Many organizations are wrestling with the economics of cloud computing . This is especially true in High Performance Computing (HPC) and analytics where applications often demand clustered, scaled-out infrastructure. These types of workloads are often “spiky” or unpredictable and the costs associated with infrastructure can be substantial.
As a few examples:
A life sciences firm may need compute capacity only at particular stages in the drug development lifecycle
An engineering firm’s workload may vary depending on their active contract portfolio or the specific nature their projects
An insurance firm may require large amounts of computing power to meet regulatory reporting obligations but only for brief periods at month or quarter end
Provisioning infrastructure to meet periodic peaks is costly. Ideas like peak-shaving, out-sourcing and hybrid clouds are not new but organizations seeking to leverage public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings can run into a variety of technical and business challenges.
How to guarantee quality-of-service (QoS) in multitenant environments
Data management and security
How to manage, meter and throttle the usage of variable cost resources
How to manage commercial software licenses
How to ensure that local assets are fully utilized before tapping assets in the cloud
These business... [Continue Reading]
As virtualization has grown to become a reliable mainstream approach to reducing costs, maintaining or even expanding performance and delivering flexibility to support business needs, it has become strategic to IT organizations around the world. At the same time, Red Hat and IBM have become leaders in Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) development and promotion, and Red Hat has distinguished itself by delivering the KVM hypervisor and corresponding management tools in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.
According to a recent whitepaper by analyst firm IDC entitled “KVM : Open Virtualization Becomes Enterprise Grade” , sponsored by IBM and Red Hat, KVM has made impressive progress since its inclusion in the Linux kernel in 2007, and adoption has grown especially in key use cases such as Linux server consolidation and cloud computing. The IDC whitepaper states that virtual servers outshipped physical servers by a ratio of more than 2:1 in 2012. The firm’s numbers also report that 55% of all installed workloads as of the end of 2011 were virtualized and new workloads are being virtualized at a rate of 67%. IDC also finds that hypervisors competitive to VMware, such as KVM, are offering enterprise customers more and more choice.
Red Hat and IBM’s long collaboration, originally formed around Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has expanded to focus on virtualization as well. The two industry leaders began collaborating around open virtualization many years... [Continue Reading]
In my previous blog , I explained how OpenStack with IBM Platform Resource Scheduler (PRS) features enabled can optimize the infrastructure while helping to meet an applications service level objective. In this blog we will explore how PRS works with the OpenStack native Nova scheduler to optimize the environment. While OpenStack has a default scheduler that allows for the placement of VMs it lacks several key capabilities. Firstly, it only makes decisions based on static information in Nova’s SQL database which is incomplete. Secondly, it schedules resource only once during initial placement. There is no ability to optimize the system at run-time to make decisions to replace VMs as the usage of the environment changes and evolves. OpenStack is flexible enough to allow 3rd party schedulers to fit into the framework to provide enhanced functionality. OpenStack exposes scheduler hints that can be passed at VM creation time either through configuration of the flavor or through the nova boot command. PRS fits seamlessly into the OpenStack environment to provide enhanced value.
PRS enhances OpenStack with superior abilities to place VMs at initial deployment, and re-place VMs on new servers, as conditions change during run time. PRS can support global placement policies across an entire cloud/cluster , as well as on individual application/subsystem/tier deployment. Nova uses the concept of host aggregates to... [Continue Reading]
Gaming has always been a passion ever since I can remember. Right from the days when Mario would be running around to save Princess Toadstool, to the armed military commando show in Contra trying to save the day.
The gaming industry has come a long way. The consoles have improved a great detail. Some analyst predicts that the gaming industry is expected to be a $58 billion . The fact that gaming is growing is supplemented by the recent game releases. Grand Theft Auto V crossed $1 billion in just the first three days. And more recently Call of duty: Ghosts crossed the $1billion mark in just 24Hours .These numbers really speaks about how the entire industry has evolved.
But this blog isn’t all about the games or the sales numbers it has posted. It’s about the technology powering it. With the latest emergence of “Software-Defined”, no doubt the IT Infrastructure need to be simplified, responsive and adaptive !.
