Cloud computing

Empowering organizations with cloud computing

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From planning to execution

Is your organization planning a cloud project and looking for guidance?

IBM Systems Lab Services is a team of experienced IT consultants that help leaders design, build and deliver IT infrastructure that will help support their specific cloud objectives and aspirations. As part of our core mission, we’ve been working to expand our IBM Cloud capabilities across a broad spectrum, from strategy to implementation, offering end-to-end Systems services that can support clients’ particular needs throughout their cloud evolution.

A growing number of organizations are looking to design their IT infrastructure around a hybrid cloud model, combining the benefits of on-premises and off-premises cloud services in ways that best enable their business processes. In IBM Systems Lab Services, we aim to facilitate so that our clients can meet their cloud project goals successfully, gaining the agility, flexibility and efficiency of enterprise-wide hybrid cloud capabilities.

Our services include formulating cloud strategic plans, defining the right balance between cloud delivery models, translating this into the relevant multiplatform architectures, and implementing the necessary server and storage infrastructure that can make it an operational reality.

Let’s take a closer look at how we can help empower organizations on cloud, from planning to execution.

Cloud strategy

Cloud computing has been a fashionable topic in IT circles for a while now, but just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean you can launch into a cloud project without thinking. Every IT project should begin with careful planning and strategy. IT teams considering a cloud project need to address questions including:

  • What does our business want to achieve with cloud? And why?
  • Why cloud rather than another IT option?
  • What are the best workloads to move to a cloud environment?
  • What’s the right balance between private and public cloud services?
  • What’s the financial case for implementing cloud?
  • What skills will our IT team need to be successful?

For most organizations, hybrid cloud—that is, a blend of public and private cloud—is likely to be the best answer. However, each organization needs to carefully think through these questions at the start.

IBM Systems Lab Services offers a focused Cloud Strategy engagement to help companies answer these questions in the context of their unique business situation, helping them evaluate cloud options, review their existing infrastructure and determine the solution. This approach is modular and can be tailored to specific client needs and focus areas, at the appropriate level of detail.

In my experience, bringing in cloud consulting expertise early in the planning cycle is central to a successful cloud adoption project. Our consultants’ experience can help guide IT teams to find their ideal cloud solutions.

Cloud architecture

Once you’ve got a plan, it’s time to get into the weeds and determine exactly what your new cloud architecture will look like.

Cloud strategy is a high-level plan for how you’d like your cloud environment to evolve. Cloud architecture is about finding the right technical solution for each element of your cloud strategy. Some elements of the cloud architecture relate to the on-premises IT environment, others to how this may seamlessly link with external cloud services. In some cases, the initial cloud capabilities will be focused on application development; in others, they may be supporting cyclical changes in business demand or more efficient data management. This stage of the cloud journey is all about defining and integrating the right technologies, some of which may already be deployed and others which will need to be added. Realistically, not all components of the architecture may be IBM solutions; the objective is to create the planned cloud environment in the most effective and efficient manner, recognizing that existing technology investments cannot be ignored and will need to be leveraged wherever it makes sense to do so.

The Cloud Architecture engagement from IBM Systems Lab Services considers all of these issues and defines a coherent implementable solution that supports the cloud strategic plan, potentially reflecting multiple cloud delivery models across the domains of compute, storage and software services. Not surprisingly, we particularly look at how IBM Power Systems, IBM Z mainframes, IBM LinuxOne and IBM Storage might play a role in creating an adaptable, flexible design for the client’s overall cloud architecture.

Next steps

Once you have a cloud strategy and cloud architecture, you’re ready to move toward implementation and deployment of the relevant technologies. Once again, as a part of our end-to-end capabilities, IBM Systems Lab Services can help with detailed design and implementation planning for the specific IBM platforms involved and subsequently facilitate technology implementation as either a proof of concept or a full-scale production environment. Given our heritage and deep experience over many years, we don’t think anyone is more knowledgeable about IBM Systems technology and better able to install and configure it for the desired cloud capabilities.

In summary, from initial planning to successful execution, IBM Systems Lab Services has the proven expertise to support your cloud project. Contact us today to learn more.

Business Unit Executive, IBM Systems Cloud Computing and Executive Advisory Practice, IBM Systems

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