Migrate and modernize IBM Maximo with AWS and Red Hat

IBM Maximo has been a leading enterprise asset management solution in the industry for four decades, helping customers streamline work processes with a centralized platform for managing tasks, inventory, regulatory compliance and reporting capabilities.

IBM Maximo Application Suite (MAS), the next generation of IBM Maximo, delivers a better user experience, faster integration, robust AI analytics and a broad range of cloud deployment options. IBM MAS provides organizations with a robust and modern asset management solution.

IBM MAS is an integrated application suite built on Red Hat OpenShift that offers portability with support for hybrid and on-premises deployments. It is an enterprise cloud-based asset management platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics to help optimize equipment performance, extend asset lifecycles and reduce operational downtime and costs. With IBM MAS, users can conveniently access key monitoring, maintenance and reliability applications from a single integrated platform, enabling seamless management across the business.

The next-generation IBM MAS streamlines installation and administration while enhancing the user experience with shared data, workflow, UX and flexible application usage. With expanded access to computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and enterprise asset management (EAM) capabilities, asset performance management (APM) applications and reliability centered maintenance strategies (RCM), you and your team will be on the path to obtaining greater operational visibility of your assets through their lifecycle with faster ROI, increased productivity and operational uptime.

IBM Maximo customers will be required to move to IBM MAS when Maximo 7.x reaches End of Life (EOL). IBM MAS has been containerized to run specifically on Red Hat OpenShift. To ease this transition for customers unfamiliar with running containers in production, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has partnered with IBM and Red Hat to develop an IBM MAS on Red Hat OpenShift Service for AWS (ROSA) reference architecture.

In this blog post, we will walk through the recommended options for running IBM MAS on AWS, discuss the architecture and describe how the IBM, Red Hat and AWS components come together and provide a solid foundation for running IBM MAS. We will also explore the architectural decisions to consider so you can choose the one that best fits your organization’s needs.

Why ROSA for Maximo in AWS? 

Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA) is a fully managed, turnkey application platform that allows you to focus on deploying applications and accelerate innovation by off-loading the cluster lifecycle management to Red Hat and AWS. Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS is jointly developed and jointly supported by AWS and Red Hat. It is native in the AWS console and integrates with other commonly used AWS services.  

ROSA provides a managed Red Hat OpenShift Cluster and is a supported configuration for IBM MAS. This means that customers don’t have to create, manage and maintain their own Red Hat OpenShift clusters for IBM MAS. Leveraging ROSA allows customers to focus their resources on delivering business value rather than spending valuable time on the undifferentiated management of the underlying platform. 

From the Maximo Application Suite (MAS) prerequisite software documentation: “Maximo Application Suite runs on Red Hat OpenShift. Therefore, a Red Hat OpenShift cluster must be configured and running to install and configure Maximo Application Suite.” 

In this article, we will cover three ways to run IBM MAS on AWS: 

  1. MAS SaaS on AWS (powered by ROSA) 
  2. MAS Dedicated on AWS (powered by ROSA) 
  3. Customer-hosted (ROSA) 

1. IBM MAS SaaS on AWS (Powered by ROSA)

IBM Maximo Application Suite as a Service (IBM MAS SaaS) on AWS offers a solution for organizations seeking to leverage IBM MAS on AWS with the convenience of a SaaS model managed by IBM. This option eliminates the need for managing hardware and infrastructure independently, providing access to the software and its functionalities via browser-based solutions.

There are several advantages of IBM MAS SaaS on AWS. First, it’s a fully managed and scalable option, enabling resource adjustments to meet varying demand levels. Second, the default high availability and fault-tolerance guardrails ensure a reliable and stable environment. And lastly, with IBM MAS SaaS on AWS, customers can benefit from the latest features through a predefined update schedule.

However, there are a few risks to take into consideration when choosing a SaaS option. With a shared platform there are limitations in customization and flexibility, and integration can be limited when compared with the other dedicated options for running IBM MAS at AWS.