A key area where Software Defined networking can help the gaming industry is towards the multiplayer online gaming. Software Defined Networking (SDN ) enables more agile and flexible IT by simplifying the task of connecting applications and network appliances used in cloud, social networking, mobile and big data workloads. Enterprises can achieve success by adapting -- and revolutionizing -- their IT and business processes, leveraging cloud... [Continue Reading]
Effective management and use of virtualized IT resources is a key pillar of the IBM Software Defined Environment (SDE) strategy. Of course, virtualized IT is nothing new and was invented by IBM back in the late 60s and used until today by many organization as part of Virtual Machine/370 and follow on systems. Users and applications were allocated virtual machines that gave them virtual compute, storage and even cool things like virtual printers and punches!
So what is different about the technology and the environment now that brings virtualization into the forefront of enabling a new wave of IT automation for today's demanding mobile , big data & analytics workloads?
Earlier mainframe virtualization environments and the more recent emergent UNIX and x86 virtualization solutions were based on proprietary formats and interfaces. This left anyone trying to implement an IT automation solution on top of these systems to write multiple implementations or use plugins and abstraction layers to hide the differences. Today, with OpenStack receiving wide spread acceptance as an open standard for virtual IT resource management, solution developers can develop to one interface.
In my early days as a programmer, I wrote automation programs to create and configure VM/370 virtual resources in support of diverse applications. This included carving out virtual disks and allocating... [Continue Reading]
IBM Platform Resource Scheduler (PRS) adds powerful scheduling and resource optimization capabilities to OpenStack environments. It leverages the experience of IBM in handling large-scale datacenters for high-performance computing, analytics and big data and applies that to new environments. In this blog we give a flavor of how PRS can work together with OpenStack in the context of an online e-commerce store. We will explore how OpenStack with PRS features enabled can optimize the infrastructure while helping to meet an applications service level objective.
On-line retailers are faced with the challenge of rapidly developing applications that deliver personalized shopping experiences across a variety of devices including web, mobile , tablets and in the future connected cars. We examine how such a retailer might develop applications for the delivery of physical or virtual goods. This structure would be typical of any type of retail environment that uses the internet to offer its users access to an online product catalog that they can browse and search, and ultimately make a purchase decision. Leveraging the information of users historic purchase patterns and their contacts gleaned from social networks like Facebook or Twitter , the system can make recommendations about which products they might be interested in. The following provides a high level view of the application architecture. It is meant to be... [Continue Reading]
Your organization might have deployed a cluster or grid on site. But can these resources always meet your peak demands? For example, what happens when several large projects move into the same simulation and design phase at the same time?
Simply adding hardware to address peak workload requirements, especially if they are short term, is probably not an option. Expanding the physical infrastructure can require significant time, expertise and budget. And the data center may already be maxed out on power, cooling and real estate. What’s the answer?
To address these challenges, at Pulse 2014, IBM announced the IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service , which provides ready-to-run clusters in the SoftLayer cloud that are optimized for compute-intensive technical computing and analytics applications. The Cloud Service comes complete with Platform LSF (SaaS) and Platform Symphony (SaaS) workload management software, dedicated physical machines and the support of the Platform Computing Cloud Operations team.
Organizations that have on-site clusters or grids can quickly address spikes in infrastructure demand by implementing a hybrid cloud. Platform Computing Cloud Service enables these organizations to forward workloads from local infrastructure to a Platform LSF or Platform Symphony cluster in the SoftLayer cloud, quickly accommodating demand without being concerned about security or... [Continue Reading]
The unprecedented explosion of mobile devices, wireless market and mobile apps is all set to redefine how businesses evolve and grow over the coming years. The complexities increase with rapidly changing technologies, empowered consumers and ever rising expectations and demands of a mobile connected generation.
While all of these present immense opportunities for growth, organizations are at the same time facing tremendous challenges and are at pressure to innovate quickly or perish. According to the Forrester study: Mobile Is The New Face Of Engagement , mobile devices put power in the pockets of a billion global consumers. As the mobile devices become smarter, empowered consumers with mobile power are indeed changing the rules of the engagement for organizations.
