On Wednesday, October 22, IBM will host its sixth Video Debates series: What’s Next for IT Infrastructure?, that brings together top IT experts to discuss the latest topics and trends on cloud, data and security as they relate to infrastructure.
During the video debate, the panelists will probe, discuss and debate the question, “Does IT infrastructure determine business success?” The debate will feature leading panelists including Joe Clabby, Adien Bowles, Anna Topol and will be moderated by Judith Hurwitz, a leading technology strategist. All of these experts will debate the role of IT infrastructure, how a company’s IT infrastructure is key to managing today’s quickly changing world and more.
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity. Register now and join us on Wednesday October 22nd, 2014 at 1 PM EDT to hear from leading IT infrastructure experts. Be sure to follow the conversation at #IMdebate to keep track of the latest updates around the debate.
Here are detailed profiles of our moderator and panelists:
Judith Hurwitz: President and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, LLC – Moderator
Judith leads Hurwitz & Associates, LLC, a research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology including big data, cloud computing, service management, software development, computing management and security. She is a technology strategist, thought leader and author. Judith has... [Continue Reading]
Today, the IT infrastructure matters more than ever to clients across industries and geographies. The emergence of cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security technology bringing new challenges and new opportunities for organizations – large, medium or small. By having the right infrastructure in place, clients are able to concentrate on many other activities to jump-start new growth and profitability for their businesses.
For instance, click on this infographic to see the roles cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security solutions play in creating a robust, innovative infrastructure within an organization. The infographic is an ideal example which details how the right infrastructure frees the retailer to scale with demand and drive business growth.
What about you? Share your infrastructure related experience with us. Join the conversation at #infrastructurematters or follow @IBMSDE on Twitter.
IBM Systems & Technology Group
As business evolves so is the role of the CIO (Chief Information Officer). Today’s CIO is in an ideal position to take increasing responsibility and control. The CIO is one of the important hubs of decision-making across organizations today. I spend a good amount of my time speaking to CIOs across industries, listening to what challenges they face and how those challenges have changed since the role came into its real days about 10 years ago.
As technology advancements like cloud , analytics and cognitive computing have increased their impact across today’s organizations, the role of the CIO has evolved along with it. Most of the CIOs I speak with are uniquely qualified to lead a cloud strategy; this is because of their intricate knowledge of both IT and business. While in-depth understanding of technology is critical, no less important is the ability to articulate the business impacts and opportunities of cloud computing and big data to the C-suite. CIOs should prudently evaluate all IT capabilities, organizational design, and create a roadmap for change to identify new opportunities that will deliver the best return on investment aligned with their business strategy and mission needs. Increasingly, I have observed that finding the right platform to learn is the top priority for CIOs.
The CIO Washington D.C. Summit is a unique opportunity for the greatest IT thinkers to collaborate on current industry challenges... [Continue Reading]
IT infrastructure matters more than ever. The need to develop and manage a simplified, adaptive and responsive infrastructure has emerged as a top priority for organizations today. Let’s take a look at some of the common infrastructure challenges as well as the strategic actions organizations are taking to create a robust IT infrastructure:
There’s no room for failure
It’s critical that organizations make the right decisions about IT environments—decisions that don’t compromise the business or put it at risk for financial or security failure. As demands on IT infrastructure continue to increase, organizations that invest now in a diverse cloud infrastructure built on openechnologies will find they have agility and choice as well as the ability to speed business transformation.
Organizations can act strategically by:
Carefully matching applications to optimal sets of compute, storage and network resources
Implementing tools that can manage heterogeneous environments securely and efficiently
Innovate or fall behind
Getting better insights faster from structured and unstructured data can bring tremendous value to any organization, but most aren’t prepared to address big data and analytics challenges such as providing consistent and secure interfaces or getting the right data to the right people.
Organizations can act strategically by:
Choosing... [Continue Reading]
Today’s IT organizations face immense challenges. We often hear our clients telling us that in order to compete they must invest in their IT infrastructures to improve customer service, enable better decisions through improved use of data and enhance collaboration across their value chain. It means IT infrastructure matters - not just to IT but fundamentally to business.
But how to make sure that the infrastructure choice that we make is right? It doesn’t have to be hard! Here are top 6 infrastructure choices that can solve business challenges:
1. Implement real-time analytics: Today's infrastructures need to build data analytics and intelligence into their daily operations and transactions.
2. Empower employees with access to customer information: Your infrastructure needs to enable shared (and secure!) access to all data, no matter what type it is or where it resides.
3. Accelerate reaction time: When you react quickly to situations (enabled by Big Data & Analytics ), you can create up to 33% higher revenue growth.
4. Gain continuous access to essential tools: Today's leading companies are 2.4x more likely to use cloud infrastructure solutions to reinvent customer relationships. Cloud brings you scalability and reliability, enabling continuous access to applications.
5. ... [Continue Reading]
Recently, Thoughtsoncloud.com published a very interesting blog by Mike McGuire, Senior IT Architect for IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, which talks about choosing between managed and unmanaged IaaS . According to Mike, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) typically comes in one of two forms: managed or unmanaged. Obviously, some providers also offer something in between. Usually, a provider will tend to specialize in one, although some providers can offer both. For instance, the IBM Cloud Managed Services IaaS offering specializes in managed servers, but can also offer unmanaged servers as well.
Further, Mike helps our readers to understand the key differences between the two.
