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Vissensa Ltd. Deploys an IBM Enterprise Cloud System to Relieve IT Burdens


Steve Groom CEO, Vissensa Ltd. - Photo by Stuart Conway

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Customer: Vissensa Ltd.
Headquarters: Fleet, England
Business: Cloud services
Challenge: Supporting an ever-increasing client base
Solution: Eschewing a scale-out approach in favor of deploying an IBM Enterprise Cloud System to both host and manage a diverse range of computing platforms and OSs
Hardware: An IBM Enterprise Cloud System, an IBM Flex System, an IBM BladeCenter, an IBM Power Systems server, several IBM System x servers, an IBM Storwize V7000 and an IBM DS8000
Software: IBM PowerVM, IBM z/VM, IBM Linux on z Systems, IBM Backup and Restore Manager for z/VM, IBM Operations Manager for z/VM, IBM Tivoli OMEGAMON XE on z/VM and Linux, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, IBM Wave for z/VM and IBM Cloud Orchestrator

From a comfy hammock, clouds appear to be almost solid formations, flowing with the winds. But upon closer inspection, they’re much more complex, comprised of a kaleidoscope of water droplets or ice crystals, depending upon meteorological conditions.

The same holds with cloud computing. From a user’s point of view, the composition of a cloud may seem monolithic, with one system handling all of the computing needs. The background details, however, reveal much more, with clouds often including multiple applications and OSs, diverse physical and virtual servers, and an array of storage devices.

Tying all of these components together to function as a whole may seem like no easy task unless, of course, the proper tools have been deployed to span all cloud components. In the case of Vissensa Ltd., the most crucial of those tools is the IBM Enterprise Cloud System.

Bolstered by various hardware and software solutions, the Enterprise Cloud System acts as the linchpin for Vissensa’s capability to deliver around-the-clock cloud services to its many and varied clients. Without it and its closely intertwined supporting systems, this service wouldn’t be available to customers who would have to manage and pay for their own data centers and perhaps miss out on critical competitive opportunities.

A Swinging Pendulum

Based in Fleet, England, Vissensa has a wide range of clients representing a number of industries including finance, pharmaceutical research, green-energy initiatives, local government and schools. To meet their computing requirements, the organization offers several tiers of services.

Vissensa’s CEO Steve Groom describes this as a swinging pendulum of sorts, with some clients on one end needing mere hand-holding—whether their equipment is located at their own sites or at Vissensa’s—and others on the opposite side requiring complete end-to-end computing support.

“If customers to the left of the pendulum have their own IT equipment, we can either remotely support or locally host it for them,” he says. “But as the pendulum swings to the right, we become increasingly involved, moving from simple support and hosting to handling everything for them. Some firms, for example, may not want to deal with IT at all, so they’ll describe their computing needs to us and we’ll meet them, putting them in an environment that exactly matches their requirements.”

All of these tiering scenarios can be described as some form of cloud computing. For example, Vissensa can remotely access customer-hosted systems to provision them. Similarly, Vissensa-hosted customers can access their systems remotely, with Vissensa acting as the conduit. Those on the other end of the pendulum, who are relying solely on behind-the-scenes cloud, can trust Vissensa to support everything for them. All they have to do is log in to a portal.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at jjutsler@provide.net.


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