...
But, openstack/shift/the-current-marketplace wouldnt be without the sacrifice of crap on the battlefield.
So, at the end of the day, just hope that all your failures are something that others can trample to make-the-world-a-better-place...
Who is fooled by this anymore, really? Non-technical middle managers who read a bunch of marketing materials?
You can pry k8s from my cold dead hands.
What they are is slow moving and hidebound. I think that at some level they understand that, and at other levels they don't. They have an amazing asset in their labs where they can put 1,000 of some of the smartest people you might ever hope to meet on to a problem pretty much instantly.
In my short time with them post acquisition I found a company that was very slowly losing its calcified husk and becoming more agile. It had some blind spots but when you replace enough people that can be fixed. As Gerstner showed in the 90's, as Satella is showing at Microsoft, what Welch showed at GE. Put the right leadership team in place and you can do amazing things with that power.
There can be no growth because contractors don't scale. They bring a fix percentage of their day rate.
There could be some products with great people lost in a corner of IBM. However, they will remain a negligible fraction of the company and they won't have the power to turn it around.
If AWS/Microsoft makes a new product or service, they can roll out instantly everywhere and capture clients. If IBM does something new, they couldn't begin to sell it, they'd sell you a contractor.
Except of course that when you employ 300K of them it does scale. The mistake many software people make is that only software scales, but IBM (and others) has successfully built a scalable model around consulting.
IBM's revenue growth over at least the last three quarters is due to its mainframe business and the launch of the z14.
Sure, but that's the thing: IBM doesn't have the right leadership team in place, and hasn't since Gerstner left. It shows no sign of having learnt from its mistakes.
Fundamentally, IBM is a sales company, not a technical company. For a long, long time its marketing department was able to sell the fiction that it was a technical company, and use that reputation to sell, but folks realise now that it's just not.
I thought his contribution was "rank and yank" and financial services, both dubious to say the least. Have I been misled?
They're also roughly 100 years old (depending on definitions). They're reinvented and reshaped their business many times. "Two new broom handles, two new brushes" but it's still the same company, as they say. I'm afraid I find it ludicrous that IBM would actually end up in anything resembling financial failure.
People were saying the same thing of Sears 10 years ago...
Also, unlike IBM, Sears has very little of worth which would uniquely identify it as "Sears" after asset sale. It's all fungible land, rent, concrete store walls, and staff. They have many competitors with practically identical overlap in business. IBM is not like at all like this.
Ermm yes it is. What do they do that HPE, DXC, Accenture, Crapita, Fujitsu, TCS, Infosys, Wipro yadda yadda don’t? All IBM had left is the rapidly tarnishing prestige of their once mighty brand.
Well, imagine I am somebody at the target market of IBM (whatever that is), why would I want to hire them?
They don't worry about new customers when the largest companies in the world have gone through months or years to get them as preferred tier one vendors.
Sears on the other hand did not serve large Enterprises and were generating revenue mostly from retail. Consumer vs. Enterprise is like Apples and Oranges guys.
I just can't imagine anything we could hire from IBM.
It is the last stage of any large company anyway: IP vulture.
Support is expensive, but worth it. It's not unheard of to get custom kernel patches mere days after you reported an issue.
Well, that and the ecosystem of enterprise software which refuse to run on anything but RHEL.
And Ubuntu's failure to establish their home-grown stuff: Upstart, Unity, Mir, Ubuntu One, Ubuntu Phone, Juju...
That being said, 18.04 is a lot better than 12.04 or 14.04. I'm a Red Hat fan, but I hope Canonical succeeds - the more independent companies there are, the better.
Ubuntu doesn't really have that distinction. Shuttleworth is also kind of a character, and it's hard to rely on him keeping Ubuntu fixed on a particular use case. It's been desktop, then mobile/desktop convergence, and now containers and Kuberentes. Think startup vs big business.
The docs are just that much better. The server packages are much more reliable. If you want specific software versions, and you're not on docker, you get those versions. It's a breeze to sysadmin a centos machine. An Ubuntu machine is a pile of nightmares.
(Also, very few people actually run RHEL with the support package, most run CentOS, which is patch-compatible but has all the trademarks removed.)
You can't really hide your lack of R&D or missing long term vision with numbers like that.
1. They bring the A players to the sales process
2. They bring the B players to manage the account (technically and commercially)
3. They bring the C/D players to do the actual work.
Wondering if I'm an outlier or if this is a standard mode of operation for them? I wonder how this plays in with their OSS strategy? Who works on things like OpenShift?
