Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud

Starting with the Red Hat OpenShift 4.10 release, we are extending the infrastructure provider integration experience to a new platform, IBM Cloud, as a Technology Preview – specifically on  IBM Cloud VPC IaaS - Virtual Private Cloud.

This allows IBM customers to fully automate the Red Hat OpenShift deployment using installer-provisioned infrastructure on IBM Cloud. Red Hat is planning to support deploying Red Hat OpenShift on user-provisioned infrastructure in a future release.

Managed vs Self-Managed OpenShift on IBM Cloud

Currently, IBM Cloud provides a managed OpenShift service. With today’s announcement, we are providing a self-managed OpenShift option for IBM Cloud.

In a managed deployment, you get a more specialized installation with additional enablement for handling various tasks associated with maintaining an OpenShift cluster:

  • security management
  • compliance management
  • deployment management
  • ongoing lifecycle management

In a self-managed OpenShift deployment, you have more freedom but more responsibility in maintaining your environment, ensuring the infrastructure deployed on the underlying platform stays healthy as well the OpenShift control plane and core components. On the other hand, using managed OpenShift service from IBM Cloud, all this is automatically maintained by IBM and Red Hat’s SRE teams.

You now have options, managed or self-managed, and the choice is yours. You can decide which deployment management model best meets the needs and requirements of your users, customers, and application workloads.

Deploying OpenShift on IBM Cloud using Installer-Provisioned Infrastructure (IPI)

Detailed instructions on how to deploy OpenShift on IBM Cloud are available here. This post provides a high-level overview of the required steps.

To get started, you need an IBM Cloud account with an active subscription. DNS resolution requires the use of IBM Cloud Internet Service (CIS). You'll need to provision a CIS instance prior to the installation. Support for IBM Cloud DNS Services is coming in a future release.

With these prerequisites met, you can start the first phase of the installation by generating the install config.

$ openshift-install create install-config --dir ibmcloud-ocpteam
? SSH Public Key /home/mak/.ssh/
? Platform ibmcloud
? Region eu-gb
? Base Domain (bucluster-internet-services)
? Cluster Name bucluster
? Pull Secret [? for help]
INFO Install-Config created in: ibmcloud-ocpteam

Once the install config is created, you can proceed to the next step. This release only supports manual operation mode of the Cloud Credentials Operator (CCO), therefore, we have some specific actions to perform.

First, you need to inform the installer that the CCO should run in manual mode by updating the install config accordingly. Next, proceed with generating the initial manifests.

$ openshift-install create manifests --dir ibmcloud-ocpteam
INFO Consuming Install Config from target directory
INFO Manifests created in: ibmcloud-ocpteam/manifests and ibmcloud-ocpteam/openshift

Now you should extract all CredentialsRequests (CR) and reconcile them using the "ccoctl" utility. This is the easiest way to handle this process. Detailed instructions can be found here.

With the CRs reconciled and manifests updated, you can proceed with the cluster installation. At this point, the rest of the installation process looks the same as any other provider.

$ openshift-install create cluster --dir ibmcloud-ocpteam
INFO Consuming OpenShift Install (Manifests) from target directory
INFO Consuming Master Machines from target directory
INFO Consuming Worker Machines from target directory
INFO Consuming Common Manifests from target directory
INFO Consuming Openshift Manifests from target directory
INFO Obtaining RHCOS image file
INFO Creating infrastructure resources...            
INFO Waiting up to 20m0s (until 8:08PM) for the Kubernetes API at https://api.xxxxxxx.ibmcloud.xxxxx.xxxx:6443...
INFO API v1.23.3+e419edf up                          
INFO Waiting up to 30m0s (until 8:19PM) for bootstrapping to complete...
INFO Destroying the bootstrap resources...           
INFO Waiting up to 40m0s (until 8:34PM) for the cluster at to initialize...
INFO Waiting up to 10m0s (until 8:14PM) for the openshift-console route to be created...
INFO Install complete!                               
INFO Time elapsed: 45m55s

Once the cluster has been deployed completely, you can check the IBM Cloud Console to see all the resources the installer has created for you..

You can also view and manage your deployed cluster in the Red Hat OpenShift Console.


This new provider integration enables existing or new IBM Cloud customers to explore the usage of OpenShift on IBM Cloud VPC IaaS and take advantage of the benefits offered by the platform.

The integration will be further enhanced in future OpenShift releases to support more features of OpenShift and enable more capabilities of the underlying infrastructure.

We are really excited to see how customers take advantage of this new deployment option and look forward to working with them on their hybrid cloud journey.

Please leave a comment or send us feedback either through your usual Red Hat contacts or as an issue on OpenShift on GitHub.