Simplify Migration With Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z
With IBM Cloud* Managed Services on IBM Z*, you can execute mission-critical applications in a cloud environment utilizing the latest mainframe technology and expertise.
By John Shuman and Patrick Stanard05/01/2019
With IBM Cloud* Managed Services on IBM Z*, you can execute mission-critical applications in a cloud environment utilizing the latest mainframe technology and expertise. More importantly, this allows the shifting of capital expenses to operating expenses and enables cost savings. This approach allows business leaders to proactively handle the demands of future technology and business needs, and consider important topics like security and scalabil- ity while being housed in a purpose-built IBM data center.
Historically speaking, Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z started as the Shared Host environment for IBM internal and a small number of commercial clients. IBM applied the shared environment principles to large projects like Project Green, which moved thousands of servers to a Linux* on IBM Z virtual server environment. The result was that VM LPARs running Linux on IBM Z and z/OS* LPARs shared the same processors, switches, disk and tape. One site, as a subset of six main sites, could be sharing as many as 70 VM LPARs with 120 z/OS LPARs. Disaster recovery and continuous availability solutions like Global Mirror and Metro Mirror were also part of the mix.
What's the Value?
The biggest attraction behind IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z is the ability to reduce capital expenditures; shifting capital expenses to operating expenses is a money saver on many fronts. Scalability is another consideration, as the environment allows for spinning up or spinning down based on client demand. Accountants love it due to the lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Clients no longer have to worry about equipment, so things like refresh costs, maintenance and manpower are handled by the service.
The IBM Z platform also brings zero downtime and bulletproof security to the table. A shortage of mainframe skills is no longer a consideration as that’s handled by IBM and not the client. Clients can focus completely on their core business and less on the day-to-day “equipment based” operations. With z14*, IBM’s biggest and best box, clients are automatically participating in modernization topics, including pervasive encryption, IBM Z Data Compression, Linux on IBM Z and the ability to offload processing to less expensive specialty engines.
Addressing Business Issues
IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z handles a variety of business-related issues. Automation is one issue that many IT organizations struggle with due to the manpower and expertise required for delivering solid automation routines. Virtualization is also important for creating virtualized environments.
Hand-in-hand with virtualization are standardization and provisioning. IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z has standards in place to easily handle growth in virtualization and provisioning. It also combats business concerns surrounding scalability, performance, recovery, security, backup and restore, and governance. IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z is well positioned to handle key issues in the data center and is pivotal to solid performance in the cloud.
Cloud migrations can be challenging, to say the least, but a number of key recommendations should be explored:
A client’s expectations need to be set early in the engagement, especially during the technical solution review. No “bags of goods” need to be sold here. Make sure that the complete solution is fully understood on both ends of the agreement.
The contract and language should be clear as far as scope and supporting language so all parties can easily understand the definition of success. As any good architecture would dictate, make sure to identify, document and track the requirements, issues, and actions that need to be understood. Remember, communication is key to a successful cloud engagement.
The IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z team should be heavily involved and involved often to become a part of the total team. Key resources should be identified as discussed before the contract is signed to ensure that the proper skillsets will be in place.
A solid project manager must be in place to drive the entire effort, and some initiatives will require more than one. Communication needs to occur at a high level as well to make sure executive buy-in is happy with the plan and progress. Approval processes need to be followed to track costs and expenditures.
Explore the concept of “latency” which is critical to determine the relationship between distributed applications and their access to the mainframe. Once that’s understood, determine whether or not moving the mainframe farther away could cause performance issues.
Simplifying Cloud Migration
While cloud migrations can be complex and entail many different considerations, IBM Cloud Managed Services on IBM Z can simplify this process by reducing capital expenditures, maintaining zero downtime and providing a turnkey and secure solution to running your data center.
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