They bring the A++ lawyers to tell you that not having database corrupted / application crash / buttons click fail wasn't specified in the contract and that in their opinion the software works as agreed.
Seeing the IBM letters still leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
If they send sellers after that we usually just ask them to leave and send the engineers. I've seen quite a few pouts but it's impossible to get accurate product information out a seller, they just tell you what you want to hear.
I've never been in contact with IBM before but I'm not surprised about your experience.
 Sales call scene with Joe and Gordon in Halt and Catch Fire: Season 1 Episode 1
When I took sales calls, I would usually sit through the intro pitch from the salesperson, and if it seemed in the ballpark, I would cut the call short and ask to be put in touch with product/engineering by email. And if I liked what I saw, I'd go back to the salesperson for pricing, etc.
The biggest issue I've had in the past is that I ask for a feature and the salesman say "no problem" and when it's time to implement what I asked for is a custom feature that they can build for €100k.
If you hire an independent A player as a consultant instead, they have no big organization with the resources of IBM. I've competed with IBM, and the saying of "you don't get fired for choosing IBM" is still more true for them than for anyone else.
IBM can still bring a level of competency which far exceeds anything Red Hat alone can do. Several well-known and successful companies where I've worked considered their biggest competitor to be IBM - though they didn't say that publicly since they didn't want to further legitimize the competition. They were already losing too many sales to IBM.
But none of that mattered. All that ever mattered was the CIO, and what company he wanted. Then he would write up a rule system where X company had to meet Y requirements that only his preferred company could meet.
We still got more work than we could handle, but people always want A players on the ground, but even at the exact same cost, the upper level management are going to make decisions based on things that have nothing to do with success.
I agree it's a strategy, just not a very good one IMHO. I'd prefer to see A players at all levels, just at different levels of their career. Junior level A players can still contribute.
Sell quantity, not quality.
Not in my experience - at my last job we had multiple meetings with them to try and sell us one of their products (CIO was ex IBM and was pushing us to use it) and everyone technical who was involved on our side was profoundly unimpressed.
Was also a bit bizarre that about 6 of them came along to a meeting with 4 of us - we never did find out what most of them did.
That's your "mistake" (from their part). They only know how to sell to top-level oxygen-deprived-brains that are impressed by technical fancy words but couldn't turn their notebooks wifi off and on again to save their lives
Ever seen that scene in Halt and Catch Fire where IBM comes to meet with the small company and a hundred IBMers flood into the office? That's the most accurate scene I've ever seen in any movie or TV show ever.
Sounds like that's a typical mode of operation, seen that several times, too. So maybe the quality of the sales team is the variable. So if your sales team is C players, do they bring the... E? ... players to project?
I think they might have been used to giving demos to not technical folks rather than people who were actually fairly competent and inclined to scepticism.
> 1. They bring the A players to the sales process, .. C/D players to write code.
I was wondering why IBM failed to make great progress with WATSON project which was started years ahead of others in ML/DL filed.
Now I know the answer, internal IBM projects are developed with same A/B/C people of the hierarchy, where C players are people who write machine Learning/Deep Learning WATSON code.
Since Microsoft lost consumer space by losing windows phone, it's focus is ONLY Enterprise market which is confirmed by LinkedIn purchase.
Slowly but surely Microsoft will eat IBM's "Enterprise lunch" eventually. (sharing part of lunch with AWS & Google Cloud)
The problem was that Watson was a (largely successful) publicity stunt. In that sense, it falls in the category of sales and IMO is a top notch, A-player, demonstration of hype. It wasn't designed from the start to solve real problems, so it was always going to be hamstrung as a real product, regardless of how good the underlying engineering was.
* Edit to add a link to the papers they published -- https://researcher.watson.ibm.com/researcher/view_group_pubs.... -- which I remember skimming at the time and feeling like they were on par with any other typical ML paper. In general, research departments are run with an entirely different culture than engineering.
When I worked at IBM eons ago, products were very tangible, and often very physical in form, and there was no doubt whatsoever about what they did. Each came with beautiful bound folders for Africa describing functionality and usage. As a Systems Engineer, a part of one's job was being able to drive the configurator and other tools that controlled updates and upgrades and ensured products interoperated correctly.
Watson, it appears, is more the sort of snake oil that one would associate with a flakey, fast moving startup that can promise anything and then somehow make it sort of happen for the early adopters. Its hard to pin down exactly what is IS - which is kind of the point when using it as a sales tool.
