IT Management

Nov 8 ’13

More and more enterprises are looking to cloud to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. IDG Enterprise recently published “Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report” (available at www.idgenterprise.com/report/cloud-research-2013), reporting that 49 percent of executive-level management look to cloud computing as transformational to their business strategies.

Cloud computing has the potential to drive greater agility, speed and cost savings by providing on-demand access to an elastic pool of shared computing assets—such as applications, servers, storage and networks—that can be rapidly provisioned and released, with minimal service provider interaction, scaled up and down in response to business demands and acquired economically on a pay-per-use basis. However, virtual machine sprawl is an all too common problem and server consolidation tends to suffer from entropy, with new physical servers hosting virtual servers cropping up on an all too constant basis.

The challenge with distributed servers is managing all that across a wide field of machines. IBM zEnterprise systems are fundamentally designed to match workloads with flexible resources—
with a degree of balance and optimization that can't be duplicated with a server farm. IBM zEnterprise systems, essentially, provide fully realized cloud computing environments in a single system; they’re powerful, flexible machines ideally suited for cloud environments. IBM’s cloud computing on zEnterprise is changing how businesses use IT resources to drive down costs, improve service and manage risk.

IBM zEnterprise addresses clients’ major issues by enabling a fit-for-purpose strategy that delivers key functions and features. Fit-for-purpose application deployment optimizes the deployment of workloads by utilizing the best-fit technology for each function and operating environment. So, workloads run where they run best. The zEnterprise extends the reach and strategic role of the mainframe across the enterprise to simplify data center management and reduce the range of skills necessary to do it.

At the core level, IBM zEnterprise virtualization and its shared-everything approach, combined with the industry’s highest levels of security and availability, provide an efficient cloud-deployment model for multitenancy environments.

IBM zEnterprise offers elastic, virtually limitless expansion; shared everything design; secure hybrid computing with centralized management; and is built on open industry standards.

We also see the growth of cloud in a number of key industries, including healthcare, government, finance and banking. For clients such as the City and County of Honolulu, cloud computing has revolutionized the way they deliver services. As a result of the city’s implementation of an IBM Cloud Computing solution on System z, the City and County of Honolulu has been recognized as a top digital city in the U.S.

The City and County of Honolulu sought to create a smarter enterprise and smarter city with enhanced data transparency and data access for its citizens. Honolulu first needed to address several problems that plagued them before they could be well-positioned for serving its citizens better. Honolulu identified its needs and determined how IBM System z could create a foundation to build a smarter Honolulu. The client upgraded to an IBM System zEnterprise 114 server to run its production workloads. The System zEnterprise 114 server is configured with three Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors to handle Linux workload from the pre-existing System z10 BC server, new Linux applications that are being deployed on an ongoing basis and Linux workload that’s being migrated from Dell x86 servers. The client still uses the System z10 BC server to run its disaster recovery solution.

Although Honolulu has been honored as a top digital city in the U.S., the city plans to stay on top of IT innovation with the help of IBM.

Extending IBM’s Commitment to System z Cloud Innovation  

As a strategic investment to accelerate its cloud computing capabilities and further its System z portfolio, IBM acquired CSL International, a leading provider of virtualization management technology for IBM’s zEnterprise system. The acquisition deepens the consolidation and cloud capabilities of IBM zEnterprise technology by offering simplified set up and management of the virtualization environment. We also recently extended our investment in cloud innovation with the introduction of the zEnterprise BC12.