The new breed of technology savvy consumer expects information and services on demand, measures you against your competitors, makes informed decisions and influences buying behavior. Organizations need to quickly change their strategies to cater to the empowered consumers who want ‘Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow’ capabilities in every sphere of life. The success factors for an organization depend on:
How quickly they can provide innovative mobile solutions to their customers while containing the costs?
How can they ensure same level of support across multiple platforms while maintaining integrity of data?
What can they do... [Continue Reading]
The excitement for Pulse 2014 – The Premier Cloud Conference, has already begun as audiences from across the globe are ready to grace the occasion with their presence on Sunday, February 23rd 2014 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. Are you ready?
Join us at Pulse 2014 as we bring you keynote sessions featuring industry’s best practices, expert panel discussions, hands-on labs demonstrations, networking and executive meetings to address your business needs. The 4-day conference will uncover new growth opportunities and get your mind fully covered in Cloud and other cutting-edge technologies along with industry leaders and peers from around the world . Software Defined Environment (SDE) will be one of the major attractions of Pulse 2014 . IBM’s Systems & Technology Group (STG) has arranged exclusive break-out sessions to explain the role that SDE plays in developing a flexible, responsive and highly adaptive Cloud infrastructure. Leading experts from IBM, Forrester Research and our key customer- Infiniti Red Bull Racing will be present to address the sessions. You can find the complete details of the session here .
There will be an STG Business Partner & Managed Service Providers (MSPs) Summit on Sunday, February 23rd 2014 at the Conference Center, Level 3 . The full-day summit will feature special track to help our partners develop skills, build network and fine-tune their... [Continue Reading]
One of the most sophisticated and effective cyber crime attacks in banking history occurred last week on a grand, global scale. Called a “cashout” or “PIN cashing” scheme, hackers used data stolen from prepaid debit card accounts to withdraw currency from A.T.M.’s located in 24 countries including the US.
“In two precision operations that involved people in more than two dozen countries acting in close coordination and with surgical precision, thieves stole $45 million from thousands of A.T.M.’s in a matter of hours."1 (Full story)
As data breaches make headlines, companies are struggling to detect them before they wreak havoc and cause irreparable damage. Today’s threats underscore the vulnerabilities of financial institutions and corporations large and small. But not every threat is a well-calculated international cyber scheme. In fact, almost half of today’s security breaches can be traced back to the careless act of an employee, contractor or other company insider.
The following profiles show the segmentation of security threats and motivations today.
“The Inadvertent Actor” -- 49% of today’s threats are caused by insiders, employees, contractors, or outsourcers who are inexperienced. They inadvertently cause harm by unwittingly carrying viruses, or posting, sending or losing sensitive data. You might... [Continue Reading]
Simplified and IT infrastructures are not typically spoken together!
And, neither are responsive and adaptive!
Great words! But not easily accomplished when applied to IT infrastructure !
Imagine the possibilities if an entire IT infrastructure as easily programmable and manageable as individual resources. An infrastructure controlled not by hands and hardware, but by software. One in which workloads are orchestrated automatically to ensure the most appropriate resources, and data, would be available to anyone, at any time, from anywhere. Well......this brave new world is not as far out of reach as one might be led to believe .
At Edge 2013 , IBM will highlight how some of our clients are solving their business problems with an approach. For example, an IBM client, created an IT environment for Averna S.p.A, (1) a wine and spirits distributor in Italy, that helped simplify their IT infrastructure leading to improvements data and application availability, connectivity, storage resource efficiency and most importantly, service.
While at Edge2013 , be sure to visit the following sessions to learn how your IT infrastructure and business processes can become:
Simplified. Responsive. Adaptive.
Session Name and Number
Day and Date
End... [Continue Reading]
The rise of cloud computing , big data and demand for IT Infrastructure as a Service , combined with the need to reduce costs and scalability, has pushed data centers to the verge of next transformation . This transformation is the outcome of the pressure public cloud computing relays on IT organizations to compete with cloud providers, as well as the need to use automated processes to manage huge volumes of data. The underlying data centre , mainly the one that is software-defined , will enable business leaders to balance these realities by using automated and integrated IT processes built on open architecture for the flexible management of workloads ranging from big-data analytics to cloud services.
