June 4, 2014 | Written by: Helvio Machado
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IBM Cloud Managed Services Version 1.4 (formerly IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+) has just been announced. I’m glad to be able to share with you the main updates that this version contains, because it brings many new features!
Cloud Managed Services Version 1.4 (V1.4) is divided into two rollout plans. The first wave is planned to happen between mid-April and mid-May, depending on the point of delivery (PoD) location. The second wave is planned to happen between June and the end of July. If you need a precise date for a given Cloud Managed Services location, please contact your IBM account representative and he or she will be able to provide you with this information.
From a market perspective, IBM Cloud Managed Services can now be sold in over 40 countries, including two new places: China and Tunisia.
The first interesting change I would like to share about Cloud Managed Services V1.4 is related to the size of the virtual machines (VM). Before V1.4, the disk size for each VM varied according to its size; basically, the bigger the size of the VM, the larger the disk it included. Starting with this new release, all VM sizes will have an initial disk of 6 4GB. The client can then add disks as needed, up to the size limitation for each platform.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for VMs, which are applied to the operating system (OS) level, have also been updated with this release. These updates reflect the IBM capacity for delivering high service levels. The changes can be seen in the following table:
*SLA applies up to the hypervisor level for groups of 25 or more unmanaged VMs.
One other interesting feature of Cloud Managed Services V1.4 is the disaster recovery capability, which comes in two flavors:
• Cloud Managed Services site-to-site disaster recovery: Client workloads running on a Cloud Managed Services site can be replicated to and become operational on another site with full Cloud Managed Services capabilities. This allows the workloads to be transferred between the sites when a disaster is declared. The service is initially available on two sites in the United States and two in Europe.
• Cloud Managed Services Business Continuity and Resiliency Services (BCRS): Client workloads can be replicated to and remain passive on strategic IBM disaster recovery sites that contain all of the Cloud Managed Services features that usually aren’t critical in a disaster scenario. This is available on some sites around the world. Please consult your IBM account representative for more information on availability.
Flashcopy is another feature that will be available on V1.4. It provides clients the ability to copy or clone data based on user-defined policies for IBM AIX VMs. A good example of a use case for this feature is the cloning of databases in support of application lifecycles (such as creating copies of production data for development or test use). Similarly, clients will also be able to use capture and clone capabilities in order to build a private image catalog of AIX VMs.
From a security perspective, besides all of the features already provided in this area, V1.4 will provide clients the option to have PCI-compliant workloads on some Cloud Managed Services sites in the United States and Europe.
In order to give clients more flexibility, the patch management window will be flexible. That is, the client will be able to choose which day and at what time they want the eight-hour change window to begin. This ability is complementary to one of my previous blog posts, where I talk about patch management on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ (now IBM Cloud Managed Services).
Finally, IBM Cloud Managed Services V1.4 also makes load balancing as a service (LBaaS) available on all Cloud Managed Services sites. This is an interesting and robust hardware-based LBaaS feature that allows clients to be contract-based on a number of connections.
These are the main updates I had to share with you about this new version of Cloud Managed Services. I am very excited about these new capabilities and I’m looking forward to working with all the new features! How are you going to take advantage of them? Let me know by contacting me on Twitter.