Overall, MAS SaaS on AWS presents an attractive option for organizations looking to streamline their MAS experience with the added convenience of cloud-based deployment:

Figure 1: IBM Maximo Application Suite as a Service high-level architecture

2. IBM MAS Dedicated on AWS (Powered by ROSA)

The MAS Dedicated on AWS option presents a compelling solution for organizations looking for a tailored MAS experience within AWS. With this option, MAS is hosted on dedicated infrastructure exclusively reserved for a single organization, ensuring optimum performance and security managed by IBM. This offers the customer increased control over the infrastructure, updates and an upgrade schedule within IBM’s supported version policy. The dedicated infrastructure provides better isolation and enhanced data privacy and protection.

However, there are considerations to be aware of when choosing this option. While it provides control, customizations are limited when compared to the customer-owned option, and the IBM MAS Dedicated on AWS option includes additional infrastructure costs when compared to the IBM MAS SaaS offerings. Overall, the IBM MAS Dedicated on AWS option offers a robust and secure solution for organizations seeking an exclusive and highly controlled IBM MAS environment within AWS:

Figure 2: IBM MAS Dedicated on AWS high-level reference architecture

3. IBM MAS on customer-hosted ROSA

The customer-hosted ROSA option offers a powerful solution for hosting IBM MAS in a customer’s virtual private cloud (VPC) with ROSA. As a container application platform, ROSA enables seamless deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications, making it an ideal choice for a MAS deployment.

The advantages of this option are significant. Organizations have full control over the infrastructure while still being subject to the organization’s monitoring, controls and governance policies, allowing for greater customization and flexibility to tailor the environment precisely to their needs. This control extends to implementing additional MAS integrations and the ability to enforce existing cloud security and governance policies. Also, ROSA charges are consolidated into the unified AWS bill and draw down on any AWS enterprise agreement, streamlining financial management.

Customers who have an AWS enterprise agreement or a compute savings plan can take advantage of savings for the underlying infrastructure supporting the MAS implementation. Likewise, because the ROSA cluster runs in the customer’s AWS account, they have the option of purchasing upfront ROSA contracts and receiving either 33%off (one year) or 65% off (three year) the ROSA service fee.

This option allows customers to observe and control their MAS platform while offloading the underlying OpenShift cluster lifecycle management to Red Hat site reliability engineers (SREs).

However, there are a few additional requirements to consider. This option entails separate purchases of ROSA and IBM MAS, adding to the financial costs; and while Red Hat SREs are managing the ROSA cluster, there is still the added cost of operational overhead for configuration and management of the IBM MAS application on ROSA.

Overall, the customer-hosted ROSA option empowers organizations with full control and customization, making it a compelling choice for hosting IBM MAS on AWS with Red Hat OpenShift:

Figure 3: Customer-owned ROSA reference architecture

Closing thoughts

Each IBM Maximo Application Suite deployment option—MAS SaaS on AWS, MAS Dedicated on AWS and IBM MAS on customer-hosted ROSA—present distinct advantages and limitations. Customers should review these factors to align their deployment with specific business needs and requirements. IBM MAS SaaS on AWS offers convenience and managed scalability, IBM MAS Dedicated on AWS provides enhanced control and isolation, and customer-hosted ROSA grants full customization, flexibility within the customer’s VPC and the ability to leverage existing AWS Enterprise Agreements.

Customers should assess their infrastructure, customization and cost considerations to make an informed decision that ensures a successful and efficient IBM MAS deployment. By understanding the strengths and limitations of each option, customers can choose the deployment option that meets their business objectives.

To further explore the migration and modernization of IBM Maximo with AWS and Red Hat, reach out to your IBM, Red Hat or AWS account team to discuss your specific requirements. Additionally, consider joining the IBM Maximo community to engage in discussions, pose inquiries related to this subject and exchange your valuable experiences with fellow professionals.

Learn more about IBM Maximo Application Suite

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