Align your data center and cloud strategy using IBM Cloud Pak for Data System

By | 5 minute read | November 4, 2020

Organizations are looking for ways to support fast-changing business needs while keeping overhead to a minimum. Moving IT infrastructure to the cloud is commonly thought to deliver these benefits, but quite a few companies will continue to have their IT infrastructure on premises because moving to the cloud often cannot address the big challenges they face, such as:

  1. Requirements around security and regulatory compliance
  2. Costs
  3. Performance and latency barriers
  4. Lack of flexibility and scalability necessary for the business

In this age of hybrid IT, companies that have barriers to cloud adoption need to modernize infrastructure more urgently than ever. This need is addressed by hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), which injects modernization into any IT infrastructure by providing ease of deployment and management functions. HCI addresses the problems of infrastructure complexity while enabling cloud-like provisioning and access. The maturation of HCI technology and its ability to provide a cloud-like experience on premises has resulted in a strong adoption rate.

By 2023, 70% of enterprises will be running some form of hyperconverged infrastructure, up from less than 30% in 2019, according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

In addition to solving the challenges listed above, HCI also supports emerging cloud native applications. Cloud native technologies empower organizations to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments. They are built on microservice-based architecture using containers and Kubernetes rather than a monolithic architecture. And cloud native does not imply cloud only. HCI, with its support for containers, Kubernetes and cloud native architecture, makes it possible to bring the cloud native experience to on-premises deployments and realize similar benefits.

IBM Cloud Pak® for Data System combines the power of hyperconverged infrastructure with cloud native architecture and is designed to help customers align their data center strategy with their cloud strategy. IBM Cloud Pak for Data System brings together compute, storage and network in an “out of the box” solution. It comes with IBM Cloud Pak for Data, which is a fully-integrated data and AI platform that modernizes how businesses collect, organize and analyze data, and ultimately infuse AI throughout their organizations. By providing a complete cloud native data and AI platform on HCI, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System provides customers the ability to modernize both their infrastructure and their data and AI strategy.  Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of the system as well as the underlying data and AI platform. They include security, support, performance, and cost.

1. Security

IBM Cloud Pak for Data System is built with security in mind, because security remains the top concern for organizations considering adoption of cloud.  In a 2019 survey by Enterprise Service Group, 55% of respondents stated their organizations have moved at least one workload back from the public cloud to reside on premises. The most commonly identified factors behind repatriation activities were data security and compliance issues. Despite ever-increasing cybersecurity budgets, attackers continue to find ways around network defenses. Air gapping remains the best answer to this challenge.

IBM Cloud Pak for Data System helps address this biggest security challenge while providing the cloud native experience. It can be installed, managed and operated in an air gapped environment. As far as data is concerned, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System provides security and protection for both data at rest and data in motion. For data at rest, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System provides multi-level encryption with support for external key store along with self-encrypting NVMe drives (SEDs).  For data in motion, both TLS And SSL protocols are supported.  In addition, the hardware components are both FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) and STIG (Security Technical Implementation Guides) compliant. This ensures that government and federal agencies can confidently adopt IBM Cloud Pak for Data System for their confidential and sensitive data.

2. Support

IBM Cloud Pak for Data System is designed with multiple levels of support to eliminate all the friction points and provide a best-in-class customer experience. It’s installed and fully configured by IBM as part of the standard purchase and support experience. The configuration and setup include both the hyper converged management software and the IBM Cloud Pak for Data platform.  Hardware expansions, software platform upgrades and patches are handled by the IBM Support team whenever the customer is ready for such upgrades. If an issue arises with any of the components—such as a rack, power supply or storage drive—the customer has a single point of contact with our world-class team to make resolution as painless as possible. In addition, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System offers premium support choices, including:

  • Proactive hardware maintenance days
  • Accelerated Value Program (AVP) or Technical Account Manager (TAM) services, wherein a technical expert from IBM Expert Labs will offer guidance and expertise for successful deployments
  • Business-critical services to ensure an onsite presence within four hours

3. Performance

IBM Cloud Pak for Data System comes optimized to support different data and AI workloads on the platform. It has optimized performance through field-programmable gate arrays and offers seamless scalability for both hardware and software. The hardware supports in-place expansion on demand so customers can scale their environments without having to redeploy or reinvest in a different machine. IBM Cloud Pak for Data System also offers elastic scaling of the software platform to take advantage of hardware expansion.

4. Cost of ownership

IBM Cloud Pak for Data System combines the benefits of on-premises deployment and cloud:

  • Elastic scaling
    Sophisticated automation provides cloud-like provisioning in which compute and storage resources can be expanded when needed. Applications can elastically scale up or down from a common resource pool. This ensures maximum resource utilization and eliminates the need for over provisioning or redundant infrastructure, even for mission-critical applications. The end result is significant savings in terms of both management efforts and infrastructure costs.
  • Managed services
    A fully managed experience covers the installation, setup, configuration and upgrades (system and software). In addition, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System includes a choice of three standard experience or outcomes—data modernization, DataOps, automated AI lifecycle—and customizable services that help accelerate the customer journey. Focus on your business by reducing overhead associated with managing the system and application platform.
  • Simplified management and maintenance
    One centralized console can manage all the resources in one place—including compute, storage and network. This eliminates the need to procure multiple off-the-shelf hardware components. With a single point of contact for the support and management experience is greatly simplified.


The flexibility, ease of use and scalability of hyperconverged architecture is driving rapid adoption. IBM Cloud Pak for Data System can bring together the advantages of HCI and a modern data and AI platform to offer a unique value proposition for both the business and IT organizations. As enterprises go through digital transformation to address changing business needs, IBM Cloud Pak for Data System will play a vital role by effectively delivering a modern infrastructure as well as a modern data and AI platform.

Review the Competitive Analysis report  to learn more about how IBM Cloud Pak for Data System stands apart from similar competitive solutions. Or give the platform a try today.