IBM launches Db2 operator for Kubernetes on AWS

Azure soon to follow as Big Blue accomodates a world with many clouds

IBM has launched a Db2 operator for Kubernetes running on AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), while promising the same would be available for Azure AKS is targeted for the second half of 2022.

The Big Blue stalwart database counts Bank of America, Natwest Group and Tesco among its users. But, despite large chunks of the western economies relying on the aging database, IBM does not like to shout about it.

Nonetheless, The Reg managed to squirrel out some news from the recent International Db2 User Group conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Db2’s journey to the cloud has been a protracted one. It was first launched as a way to get a more or less cloud-native version of the database in the cloud, but it was only available on RedHat OpenShift.

IBM has now ported Db2u universal container services to Amazon EKS with Azure AKS soon to follow. Db2 DBA Ember Crooks wrote a technical preview earlier this year, while she has also written about the back story of Db2u. IBM also has a tutorial introducing the product.

IBM’s support for Db2 in Kubernetes on AWS and Azure is a step in the right direction that was well received by users looking for a cloud migration path for their on-prem databases, according to Scott Konash, Db2 director and global practice lead at Datavail, a database support and services company.

In the earlier days of the development of cloud services, IBM had struggled to persuade users that the best way to move Db2 to the new infrastructure, was to use its cloud services.

With no fully managed relational database service (RDS) for Db2 on AWS there was no easy way to get Db2 onto Amazon’s platform, the one still dominant in the market. “IBM is starting to become more open with Db2u containerization. It’s a game changer to keep existing customers on the database while offering a route to the cloud,” said Konash, who attended last week’s conference.

Also at the Db2 shindig was Craig Mullins, president and principal of Mullins Consulting, a Db2 specialist. He told The Register the Db2u launch was welcomed by users but it only applied to the Windows/Linux/Unix version of the system but not the Z mainframe and iSeries versions as they are different products.

Mullins was also hearted by IBM’s presence at the conference, as critics have in the past pointed with some frustration at Big Blue’s apparent willingness to let its flagship database wither on the vine.

“The one thing that I took is a little bit heartening was there were actually ads in the city. IBM has been less than enthusiastic about promoting Db2 for some time now, but at least in and among the people where they know they're going to be Db2 users at a Db2 conference, they did some they put some effort into it,” Mullins told The Register.

The Register has contacted IBM for further comment. ®

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