The advantages of adopting hybrid cloud with IBM Power Systems
IBM Power Systems plus IBM Cloud technology offers users a host of valuable business benefits, from scaling out rapidly to full transparency of costs and the ability to test and develop new projects without financial or operational risk
There is no one-cloud-fits-all option. While the possibilities are endless, the cloud journey can be daunting for enterprises which have unique regulatory and data requirements, extensive IT investments in their on-premise infrastructure, and are currently running anywhere from five to 15 different mission-critical workloads. This is why businesses need to consider a hybrid cloud approach, which helps them to build, deploy and manage applications and data running on-premise, in private clouds and in public clouds.
With a combination of innovative technology and industry expertise – underpinned with security and a focus on open solutions – IBM Cloud is already helping to move some of the world’s largest enterprises into the next chapter of their cloud journey. Now, users of IBM Power Systems can more easily take part in their own hybrid cloud journey with IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers on IBM Cloud.
IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers on IBM Cloud deliver IBM Power9 virtual machines, with IBM AIX and IBM i, on the IBM Cloud public infrastructure-as-service platform. It’s the best of IBM Power and the best of IBM Cloud in one convenient, economical, self-managed, pay-as-you-use environment.
There are significant business benefits driving this IBM Power Systems on IBM Cloud hybrid approach, which address the different challenges organisations face as they expand their IT infrastructure beyond on-premise to meet the demands of the digital economy.
1. A pathway to hybrid cloud
Users of IBM Power Systems have historically relied on in-house infrastructure for the raw performance of Power-based processors. But they have been held back from accessing higher levels of flexibility, agility and efficiency because of obstacles to on-premise growth, such as enormous capital outlay, management hassles and risk. IBM Power Systems Virtual Servers on IBM Cloud now offer an opportunity to realise those benefits, and to help ensure a more seamless and smoother path to cloud based on a hybrid cloud decision framework.
IBM Power Systems users can enjoy fast, self-service provisioning, flexible management both on-premise and off-premise, with access to IBM Cloud services. A pricing model based on pay-as-you-use billing provides full transparency of costs and ensures that organisations know exactly what they are paying for.
Hybrid cloud offers many ancillary benefits – described below – but one that features heavily in any business case is the ability to scale up and out to meet demand quickly and economically.
“Organisations can turn on provision and get capacity instantly with faster time to value. It is about making IT proactive. It makes sense for organisations that want to modernise their applications to be better equipped for a hybrid multicloud environment,” says Meryl Veramonti, portfolio marketing manager for IBM Cloud.
“IBM Power Systems users have relied on their on-premise infrastructure and their own datacentres and IT setups. They want to modernise and expand their cloud capabilities, but do not want to pay a huge upfront cost for full migration. Now they don’t have to, because they have a direct path.”
IBM continues to innovate with capabilities that lend themselves towards not only a hybrid cloud model but a hybrid multicloud environment model. With the latest tooling around IBM’s multicloud management, users are able to leverage this offering to develop apps once, and run them anywhere on an open platform architected for their choice of private and public clouds.
2. Modernising infrastructure while maintaining expertise
A proactive and modern IT infrastructure is within easy reach. The migration path to hybrid cloud offers IBM Power Systems users a cost-effective and efficient on-ramp to the cloud in a way that mitigates risk, because they don’t have to change the operating system or the environment with which they are familiar.
“They can keep the operating system and the operating environment and dip their toes in the cloud without a huge upfront cost because there is a pay-as you-go model,” says Veramonti. “There is a head of steam for hybrid cloud because organisations are aware of the benefits, but they want to know exactly how it will work for them and whether they can still do what they do on-premise.”
An organisation that does not want to shift its entire environment to the cloud, but does want to explore how cloud can benefit their business, is ideally served by IBM Cloud’s migration path to hybrid cloud.
This level of assurance that what works on-premise will work the same way in the cloud is key for IBM’s AIX and IBM i client base.
“IBM Power Systems have a very specific infrastructure: the build is unique and moving or extending some of their environment to the IBM Cloud is just
a way to build out from on-premise. It presents a similar environment to their home environment,” says José Rafael Paez, worldwide offering manager for IBM Systems.
3. Cost-effective, low-risk capacity
Organisations that have run into obstacles regarding capacity and wish to use cloud to expand without any costly upfront investment in more equipment or a huge upgrade programme can now reap the rewards.
Choosing IBM Cloud makes sense for IBM Power Systems users that understandably want to avoid unnecessary risk in migrating critical IT infrastructure.
“Historically, moving on-premise infrastructure to the cloud is not an easy switch and is a big learning curve,” says Paez. “The ease of transformation and the knowledge that the migration will work compared with choosing a competitor’s cloud platform, which can introduce risk, is a top business benefit for choosing IBM Cloud for risk-averse people.”
Veramonti cites the example of a manufacturing company that didn’t want to spend more money on outdated on-premise equipment. “They wanted their infrastructure to work with the cloud to gain more power and memory without risking porting everything over to a new environment,” she says.