At the upcoming IBM InterConnect 2013 global conference, from October 9 to 11 in Singapore, Jacqueline Woods , IBM Vice President for Growth Solutions, will address the implications of these trends in detail in her exclusive session, “ A New Era of Computing: Are You "Ready Now" To Build A Smarter Enterprise? ”. The session will help data center professionals to understand the best practices and potential of disruptive technologies such as cloud, virtualization, software defined environments, big data, mobile and more to harness them to deliver business value.
The 3-day conference,... [Continue Reading]
IBM recently announced Power Virtualization Center (PowerVC) to simplify virtualization management and extend the capabilities of IBM Power Systems . PowerVC unleashes the strengths of IBM Power Systems core platform virtualization through IBM’s collaboration with OpenStack .
The technologies and broad ecosystem that OpenStack brings are driven by a large community of commercial companies and developers with the mission to provide a ubiquitous Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud management platform. This is a huge step forward that will enable you to increase your utilization of the platform and gain greater agility and responsiveness to the increasing changes and demands being placed on your IT infrastructure .
But Wait, there’s more!
PowerVC is also a key enabler for Power Systems within a Software Defined Environment (SDE). Software defined environments represent a significant and important transformation in IT infrastructure virtualization. A Software Defined Environment uses virtualization to express hardware resources as manageable software entities and to control them with advanced programmed automation.
Resource virtualization has reached the point where it applies to all foundational elements of IT infrastructure: servers , storage and network . These elements can be effectively virtualized to present logical projections of the physical resources they... [Continue Reading]
Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere generally love this time of year. We are on the downhill side of winter and about a month from the beginning of spring. Many of my friends here in the United States are already swinging baseball bats (or at least watching their children swing baseball bats). And at IBM, the smell of Pulse is in the air. Next week in Las Vegas, thousands of our valued clients and trusted partners will engage in a bold discussion on Cloud .
For those who are attending the Pulse Open Cloud Summit on Sunday February 23, or the main Pulse sessions beginning Monday February 24, one speaker of particular interest should be Jamie Thomas , General Manager, IBM Software Defined Systems. Take a moment to follow her on Twitter @tjamieibm .
I was able to get advance copies of both Jamie’s main tent keynote Monday morning at 10am (session KEY-2550A) and her Cloud & Software Defined Environments (SDE) track kickoff Monday afternoon at 1pm (session CET-1463A) . Jamie is a bold thinker and you should expect to walk away with good perspective on Cloud and SDE.
Jamie’s keynote centers on how cloud is changing the way work gets done. The lines between business leaders, developers and IT operations are blurring as they work in concert to compose new business models in a dynamic cloud. You’ll want to pay special attention as Jamie will be making some big announcements... [Continue Reading]
In recent years, Cloud has emerged as an important solution for organizations to ease their computing needs and achieve business objectives. Small and Midsized businesses need to do more with less, and that’s what Cloud is all about. It’s on-demand, always available, and requires almost no setup or capital expense. However, there are number of concerns associated with delivering an effective Cloud architecture. For instance, cost, scalability and security are key considerations when delivering cloud services. Cloud service providers who are building Public and Private Clouds need to keep infrastructure cost down in order to price competitively, and have to ensure stellar security and scalability in multitenant environments. Open technologies like OpenStack , Linux and KVM , help deliver on these requirements for Open Clouds , while small and medium customers are looking for choice, low costs and the opportunity to innovate in their businesses.
Would you like to continue this conversation with your peers to turn your IT practices into profitable realities by adopting Open Clouds? Come join us today at IBM Pulse 2014 –The Premier Global Cloud Conference, as Scott Firth , Director-IBM Software Defined Environments, will explain how IBM enables Cloud Service Providers to build Open Clouds with Open technologies. Martijn van Zoeren, CEO of Dutch Cloud in the Netherlands, and Patrick Fitzgerald, Managing Director of... [Continue Reading]