IBM has rolled out a SaaS offering, IBM Hybrid Cloud Mesh, geared towards assisting enterprises in establishing secure connections and managing multicloud resources. This service implements a virtualized networking environment to facilitate rapid and secure connectivity between users, applications, and data dispersed across diverse edge, hybrid, and multicloud environments.
IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Mesh aims to break down operational silos by providing granular network control and user-friendly interfaces for IT teams. Murali Gandluru, Vice President of IBM’s Software Networking and Edge, highlighted the product’s design for simple, scalable, and secure application-centric connectivity. The focus is on predictability concerning latency, bandwidth, and cost, catering to both CloudOps and DevOps teams managing and scaling network applications.
The underlying architecture involves deploying gateways within clouds, including on-premises, AWS, or other providers’ clouds, and transit points if necessary. These gateways support infrastructure and build a secure Layer 3-7 mesh overlay for application delivery. The two types of gateways involved are edge gateways, deployed near workloads for forwarding, security enforcement, load balancing, and telemetry data collection, and waypoint gateways for path, cost, and topology optimization.
At the application level, developers interact with Layer 7, while networking teams oversee Layer 3 and 4 activities. The Mesh Manager provides centralized management, policy, and observability, incorporating zero-trust features to enable communication based on user intent only. Threat surface is minimized since gateways can only be configured through Mesh Manager, ensuring security.
Key features of the service include continuous discovery of multicloud deployment infrastructure, automated detection of changes in cloud assets, and DNS traffic-steering capabilities acquired from NS1. These capabilities enhance visibility, control, agility, and security for enterprises managing multicloud infrastructure.
According to Steven Dickens, Vice President and Practice Leader at Futurum Research, IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Mesh offers numerous advantages for enterprises. It enhances visibility and control, promotes agility by simplifying application movement between clouds, and bolsters security by enforcing centralized security policies across various clouds.