October 4, 2018 By Dustin McNabb 4 min read

IBM Cloud virtual servers help lower the cost of cloud computing

Let’s face it, while today’s cloud technologies help you drive needed innovation and business success, managing the costs associated with increasing cloud usage across your enterprise is essential to keeping your company on the right track. A key factor in getting the most out of every corporate dollar lies in the way you manage your cloud deployment—matching your workloads to the right infrastructure configurations is key to keeping your cloud-related costs in check. At IBM Cloud, we get it. We recognize your need for new capabilities and pricing options that help you effectively manage and optimize your cloud infrastructure. And that’s why we’re excited about today’s announcement. With a variety of new capabilities and lower prices coming soon across IBM Cloud virtual servers, we can better help you lower the cost of cloud computing.

Virtual server price reductions

Significant price reductions for IBM Cloud virtual servers—as much as 35%—will be made available in the coming weeks to customers worldwide. Simple and to the point, this is a huge advantage for those of you trying to offset the cost of server hardware and software to begin with. Besides our lower costs going forward, IBM Cloud virtual servers are still as fast and flexible as ever and can still be ordered and deployed in minutes—multi or single-tenant. They’re fully customizable with options to quickly scale (vertically or horizontally) as your needs grow, and you can also deploy to the same VLANs as your physical servers to spread workloads and maintain interoperability. New virtual server price reductions will be seen across our smallest size 1×1 servers all the way up to our 64×512 servers.

Reserved server instances and cloud subscriptions

IBM Cloud clients will be able to reserve capacity (a set of up to 20 like-sized virtual machines) in advance, with IBM Cloud Reserved server instances. Reserved server instances are available at the POD level for SAN-based storage in multi-tenant environments, are billed in monthly increments, and are ideal for your most sustained workloads. What sets IBM Cloud Reserved server instances apart? Unlike other providers, we guarantee the capacity—in a specific POD and specific IBM Cloud data center—for the term of your contract. And the cost controls you can gain are significant. Sign up for a one-year term and get up to 45% off list pricing or a three-year term for up to 60% off. You can also add IBM Cloud Subscriptions to pre-purchased reserved server instances for up to 72% off list prices. IBM Cloud Reserved server instances will be generally available mid-October 2018.

Suspend billing and one-minute granularity

Sure, you could just terminate your instance when workloads aren’t warranted and spin up a new one when you need it, but the process of reprovisioning and reconfiguring settings is impractical for routine use. Or, you could leave your IBM Cloud virtual servers running, knowing your actual workloads are minimal.

To address this, we designed Suspend Billing for IBM Cloud virtual servers. Coming soon, you’ll be able to temporarily pause your public virtual server and associated billing for core, RAM, port speeds, primary IPs, OS software licensing, and add-on software licensing. All IPs will remain attached to your instance. When you’re ready, power back up again and your public virtual server will be available in two minutes or less.

IBM Cloud took a unique approach to suspend billing and reducing the cost of virtual servers with periodic low usage. While we allowed for suspended billing, we didn’t deallocate your instance from its host. So, while your server is suspended, we make the host resources available for other transient instances, and those resources are quickly reclaimed when you turn your virtual server back on. This means your time to resume is fast, and from a virtual server perspective, it’s a simple reboot. Another unique advantage of suspend billing with IBM Cloud is that all suspend events are measured by the minute, not the hour. This includes both lifecycle and power on/off events. Regardless of whether or not you use the functionality, your invoice is still calculated with one-minute granularity. At the end of each billing cycle, you’re either charged for time used or 25% of the time the instance existed (from provision to reclaim). In other words, you can substantially reduce the cost of low-use virtual server workloads with ease and without doing a thing. Suspend billing for IBM Cloud virtual servers will be generally available mid-October 2018.

Transient server instances

Whether you call them “spot” instances or transient, it’s still all about having the ability to run your flexible workloads on unused capacity at a fraction of the cost. With IBM Cloud Transient virtual server instances, you can save up to 75% over standard hourly instances. This relatively new capability has been available on IBM Cloud balanced, memory, and compute public virtual flavors for quite some time and is now available globally across all IBM Cloud data centers.

The cost control with transient instances is simple. By deploying on IBM Cloud unutilized capacity, we’re able to offer savings thanks to excess capacity. When those resources are needed, transient virtual servers are reclaimed on a first-on, first-off basis. With this in mind, we recommend transient for non-mission critical workloads, like dev/test and batch.

Placement Groups

Building in redundancy at each level of the infrastructure to eliminate any Single Point of Failure (SPOF) is key to high availability. For your workloads running on virtual server instances, that means implementing failover solutions with multiple virtual servers that can automatically take over in the event of an outage. Provisioning multiple virtual servers to address high availability requirements takes special planning to ensure they’re not provisioned on the same physical host—enter Placement Groups for IBM Cloud virtual servers.

Placement Groups give you a measure of control over the host on which a new public virtual server is placed. We’re giving you a new “spread” rule option, which means your virtual servers within a Placement Group will all be spread onto different hosts. You can build a high availability application within a data center knowing that your servers are isolated from each other. Placement Groups with the “spread” rule are now available in IBM Cloud data centers worldwide. Once created, you can provision a new virtual server into your group and guarantee it to not be on the same host as any other virtual servers. And the best part? There’s absolutely no charge for using the Placement Groups feature. Placement Groups for IBM Cloud virtual servers will be generally available mid-October 2018.

We’re excited to announce such a variety of new virtual server capabilities and price savings that give you substantially more power over cloud computing costs. Whether you’re looking for ways to more effectively manage your growing hardware or ways to reduce overall IT overhead, IBM Cloud virtual servers are equipped for the added control you need.

Getting started

If you’re curious about deploying your first workload on IBM Cloud, or you’re an existing customer looking to provision new instances, then be sure to view our limited time promotions for compute, networking, and storage resources—including 50% off virtual servers for 60 days.

To learn more about IBM Cloud virtual servers or to view documentation on provisioning specifics and how-to’s, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/cloud/virtual-servers.

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