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 and technical barriers, along with concerns about business and IT risk have held many organizations back.
On February 24th 2014 at Pulse, IBM announced the new Platform Computing Cloud Service. For some customers, including most Platform LSF and Platform Symphony users, this service may be a game changer. It differs from traditional IaaS offerings in some important respects.
- Rather than relying on just virtual machines, it supports rapidly deployed bare-metal infrastructure addressing a variety of performance, QoS and security concerns
- The service deploys pre-configured ready-to-run distributed computing environments rather than just OS platforms speeding time to productivity
The solution leverages production-proven workload and cluster management tools to provide transparent access to cloud resources according to configurable business policies
By providing a secure, fully supported solution that is somewhere between a PaaS and a SaaS offering, and by offering flexible hourly or monthly billing options, the Platform Computing Cloud Service can provide IT managers with an important new tool to help boost service levels while containing infrastructure related costs.
For a short functional demonstration of the Platform Computing Cloud Service that shows policy-based bursting of CAE workloads from an on-premise Platform LSF cluster to a cluster on IBM SoftLayer, check out the narrated demo here.
You can learn more about the IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service at our website.
Stay tuned for my next space where I will explain the 10 effective ways that IBM Platform Computing can help you save money. Till then, you can connect with me on Twitter @GJSissons or write to me gsissons@.ca.ibm.com.
Gord J. Sissons
Product Marketing Manager - IBM Platform Symphony