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New IBM Offerings Help Build Private, Public and Hybrid Cloud Infrastructures

Alice Spence
Illustration by Wayne Mills
 

A client looking to leverage a hybrid-cloud structure can greatly benefit from a step-by-step approach. Start by moving noncritical development, test or proof-of-concept workloads into the cloud. That way, clients will begin to see the advantages of cloud in terms of rapid access to compute and pay-per-use options that keep costs low. Clients can experiment in the cloud without any risk to their production infrastructure and then deploy onto their on-premises infrastructure for maximum security and control.

ISM: How does the HMC for systems oversight fit into hybrid cloud?
AS:
POWER brand clients manage their systems with HMC to keep them healthy. The POWER brand is leveraging the IBM Cloud to create a hybrid cloud implementation for HMC management so clients can consolidate their HMC environments onto a single HMC as a service. Called HMC apps as a service, it’s a way for organizations with multiple data centers to consolidate their management and access it in the cloud from any device.

This month, IBM is offering an aggregated HMC view that includes threshold alerting. It will provide predictive trends, performance and utilization. We’ll expand it to include CoD compliance with monitoring, billing and other tools.

ISM: What do the C models provide?
AS:
They’re high-end systems designed to help enterprise clients transition their traditional workloads to cloud and cloud-native architectures. The C models—850C, 870C and 880C—provide a cost-effective way to upgrade existing systems so clients can avail themselves of the POWER8 processing power. Lower costs are achieved by shrinking the hardware footprint; using CoD, whereby clients only pay for hardware when they use it; and reducing licensing costs.

Regarding CoD, C models are configured with additional memory and cores that stay dark until the client needs that compute capacity. When that capacity is required, it can be automatically enabled. The client isn’t charged until those elements are activated, and when that extra capacity is no longer needed, it goes back to an unused state and the client stops paying for it. It’s a pure cloud consumption model with the control, security and comfort of on-premises infrastructure. The extra capacity can be turned on and off through the IBM Cloud PowerVC Manager.

ISM: What about application modernization?
AS:
Power Systems offerings help organizations begin to modernize applications and workloads. The C models come with several built-in features such as Cloud PowerVC Manager. This tool is based on OpenStack APIs and includes IBM solutions to manage and optimize the POWER environment. Its self-service interface allows the client to serve up functions as needed. It also has automatic provisioning of LPARs and basic metering and billing for chargeback to the compute consumers in the environment.

Next, clients will want to modernize workloads. The vast majority of POWER clients run SAP, Oracle, DB2 and WebSphere technology. These tend to be large, perpetually licensed applications that are updated twice a year.

The world is moving toward a new way of building and deploying applications that enables innovative apps and services to be created quickly. Organizations must adopt these new ways to stay competitive, respond rapidly to market demands, and offer new applications and services.

The C models support Linux technology-based applications and Linux LPARs in addition to IBM i and AIX OSes. Clients can access Linux-based POWER8 systems in SoftLayer* technology on the IBM Cloud for 12 months at no charge. These cloud-based systems are eight- or 10-core, bare metal systems that run Ubuntu Linux. Clients can start development and proof-of-concept work on these modernized, open-source applications with no risk to production workloads.

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at savage.shirley@comcast.net.


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