IBM SmartCloud Entry Leverages Power Systems to Propel Your Enterprise Into the Cloud
Illustration by Ars Thanea
If there’s one constant in today’s business computing environment, it’s change. Staying current with new hardware, new software, new types of applications and new ways of delivering services can keep you on your toes.
Internal customers across the enterprise are clamoring to roll out new resource-intensive business services on a seemingly daily basis. And you know that virtualizing computing resources and leveraging cloud capabilities could help address their needs, but you don’t trust the security of the public cloud and you can’t see how you could possibly have the resources to build your own private version. Meanwhile, your board keeps heckling you about your “cloud strategy.”
In an increasingly digital world, beleaguered corporate IT departments face unprecedented pressure to deliver services. In Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, 60 percent of staffers can be classified as mobile knowledge workers—individuals whose jobs center on information and who often work off-site (http://bit.ly/InXcHg). In the United States, that number rises to 70 percent. Meanwhile, service providers are swamped by a 52 percent compound annual growth rate in self-service channels for customers (http://bit.ly/JlEBFg IT departments are desperate for secure, reliable solutions—and cloud computing delivers the answer.
Do More With Less
Cloud infrastructure provides a powerful method for reducing the cost and complexity of delivering IT services. Cloud computing leverages a shared pool of computing resources—a cloud—that can be dynamically accessed and reconfigured, letting companies deploy virtual appliances in a matter of minutes. Instead of maintaining separate islands of computing capacity for departments like finance, marketing, HR and software development, IT departments can gather all of their computing resources into an integrated infrastructure accessible to any user at any time. No longer will enterprises be forced to invest in computing assets, only to find them redundant, scattered across facilities or sitting idle. The cloud allows companies to do more with less. Using automated tools, internal clients can deploy virtual appliances into shared pools of processing power, storage and networking assets at a moment’s notice—then return those resources to the cloud when a project is over. Internal clients get the secure resources they need, system administrators spend less time setting up systems and deploying software, back-end metering capabilities give everyone better visibility into usage, and the company optimizes the return on its IT investment.
With SmartCloud Entry, bank staffers can now deploy a virtual server in one hour as opposed to weeks, a 99% improvement.
That’s the theory, anyway. Converting theory to reality is the challenge. The percentage of CIOs who’ve added cloud computing to their strategy has almost doubled from 2010 levels, to reach 60 percent (www.ibm.com/services/c-suite/cio/study.html). More than half said they view cloud computing as the means of transforming their business with leaner, faster, more agile processes.
That doesn’t mean they’re ready to entirely jettison their traditional IT environments that involve preintegrated systems and standard hardware and software, however. Instead, the goal is to achieve a hybrid environment combining traditional IT with a cloud infrastructure that can deliver dynamic performance and data, and application portability.
IBM recognized the value of the cloud approach years ago and began helping clients worldwide move to a cloud model leveraging the Power Systems* platform. Demand for this service grew quickly.
“After doing several thousand engagements, what we found was that customers had this common set of requirements that was consistent across the deployments,” says Ian Robinson, virtualization product line manager, IBM Systems Software, Systems and Technology Group. “That became the basis of SmartCloud* Entry. We basically productized software that we’d been deploying on a one-off basis in the field. As a result, for an initial release of software, this is very mature, proven code.”
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