That is probably true for any company ever. Unless of course you are full of cash, overflowing to a point, where you have ginormous amounts of time and money to waste interviewing people, reject them and offer whom ever you want top of the market salaries.
Any company can probably do this at their prime. Other people have to hire on average competence if they want to scale. And that works fine most of the time.
> one of the most important takeaways from the Red Hat acquisition is the admission that IBM’s public cloud efforts are effectively dead
> while IBM will certainly be happy to have the company’s cash-generating RHEL subscription business, the real prize is Openshift, a software suite for building and managing Kubernetes containers
> IBM is betting it can again provide the solution [to cloud lock-in], combining with Red Hat to build products that will seamlessly bridge private data centers and all of the public clouds
To sum up - IBM lost the hardware cloud wars and is making big bets on cloud software. The author doesn't answer the key question posed at the end - does the problem of cloud vendor lock-in actually exist (and the implied question - if it does, how profitable is it)? I suppose that's the info he wants you to pay for ;)
At some point most large companies will play their hand and raise prices to more closely match the cost of switching off the platform. (i.e. the MO of Oracle/IBM) It is really more a matter of when, not if. The problem with doing this is customers wise up this strategy and quit using your products for most new work. Once this happens, the company's best option for growth is to buy new users via acquisition.
Google has enough resources to accommodate any medium/large enterprises that want to switch through price and onboarding incentives. Not to mention they employ many of the world's Kubernetes developers, experts, and maintainers.
The holy trinity has enough cash and willpower to keep a monopoly/monopolistic pricing from happening and there's enough business for them outside of the cloud to encourage them not to collude IMO.
Not to say hybrid cloud architectures are unnecessary - they most certainly are good, and the way the industry is moving, I just don't think there will be a huge pain point over monopolistic pricing/actions.
Sure it might be cheaper to use a competitor but if it will cost us 10M to migrate and test the working production workflow then it would have to be 10M cheaper to switch.
This gives our current provider a strong incentive to charge us a bit extra. Say 1/4 the price of the migration. Nobody wants to start a high risk migration that would take 4 years to pay for itself. Easier to just keep paying 2.5M extra. Safer that way and it isn't their money anyway.
AWS would have to be certain that these losses weren't more than their up-priced gains
I don't see AWS doing this. They've continuously implemented technology improvements that have allowed them to reduce costs for customers 67 times in the last 10 years. The price of cloud services always goes down, not up, over time, as you're able to realize the benefits of improvements in compute power for the same cost (Moore's Law) without upgrading hardware.
Disclaimer: I work for AWS, but my opinions are my own.
If any of these companies is able to extract monopoly profits without fear of competition undercutting them or government/legal intervention, they will.
Right now all 3 are competing fiercely to win the hardware rental market, but this may not be the case in the future once the market matures, and they may raise prices to match leaving costs (as parent comment pointed out) if they can lock customers in.
The price must always go up over time. If there were a first rule of business, that would be that.
Price decrease is just a longer term strategy where it goes down before it goes up.
Hint: the cloud market has PLENTY of competition.
This makes me scratch my head. I heard Power9 is getting more and more traction in some clouds, notably Google's.
Maybe IBM lost the "bog-standard VM-based cloud" wars, where the "standard" is what AWS / GCP / Linode / DO, etc offer. But that space is indeed crowded; doing something where you have little competition makes a lot of sense. (I wonder if they'll be able to.)
IBM effectively failed in their integration of SoftLayer. They bought SoftLayer but failed to modernize them. Why will RedHat be any different?
Take a look at what's left of SoftLayer today. Most folks who had the necessary skills to keep their ancient php platform relevant have left a long time ago.
I'm sure IBM is on their 5th iteration of their "next gen" VM provisioning system by now, due out any quarter...
No joke, at one of the previous places we’ve implemented a task which would raise a support ticket via API if provisioning step was hanging for longer than x minutes. This is the case for years!
According to some people from IBM, the reason why IBM purchased SoftLayer was so they could tell their customers who were looking to move to the cloud „you want cloud, we have cloud” ... and keep the hefty support contract runing.
Once everyone offers a choice of 1 TB Virtual Machines for rent, SOftLayer will be completely out of the equation. They're strictly worse in services and pricing.
It will be good for IBM to be in the middle of this, since the first such stacks will probably come from a large player that doesn't have a dominant existing cloud service. It will also be good for IBM's hardware expertise.
