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

Alice Spence
Illustration by Wayne Mills
 

Modernization extends to WebSphere technology with IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty, a microservices-enabled offering. We also have a new licensing model for a WebSphere Application Server called Virtual Processor Core that can drive savings of 60 to 70 percent when moved to POWER8 in the first year.

Modernization is challenging, and we’re trying to make it as comfortable, efficient and risk-free as it can be. IBM Services support is available to consult and guide clients, providing a measured and effective way to help IT teams move forward without affecting their businesses’ mission-critical workloads.

ISM: What’s new with AIX and open source? AS: We’re expanding AIX open-source packages, which are being updated and include timely security fixes. Clients can leverage open-source skills for AIX as well as Linux. For cloud automation, clients can automate chef scripts for AIX. The yum repository now includes package management. Finally, cloud-init and all of its dependencies are now available in the repository and supported and licensed for AIX. All of these options are in addition to 80-plus open-source packages in the IBM AIX repository.

ISM: What do clients gain by choosing the LC models?
AS:
Three LC models exist—one for big data, one for high-performance computing and a two-socket, 1U that’s ideal for environments requiring dense computing, such as a cloud or service provider. All were built in conjunction with the OpenPOWER consortium and come with Red Hat or Ubuntu Linux installed.

These are the lowest-cost, scale-out systems we’ve introduced to date. With discounts taken into account, these systems are less expensive than comparable x86 systems. They’re designed to give Intel* and x86 a run for their money when it comes time to deploy Linux applications on scale-out infrastructure. If those Linux applications are data- or compute-intensive, clients will get more compute power with fewer physical systems than if they ran those same workloads on x86.

Organizations using scale-out systems for cloud will find that IBM supports container-based environments, including a full Docker stack on all of the POWER offerings. We are partnering with the IBM Spectrum Conductor* team to provide enterprise-grade management for Docker-based cloud infrastructure on POWER.

We’ve teamed with Canonical to deliver its Ubuntu OpenStack on POWER. For the first time, you can deploy and run an OpenStack distribution on POWER infrastructure. Canonical’s OpenStack distribution can be accessed in GitHub as part of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS release and can be deployed quickly and easily leveraging LXD containers and Canonical’s powerful application modeling tool, Juju. You can deploy a full OpenStack on an LC system in under an hour. Canonical has also created automation tools for a variety of both open-source and IBM middleware applications.

IBM has a large library of recipes and best-practice cookbooks available on GitHub to automate the configuration and setup of cloud-based workloads such as database as a service through Trove, Ceph storage cluster and Swift. Automation scripts are created in Ansible, an open-source scripting service.

ISM: What about security?
AS:
Security is a top concern, and our best practices address important challenges such as role-based access and operational controls. Centralizing control of on- and off-premises resources is also important. Our partner VMware offers vRealize Automation, which provides a centralized management structure and interface for hybrid cloud, supporting both C model systems through our Cloud PowerVC Manager and also the LC models to any Kernel-based virtual machine hypervisor.

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


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