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IBM and VMware Help Enterprises Adopt Generative AI with watsonx On-Premises

By Chris Wolf, Vice President, VMware AI Labs & Tarun Chopra, Vice President, Product Management, Data & AI, IBM

IBM and VMware are working together to bring IBM watsonx to on premises environments on VMware Private AI and Red Hat OpenShift, to help enable fast, transparent generative AI capabilities.

In 2023, we’ve seen AI adoption become mainstream as enterprises seek to drive transformative innovations. Generative AI, in particular, has captured the imagination of organizations as a means to generate new content based on a variety of inputs. Generative AI use cases and tasks are far-ranging – from code generation to contact centers resolution experience, IT operations automation, information retrieval and content creation.

At the heart of all AI use cases is data—more importantly, access to and processing of the required data to net the best results from AI models. Enterprises need to be able to bring compute capacity and AI models to where enterprise data is created, processed, and consumed—in support of AI use cases—including both traditional AI/ML workloads and generative AI. Enterprises also need access to a full technology stack that allows for traditional enterprise-grade requirements, such as the use of confidential computing and the ability to train, tune, and deploy AI models all in one place that can run across cloud environments.

This is the promise of Private AI, an architectural approach that aims to balance the business gains from AI with the privacy and compliance needs of the organization. It focuses on the platform and infrastructure architecture built in support of AI, which can be deployed in public clouds, virtual private clouds, data centers, and edge sites.

VMware Private AI with IBM Bring Flexibility to Generative AI

IBM and VMware provide enterprise customers the flexibility to enable generative AI use cases where your mission-critical operations reside. That’s why IBM and VMware are pairing VMware Cloud Foundation, Red Hat OpenShift and the IBM watsonx AI and data platform. This combination will enable enterprises to access IBM watsonx in private, on-premises Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments as well as hybrid cloud with watsonx SaaS offerings on IBM Cloud. Mutual clients will be able to utilize IBM watsonx AI capabilities, data management, and in the near future, its governance capabilities across public clouds, virtual private clouds, data centers, and edge sites, helping to enable transparent and explainable AI models.

VMware Private AI is available across hybrid multi-cloud deployment. By using Red Hat OpenShift, clients can now bring watsonx on prem for VMware deployed workloads. Mutual clients will be able to access the full spectrum of the watsonx platform, which offers products to help clients accelerate and scale AI. Clients can optionally use IBM Cloud Satellite to automate and simplify deployment and day two operations of their VMware Private AI with OpenShift environments.

Partnership Committed to Delivering the Value of Multi-cloud

This collaboration was born out of the IBM and VMware Joint Innovation Lab, a co-innovation engine with a dedicated team of engineers who have a mission to build upon the strengths of both companies and solve client problems by bringing new offerings to market. The lab, announced in 2018, has since completed numerous hybrid cloud and AI-focused projects to date.

VMware and IBM plan to develop a validated reference architecture to allow for mutual clients to leverage hybrid cloud and on-prem environments subject to regulation for the training and fine-tuning of ML models – including Large Language Models (LLMs) for generative AI use cases. For example, moving data from a bank or financial institution in one country to a hyperscaler could be prohibited due to regulatory restrictions or the data is too large, and attempting to transfer it from one location to another would be impossible.

IBM Consulting Provides Clients with Expertise in VMware specific solutions and Generative AI

Earlier this year, IBM Consulting established a Center of Excellence for generative AI and now has more than 1,000 consultants with specialized generative AI expertise who are engaging with a global set of clients to drive productivity in IT operations and core business processes like HR or marketing, to elevate their customer experiences and create new business models.

This, combined with IBM Consulting's extensive VMware-specific expertise and service capabilities will help accelerate our clients’ business transformations with enterprise-grade AI on the VMware Private AI reference architecture.

Additionally, for clients looking to modernize and transform their workloads, IBM Consulting plans to integrate IBM watsonx and VMware Private AI services into its proprietary IBM Consulting Cloud Accelerator to help accelerate the cloud transformation process. Once released, this integration will help with reverse engineering, code generation and code conversion while helping to manage the day two operations and beyond for seamless Hybrid Cloud management services from IBM Consulting.

Enabling Clients’ Generative AI Future

The strategic partnership between IBM and VMware aims to enable mutual clients to embrace hybrid cloud through flexible consumption models and modernize their mission-critical workloads. Clients can also benefit from having IBM Consulting as a strategic partner on this journey. By having the choice of when, where, and how to integrate generative AI technologies with VMware Cloud Foundation, enterprises will be empowered to quickly train and deploy custom AI capabilities across their enterprise while retaining control over their data. They also gain a powerful guide to leveraging the best innovations from VMware’s software offerings in a unified stack to deliver a consistent environment integrated with the data and AI capabilities brought by IBM Cloud partner technology.

Disclaimer: VMware and IBM make no guarantee that services announced in preview or beta will become available at a future date. The information in this press release is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract. This article may contain hyperlinks to non-VMware or IBM websites that are created and maintained by third parties who are solely responsible for the content on such websites.