4. Effective, lower-cost maintenance
Another attractive proposition for the manufacturing firm in moving to hybrid cloud was the reduction in maintenance costs for workloads running in the IBM Cloud.
“The manufacturer was in charge of maintaining everything on-premise, but in the cloud IBM takes care of maintenance because it is all off-premise,” says Veramonti.
The ease of management, as well as the reduction in associated costs, mean that an organisation can rechannel IT resources to focus on innovation rather than keeping the lights on.
“Organisations that are completely deployed on-premise have to spend a lot of money on hardware, electricity, cooling and operations teams to keep information running with enterprise uptime. Clients using IBM Cloud’s tier-one datacentre will have access to IBM capability and backbone and a high-end infrastructure,” adds Paez.
As well as the flexibility that comes with the guaranteed high performance of IBM Cloud without the maintenance headache, organisations are assured that migration offers an opportunity to make their data more secure.
5. Security and business continuity
Many organisations are rightly concerned about security and business continuity in the digital age, when data, the lifeblood of any organisation, must be made available to the business 24/7 and be protected from outages, cyber attacks and compromises. There are clear business benefits from strengthening disaster recovery by moving to hybrid cloud, and IBM Power Systems users are keen to capitalise on the IBM Cloud for this reason.
“A cloud strategy for disaster recovery has minimal risk by ensuring two locations – one on-premise and one as backup in the cloud,” says Veramonti.
This is an important business advantage for all IBM Power Systems users, big and small. They can enhance business continuity planning and de-risk their on-premise environment.
“Organisations want geo-diversity and by deploying in IBM Cloud datacentres they can gain that diversity,” says Michael Daubman, worldwide offering manager for IBM Cloud Infrastructure Services, IBM Cloud and Cognitive Software.
Daubman points out that IBM Cloud has datacentres with the IBM Power Systems Virtual Server offering in the US, Germany, and soon in many other countries (including the UK in early 2020), which provides organisations with high availability and the opportunity to capitalise on a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy.
6. Development and testing on the latest technology
Another business benefit is that organisations gain access to up-to-date hardware technology, such as the latest IBM Power9 servers. If they want to develop and test software, this is an attractive proposition.
Developing and testing applications is fundamental for the future of any organisation and its ability to innovate. Understandably, many are hesitant about devoting finite on-premise resources to projects that have an inherent risk. A hybrid cloud strategy therefore makes economic sense. The business can use IBM Cloud to develop and test new projects without committing large-scale resources on something that is yet to be proven.
Organisations can get access to new hardware and can develop and test in a flexible cloud model. Power10 will come quickly and when it does we’ll leverage it in the cloud,” says Daubman
From a skills perspective, organisations can also benefit from the best minds behind IBM Cloud. “Who knows Power10 better than the people who build the hardware platform?” he adds
Operational risk is reduced and organisations get access to best-practice architecture and the flexibility provided by IBM Cloud.
“Flexibility is assured because provisioning is managed through a set of application programming interfaces and there is no need to buy and drop in new hardware,” explains Daubman.
The choice of cloud provider is critical to the success of any business pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy; IBM Power Systems users can be reassured that by using their existing relationship with IBM, they have a quality cloud provider with a global reach of datacentres, skills and network.
7. Transparent pay-as-you-go pricing
Risk mitigation in IBM Cloud extends to an openness regarding price.
“IBM Power Systems on IBM Cloud has transparent pricing. There is no risk or upfront cost. It is 100% owned and operated by IBM Cloud. We have global datacentres across the cloud and data never leaves our hands,” says Veramonti.
Pricing models are not only transparent, but can be customised for individual organisations to suit their specific needs.
“Organisations are charged hourly and billed monthly. They can turn on or turn off cloud resources depending on their needs – for example, Black Friday for a retailer or a seasonal spike in demand for Christmas where there is an influx of data that requires backup. The applications can then be turned off after the holiday season,” says Veramonti.
In the digital economy, this level of flexibility is an especially attractive business benefit. “You do not have to pre-buy capacity for your peak, which makes sense from a cost, management and operational perspective,” says Daubman.
8. Support from IBM Cloud
Demand for skilled IT professionals is increasing as business becomes more data driven. By adopting a hybrid cloud strategy, IBM Power Systems users can access IBM Cloud’s skilled teams around the globe, as well as state-of-the art technology to meet all their needs – from scaling out quickly to managing costs, and being able to test and develop without exposure to financial and operational risk.
These benefits make a compelling case for IBM Power Systems users to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy to future-proof their business. Increasingly, keeping all systems on-premise is becoming a business risk.
Migrating to IBM Cloud makes sense for IBM clients that want to:
- Grow their business;
- Deploy workloads where and when they want them in an IBM Cloud datacentre;
- Deploy a resilient, cloud-based disaster recovery strategy;
- Choose a deployment that is fully customisable;
- Adopt cloud services to gain access to all the skills, services and added value that the global IBM Cloud network can provide.