Mainframes

Making hybrid cloud easier with VMware and IBM Systems

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Hybrid clouds are a topic most IT organizations are starting to explore. By 2017 80 percent of enterprises are expected to adopt the hybrid cloud model according to the IDC.

Companies are moving to hybrid clouds because they provide both a public cloud where applications can be developed and deployed quickly and a private cloud that maintains the highest levels of security and availability for business-critical data and processes.

Creating the best combination, though, is often fraught with technical difficulties. The optimal solutions for each part haven’t always worked well together. IBM has developed new solutions with VMware to lower those barriers. These new solutions include:

  • For IBM Power Systems and IBM z Systems there is now VMware vRealize Automation. It is a leading cloud-management platform which can provision and manage virtual machines on both platforms across private and hybrid clouds. Organizations can provision virtualized workloads to a variety of operating systems, including AIX, IBM i, Linux on Power Systems and Linux on z Systems. Support for IBM PowerVM, IBM PowerKVM, IBM z/VM and IBM KVM on z hypervisors is provided.
  • New features integrate IBM Storage technology with VMware. IBM has become a design partner for VMware’s Site Recovery Manager stretch cluster, with IBM Spectrum Virtualize and the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) delivering the data availability required for ongoing operations during planned and unplanned outages. IBM Spectrum Protect builds upon its leadership in data protection with the introduction of a self-service file restore portal which can help VMware data owners recover data without the need for IT intervention.

The integration with VMware vRealize Automation (vRA) is made possible with IBM’s help to make its systems easier to use and combine with other platforms, software and tools. VMware vRA, for example, can work with Power and z Systems because both have been optimized for open-source OpenStack APIs.

New cloud management choices and flexibility

This VMware vRA enablement in turn provides new choices and flexibility. The same cloud management tool many organizations use with their x86 servers now works with Power and z Systems, creating a single operational point of virtualization and cloud management across networks.

These organizations can benefit from streamlined cloud management through vRealize Automation while taking advantage of the advanced capabilities of Power and z to handle large quantities of data and transactions with unmatched levels of speed, security and availability.

These new solutions are just one of many steps IBM is taking to make collaboration easier and assist with seamless connections between different systems. Last year, IBM became the first company to extract intelligence from its traditional storage hardware products, helping clients use them in any form – as a service, as an appliance or as software. IBM is working with more than 140 members of the OpenPOWER foundation to facilitate open development of the POWER processor architecture.

And IBM announced new offerings this year through API Connect and z/OS Connect Enterprise Edition that make it easier to create and manage APIs with z Systems, opening new opportunities for collaboration between applications running on different systems.

When I talk with organizations about their hybrid cloud strategy, I often tell them to start with the business problems they’re trying to solve and then to worry about the technology that will help them meet those challenges. With these new hybrid cloud solutions, technology concerns can truly become an afterthought with IT organizations focusing instead on the best possible solutions.

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