February 7, 2012 | Written by: Vikram Gulati
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For the past several years, there have been discussions on how to best reduce data center costs. A study in 2011 by Clabby Analytics, an IT research and analysis firm, showed that almost 50% of the data center costs can be attributed to management labor, followed by costs associated with equipment.
I am here to share my thoughts with you about two interesting topics that some of you might not have thought of together. They are: Cloud computing and IBM System z (also known as mainframe).
Here is one way to look at the way technology has evolved: We used to use dumb terminals (also known as green screens) to access applications and data on the mainframe. Fast forward to today and for the most part, we use an Internet browser to access all the applications and data on the Internet. So the green screen has essentially been replaced by the browser. Now, how about the back end? In several organizations, the “back end” has become a server farm, and the sky-rocketing costs of managing the server sprawl has resulted in several customers considering cloud.
The Clabby Analytics study found that System z can help an organization reduce several expenses, including those related to system administration/operations, power/cooling, space/real estate,,and many others. A follow-up Clabby Analytics webcast showed that over three years, an organization could reduce costs by up to 56% by using a System z versus the Intel platform. There are several factors resulting in these benefits:
- Over several decades, IBM system z has perfected the art of reliability, high utilization, virtualizationm and other such capabilities that are so applicable in a cloud. Did you know that a single System z can easily manage thousands of virtual machines running at near 100% utilization and almost zero downtime?
- Additionally, several sophisticated tools around Integrated Service Management are available on System z requiring fewer administrators to manage the hundreds of virtual machines, thus reducing the biggest cost of the data center, labor, mentioned earlier.
Vendors are proud to announce capabilities around cloud for monitoring virtual machines, providing security, automation, and the list goes on. Well, IBM has provided such capabilities through System z for monitoring and the highest levels of security for a while now. Hence, if you have a significant cloud environment in the works or already have a System z in your data center, then there is a big opportunity to save by considering System z as your platform for cloud.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more thoughts about what makes System z a modern platform and the benefits that you can gain by using System z for cloud…stay tuned!