I think this trend will come, companies are getting locked into AWS almost deeper than some companies got themselves nailed to IE6 + .Net at some point. This is fine when the benefits appears to outweigh the risks, until it doesn't.
I seriously doubt that IBM can execute on this plan based on my limited experience with them. But if they could, it would be a winning move.
It generates the most views and clicks. His other 3 articles per week is...not bad but certainly not as good and meaty as weekly updates.
Paying for it is on some livel similar to patreon sub.
But still, I'm still pretty happy about the subscription. He's better than most bloggers out there.
The Decline and Fall of IBM
(Except for the "returning" part.)
> The problem for IBM is that they are not building solutions for clueless IT departments bewildered by a dizzying array of open technologies: instead they are building on top of three cloud providers, one of which (Microsoft) is specializing in precisely the sort of hybrid solutions that IBM is targeting. The difference is that because Microsoft has actually spent the money on infrastructure their ability to extract money from the value chain is correspondingly higher; IBM has to pay rent
Primarily: Azure is already super successful and I see it taking a solid #1 over the next few years. The main reason is that Microsoft is doing what they do best: offering a product in every category. Want Kubernetes? They've got it. Need issue management? Azure DevOps. Chat? Teams. Email and Office? 365. Once you're in that ecosystem you're just going to bleed into all of their products before suddenly you're a Microsoft shop.
Moreover, Microsoft has done an extraordinary job at revitalizing the user experience of many of their products. Azure DevOps and Teams has its issues, but they're miles ahead of the products they're replacing, and truly only maybe 10% behind the 'best in class' of each category.
Compare this positioning to Amazon: AWS still only competes solidly in the cloud space, without extending out into the rest of "development team support" that Azure/Microsoft does. They were also ridiculously slow to accept that Kubernetes won the container war, and even today EKS is a comparatively garbage product when lined up against AKS/GKE (no managed worker nodes, $0.20/hour for the control plane, reliance on eksctl to do anything easily which isn't even an official AWS product, etc).
Amazon will be fine, but I worry about Google Cloud's future. They're industry leaders when it comes to new technology, no one else is even close, but that doesn't really matter when its open source and Microsoft is so quick to implement everything they make directly into Azure. Why isn't Google Cloud more successful? I think its enterprise support and respect, which isn't something you can just buy especially with Google's lackluster history in that domain.
I also think GCloud is very unique in that all of the capex that Google spends on it comes back to benefit Google. All of their product offerings need servers and world class networks behind them. So even if GCloud remains a solid third/fourth place in the cloud race, I doubt we'll see them go anywhere just because Google itself is probably using it internally to some degree.
I mostly worry about the scope of investment from management. I want to see way more products out of them. More managed databases, a better managed NoSQL database than Firestore, lower prices, more enterprise focused things like automated security auditing, better support. We're just not getting it; they're so focused on shiny trivialities like Firebase and Stackdriver while missing the basics.
That's not how reputation works. A brand has one reputation. You mess with that at your peril.
Ouch, but hard to argue against.
Market Cap $839.7
Less: Net Cash (59.7)
Total Enterprise Value $780.0
Market Cap $834.5
Less: Net Cash (5.6)
Total Enterprise Value $828.9
They were ahead on both metrics for a while but since they are a super high growth stock, it's been highly volatile.
Even after growth stalled, they had a ton of cash to keep their operations afloat. But they burned up a lot of it in manufacturing the Playbook tablet, which was a big flop.
Interestingly, Blackberry Messenger had 75 million subscribers in 2011, and had a similar cachet of exclusivity as early FB, when signups were limited to those with .edu addresses. CEO Jim Balsillie pushed for BBM to become a cross-platform software product, but his co-CEO wanted to focus on devices and security, and not build software for other platforms. We all know how that ended.
That's arguably true now...but to claim that IBM hasn't contributed anything to the world is just hyperbole. I mean, they invented the relational database and hard drive, and practically every modern computing concept is just a reimplementation of what existed on a mainframe.
Anyone who uses a PC.
And of course Vmware has already been integrated into EMC years ago, quite successfully. Although you could argue the ongoing Dell/EMC saga could jeopardize that... Depending on how well you think it’s going.
From what I've seen, they're doing a lot more sales than RedHat.
