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Accessing the Cloud

Open Source AIX
Illustration by Charles Williams

Since its debut more than three decades ago, IBM’s AIX* OS has continuously evolved to meet the changing business needs of large enterprises. It’s now becoming a powerhouse for organizations seeking to leverage the efficiency and flexibility offered by the cloud.

For instance, a large European financial institution is now managing more than 1,500 virtual AIX servers using the PowerVC* cloud management offering, which interoperates with open-source cloud management technologies like OpenStack. This allows system administrators to deploy and configure new virtual servers (LPARs) in minutes. They also can perform software maintenance on many AIX systems as a single task using Chef, an open-source configuration-management automation tooling IBM has added to AIX.

Like this European enterprise, more organizations are moving to cloud deployments. That might entail constructing their own private cloud, accessing an off-premise cloud service or putting together a hybrid cloud that combines off-premise and on-premise elements.

In response, IBM developers have optimized AIX for the cloud. It’s now interoperable with leading open-source automation and virtualization management technologies, which enable organizations to construct hybrid clouds. The introduction of enterprise-grade cloud management and open-source technology on AIX is enabling IBM Power Systems* clients to achieve new levels of operational efficiency, while building upon the OS’s value propositions of performance, reduced downtime, security and investment protection.

In other words, AIX developers are building bridges to the open-source world that allow enterprises to access continuous innovation in cloud and open technologies. Along the way, the OS is continuing to develop innovations of its own.

Opening Power to New Innovations

The ability of AIX clients to access open-source cloud technologies was enhanced with the newest version, AIX 7.2 (which is compatible with previous versions). “That means that customers have no issues with moving their workloads as we keep updating our software,” says Rajesh Rengarajan, vice president, Power* Software Development.

In the past couple of years, IBM Power developers have focused their innovation efforts on: making the OS more compatible with open-source technologies—chiefly in the realms of automation, configuration management, common scripting tools and virtualization management. The extension of PowerVM* and AIX OS-related components allows for a greater diversity of cloud IT infrastructure components.

The IBM PowerVM hypervisor, along with the PowerVC* virtualization manager, exploits and integrates with the OpenStack open-source software platform for cloud computing models. The PowerVC virtulization manages the PowerVM hypervisor, while the northbound PowerVC OpenStack API with cloud facilitates orchestration solutions.

Gene Rebeck is a freelance writer based in Duluth, Minnesota.

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