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Want to install a fully custom workload on IBM Cloud VPC Servers before everyone else? You can try the Beta version for Generic OS now.

By MERYL VERAMONTI posted Tue April 02, 2024 01:10 PM


Want to install a fully custom workload on IBM Cloud VPC Servers before everyone else? You can try the Beta version for Generic OS now. 

Operating systems and images don’t last forever. End-of-life support is an inevitable experience we all face from time-to-time across our on-premises and cloud server deployments. At IBM Cloud, we understand that not all clients are able to quickly adapt to the latest versions as fast as they’d like due to several reasons, be it resource limitations in staff, skills, time, or budget.

Generic OS on IBM Cloud Bare Metal and Virtual Servers for VPC offers a new path for our clients to port solutions from IBM Cloud Classic Infrastructure, on-premises labs, or silos to IBM Cloud VPC, and it’s currently in Beta – available to clients who’d like to try it at no-cost.

Is the Generic OS Beta right for me?

Generic OS and Network Boot provides dev-ops and architects with the ability to deploy unsupported operating systems in IBM Cloud VPC. It’s designed to help you migrate quickly to IBM Cloud VPC by removing the barrier of application modernization so you can concentrate on modernizing the underlying infrastructure first.

Let’s break down some of your options and features. Your baseline compute would run on IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers for VPC or IBM Cloud Virtual Servers for VPC. These are our developer-friendly compute platforms with fast-provisioning, high network speeds and the most secure, software-defined resources available inside IBM Cloud.

The Generic-OS feature provides you with two new provisioning options:

1.   Generic OS (using a custom image not based on a supported stock OS): This feature is available for both bare metal and virtual server deployments on IBM Cloud VPC. When the provisioner sees this OS type, it writes the raw image data to the boot disk without any OS specific modifications. You create a custom image selecting 'generic-operating-system-amd64' as the operating system. The cloud-init disk will continue to be created.

2.   Network Boot (using a network booted image from your own image server): This feature is only available for bare metal server deployments on IBM Cloud VPC. A new stock image based on this new OS type enables iPXE network boot from a user provided script or URL. This allows you to perform an HTTP based network install – or even boot diskless.

From a client-management perspective, you’re responsible for OS level up, including but not limited to licensing, creation, maintenance, and updates to your Generic OS enabled custom image(s). Procedures for debugging provisions and infrastructure level issues, like checking user configuration and access, can be addressed through standard technical support channels.

Overall, Generic OS and Network Boot Beta access is a smart, no-cost entry point to try our premium IBM Cloud VPC networking construct for a variety of workload requirements, including:

Custom software: It’s application freedom for the most technical of audiences, enabling your homebrew Linux software stacks or fully custom operating systems with the scale of on-demand cloud compute, storage, and networking.

Legacy workloads: For every out-of-support software exists a virtual server or backroom server that needs to stay online until the time is right for a change. We hear you. Remove your worry and port your legacy application to a virtual or bare metal server to help reduce your risk and improve management across your silos.

BYOL: Increase your dev/test, demos, and partner-software development output through IBM Cloud VPC while avoiding additional licensing costs by using BYOL custom images.

Getting started

Do you have an IBM Cloud account? You’ll need one to establish your Beta program participation. Once you have an account, you can contact our Beta program support team so we can learn about your specific workload requirements and ensure it’s a good fit. From there, you’ll receive a formal acceptance email and be “allow-listed” with location deployment access.

Learn more

IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers for VPC with Generic-OS is currently in Beta and available for deployment across all IBM Cloud VPC Data Centers. Our General Availability release will take place in May 2025 across all IBM Cloud VPC Data Centers.

Visit our IBM Cloud documentation pages to dig deeper into IBM Cloud VPC compute solutions and tutorials.

Visit our IBM Cloud VPC solutions page to learn more about all IBM Cloud VPC offerings.

Get USD 1,000 in IBM Cloud credits: If you’re curious about deploying your first workload on IBM Cloud VPC, or you’re an existing customer looking to provision new workloads, then be sure to use our limited time promotion for IBM Cloud VPC. Get USD 1,000 in credits to use toward any of your new VPC resources—including all compute, network and storage components with promo code VPC1000 inside the bare metal or virtual server catalog provision experience.