However Pivotal CloudFoundry is not their best-seller... I doubt it’s even in the top 5. Vmware’s empire is built on Vsphere/esx (their core business) and, more recently Vsan (storage) and NSX (networking). The former is the largest. The latter two are the fastest growing.
Container platforms are a relatively new category, so sales are not huge. In that category Cloudfoundry might be slightly ahead, but I think Openshift has more momentum because their early bet on Docker then Kubernetes is paying off. Pivotal has PKS but it feels half-hearted.
I'm under the impression that cloud foundry is specifically targeting mega corporation like fortune 100 banks. In that context, it only takes a few sales to capture the market and a lot of money.
I didn't see OpenShift used anywhere.
Disclosure: I work for Pivotal.
So, if IBM's strength was "we can do services from anywhere," that gets busted by the rest of these players who can now compete at the same logistical level. And if they aren't hiring the best engineers, they're going to get slammed by Microsoft who will pay top dollar for them.
Which raise the risk that IBM could kill CentOS. Once done, there is no choice for company but to pay for RedHat or migrate to Debian.
So with that available, if SUSE isn't completely stupid on how to go to market, they'll actually figure out a way to capitalize on that.
In its previous comeback, part of its strategy was positioning itself one layer above the commodity layer. (The article says, "The actual technologies underlying the Internet were open and commoditized, which meant IBM could form a point of integration and extract profits, which is exactly what happened.")
Now with open cloud technologies aiming to make cloud providers (Amazon, MS, Google) into commodities, this new effort also shares that strategy.
Of course the other ingredients are that it must be a value-add that customers actually need and nobody else offers a better version of. But buying Redhat seems like a reasonable stab at achieving that. Overall, their strategy seems to make sense at a very high level.
Getting these players into the cloud is always hard, but the hybrid cloud doesn’t really soften the ground internally at most of these compliance heavy organizations. They are all aware of how awesome and wonderful the cloud is, it’s always politics that get in the way. Once an organization goes through the incredibly difficult process of allowing cloud projects (which involves lawyers, rewriting policies, compliance officers, etc), the organization usually puts all projects going forward onto the cloud and views the old stuff as legacy. The idea of trying to bridge the two is rarely considered worth it.
Of course there are exceptions. However where I see hybrid clouds do well is in organizations that are taking the task of porting everything to the cloud very seriously, but they know the project will take a while, so it is worth everybody working off of the same infrastructure playbook until they can shove everything in the cloud.
The days are dark for the folks that missed the cloud bandwagon over a decade ago.
Server-less is an interesting development. To avoid lock in though we would need a library API layer. Much like what Kubernetes provides at the application layer.
IBM has become completely dependent on consulting, and they did that because their hardware business has been shrinking. They are only selling hardward to a captive audience. The only companies buying Mainframes or AS400's are existing customers, but those customers are also converting portions of their business to other technologies, but not on IBM hardware, or the IBM cloud. It appears that IBM is still a technology company but it's an illusion.
IBM is dying and there is nothing that anyone can do about it, they won't fold, but in 20 years IBM will be as relevant as Unisys is today.
The first thing I thought when I read this news was - good maybe they’ll take their 360,000 employees, make them all use Linux, and as a consequence standardise a developer laptop to compete with MacBook.
The second thing I thought was - if there is 360,000 people with Linux laptops in your enterprise, what sort of creative uses could you come up with for container orchestration.
The third thing I thought was - I wonder how much they pay in Microsoft licensing per year.
PowerPC was the last time I was aware of IBM making significant change in the VLSI market. Before that, it had been definitional in a number of things, not networking (!) but certainly high density storage.
Now, will they be able to capitalize on it?
What does this quote actually mean?
Small problem with that. Most of the progressive enterprises are trying to move AWAY from containers to fully serverless architectures (Lambda, Google functions, Azure, etc.)
Kubernetes is still hot but the momentum is definitely with Lambda and its ilk.
Now I don't want to say my experience is perfectly indicative of what big companies are doing in general, but I certainly haven't noticed this trend. Even containers are just starting to catch on in the enterprise market, and a lot of enterprise software doesn't currently support containerization.
Like, hdfs is far more common now. Technology starts at the larger companies, and trickles down over time.
But for some reasons, nobody try to use that anymore or even think of it.
And serverless is a risky bet, anyway - vendor lock in, costs and security being important concerns.
Serverless runs on?
Also Lambda is not a replacement for your webservices. Lambda is very expensive for non-trivial scaling requirements. And yeah bulk of the backends in the industry aren't always web based products.