Top IBM Power Systems myths: Power has no cloud strategy

By | 4 minute read | September 18, 2018

Power Systems Cloud, Power Systems

There are many misconceptions about IBM Power Systems in the marketplace today, and this blog series is all about dispelling some of the top myths. “Power Systems has no cloud strategy” is a popular one and thus a good place to start.

Why the confusion?

Public cloud has garnered more industry attention than private or hybrid cloud solutions in recent years, and when people hear the word cloud they typically think of “public” cloud solutions like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google. Perhaps this is one reason why people have mistakenly thought IBM Power Systems lacks a cloud strategy. But public clouds have never been, and never will be, the only true cloud solution.

Consider a recent survey from RightScale, a leading provider of cloud management software:

  • 81 percent of the enterprises surveyed are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy
  • Organizations surveyed use an average of 4.8 clouds

Many of our competitors started their cloud business focused on public cloud offerings. IBM didn’t. When IBM SmartCloud was introduced in 2011, it provided an enterprise class of cloud computing technologies for building public, private and hybrid cloud solutions. This approach gave IBM the flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing market and build the IBM Cloud offering we have today, combining the best capabilities of public and private clouds.

Power Systems in the cloud was never meant to be a standalone strategy or offering. It’s always been part of a broader strategic framework with multiple deployment capabilities. Within that framework are very solid strategies for all of IBM’s cloud offerings.

IBM Power Systems in the cloud

IBM has been implementing, refining and enhancing its Power Systems cloud strategy for several years. There are Power Systems cloud offerings and solutions we sell, those sold by others and ones we use internally to run our own business.

IBM Power Systems cloud solutions we offer today

  • IBM Cloud Private (ICP), with core components that run on Power Systems
  • IBM cloud managed services for SAP and Oracle applications, run by approximately 180 companies worldwide
  • POWER8, and soon POWER9, in our IBM Cloud (public)
  • IBM Hyperconverged Systems powered by Nutanix
  • IBM Cloud (public) and/or IBM Cloud Private solutions for:
    • PowerAI Base
    • PowerAI Enterprise
    • PowerAI Vision, Watson and Watson Health
    • ML/DL Data Science Experience
    • Watson Studio
    • H2O’s Driverless AI
  • IBM Cloud Private Kubernetes container-based offering for Power Systems-based Hyperledger Fabric and Blockchain

IBM Power Systems cloud solutions provided by others

The cloud service provider (CSP) and managed service provider (MSP) community offers another example of the Power Systems cloud strategy. The following are some examples:

  • Linux on IBM Power Systems­–based cloud offerings from companies like Tencent, Nimbix, Cirrascale and Rackspace
  • RedHat OpenShift and OpenStack support for IBM Power Systems and IBM Cloud Private
  • IBM Power Systems GPU and FPGA accelerated systems from Nimbix for the HPC market
  • AIX on IBM Power Systems–based cloud solutions from SkyTap, LPARBOX and Connectria
  • SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems solutions offered by 30+ cloud providers

IBM Power Systems cloud solutions we use internally

Over 750 IBM internal applications are based on our AIX and Linux on Power Systems technologies. These are all on-premises solutions deployed in a variety of ways and running some of our most important businesses.

Clients are the ultimate affirmation of a strategy

Client stories offer an essential demonstration of how IBM Power Systems is being used in a public, private and hybrid clouds.

Cipher Health migrated from a public cloud environment to an IBM Power Systems–based private cloud that delivered five times the capabilities of its previous cloud-hosted infrastructure at one-half the price. Read the case study for more of this story.

Nimbix, a cloud supercomputing provider, raised its HPC cloud platform to a new level with IBM POWER9. Read the case study.

CGD France created an innovative hybrid cloud application using IBM machine-learning technology and IBM Power Systems. Read the case study.


The myth that Power Systems has no cloud strategy is just that — a myth, which hopefully the long list of examples above has proven. Power Systems is ingrained in the IBM strategic framework that helps us provide the technologies to build the public, private and hybrid cloud solutions our clients need.

When cloud first hit the market, public cloud was perceived as the “be all and end all” for cloud computing, and companies rushed headlong into these environments. But over the past few years many companies have been moving workloads back on premises to private cloud environments. Some have described this as cloud repatriation, while others simply describe it as a natural evolution within the cloud computing paradigm.

Regardless of what you label it, it validates the requirement for robust hybrid multi-cloud environments. It also demonstrates that companies today understand that a one-cloud environment, and in many cases a one-platform architecture, isn’t going to get the job done. According to IDC data, 80 percent of businesses reported that they migrated some of their applications in public to a private cloud or on-premises environment. IBM Cloud, IBM Cloud Private and IBM Power Systems offer a compelling option.

IBM Systems Lab Services has a team of experienced consultants ready to help you gain the agility, flexibility and efficiency benefits of cloud. Reach out to us today if you have questions about building your multi-cloud environment on IBM Power Systems.