Features that we will commonly find with a managed cloud server:
Operating system deployment and management
Monitoring (and action in the event of an incident)
Backup and restore services
Disaster recovery and storage services
Limited access to the operating system, or controlled access
Operating system-based service level agreements (SLAs)
Features that we will commonly find with an unmanaged cloud server:
Operating system deployment
Complete control of the operating system
Hypervisor or infrastructure-only SLAs
“This list is not exhaustive, nor does it accurately describe every cloud... [Continue Reading]
Recently, the thoughtsoncloud.com published a very interesting article: Three ways to stay up to date while working in IT , featuring Oscar Vega Rodriguez, Cloud Linux System Administrator for IBM Smart Cloud Application Services. The article explains the three influential ways to keep abreast with the latest developments in cloud computing while working in IT. Let’s take a look at those three recommendations explained by Oscar to follow in order to stay informed:
We can browse many websites, blogs and even mobile applications that are available that can help us understand new technologies emerging in the cloud world. Oscar use a browser add-on named Feedly and a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android named Zite . They are like intelligent magazines that let us find the most frequently read articles on a specific topic. We can favorite topics like cloud computing, IBM Cloud, OpenStack, KVM, IBM Bluemix and more.
2. Get your hands dirty:
This has to do with some practical jobs like - if we want to get familiar with OpenStack , it would be a good idea to start reading on how to set up an environment. We would find out what architecture requirements are needed (hardware specs, most recommended virtualization client) and get to know all the services the solution offers, like dashboard (Horizon), compute (Nova) and image (Glance) in the last OpenStack release, IceHouse. Once we have... [Continue Reading]
Software-defined is emerging as a hot topic among organizations as a means to transform data centers into an IT facility focused on increasing the agility and speed at which they support their application and increase developer productivity. Now that software-defined has become the everyday talk for many IT professionals and business leaders, we have identified some of the most common questions they are asking about software-defined environments. And to help answer those questions in a more effective way, I recently interviewed one of the most influential personalities in a software-defined world: Matt Hogstrom , who is also a Distinguished Engineer and a Chief Technology Officer at IBM. Here are his excerpts:
Q.1) We’re seeing different software-defined terms being used in the industry like software-defined data center, software-defined infrastructure, etc. What does IBM mean when it comes to software-defined?
Matt: Software-defined at its core means a programmatic access to infrastructure. Over the past few years, the industry has shifted from traditional IT to an API driven consumption model of infrastructure. At IBM, we are considering the consumers, as well as the providers of programmatic infrastructure and use the term Software Defined Environment (SDE) to refer to the architecture. The Software Defined Environment framework transforms static infrastructure into a dynamic, constantly optimized, workload-aware virtualized... [Continue Reading]
IBM’s newly released Institute of Business Value study - IT infrastructure conversation: New content, new participants, new tone, highlighted some of the mind-boggling findings on why IT infrastructure matters. Based on the responses from over 750 senior executives from 19 industries across 18 countries, the study reveals how confident technology leaders are about their IT infrastructure, what worries them the most and what they are doing to make their IT infrastructure fit for the future while capitalizing on the new – but challenging – opportunities for growth. Some of the key findings of the study include:
71 percent of organizations believe IT infrastructure enables a competitive advantage
Two-thirds of organizations are planning to increase IT infrastructure investment spending
Less than one-third of IT executives believe they are effectively collaborating with the business to provide IT infrastructure solutions
Indeed, the conversation about the IT infrastructure is changing. You can register for the study here .
To continue the conversation, we invite you to join us for the exclusive Twitter #infrachat happening live tomorrow, Wednesday August 13 at 11 AM EDT. Hosted by @IBMSmrtrCmptng , the #infrachat will look at how IT infrastructure is changing organizations today and in the future. The panelists include industry leading experts - John Easton , Distinguished... [Continue Reading]
I am writing this blog as a summary of the very interesting article published recently on Forbes.com : “ What’s The Best Cloud For Companies? Try Hybrid ” featuring Lance Crosby, CEO and President, IBM SoftLayer. The article focuses on the benefits that a hybrid model can bring to organizations migrating to the cloud and integrating systems of records with systems of engagement driven by big data & analytics, social and mobile trends. The article also explains how deploying a hybrid cloud model that links a mix of both private and public cloud resources with a company's on-premise IT infrastructure will enable organizations to improve concerns over data control and security while continuing to enjoy the cost and scalability benefits of the cloud.
According to Lance, “a hybrid cloud creates an environment in which companies can maintain on-premises control of certain applications and data, while determining which applications belong in the cloud.” “The hybrid approach minimizes change, helps to reduce costs and enables more scalable and flexible business processes.” In the article, Lance also cites Whirlpool as an example of an IBM customer who is taking advantage of a hybrid model to improve their operations. Read the full article here to learn more and discover how a hybrid model brings the best of both worlds for organizations as they move to the cloud. For... [Continue Reading]
Recently, Forbes.com has published a very interesting article titled: Three Ways Companies Can Convert To Cloud Computing , featuring Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President for IBM Systems & Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain. The article discusses why leading organizations are turning to cloud and the role IT infrastructure plays in enabling growth in a world of cloud, mobile and social technologies. These technologies are changing the way we interact and engage with our customers, creating unpredictable ebbs and flows of connections across an array of technologies and systems. In order to handle the unparalleled volume of data we’re generating, these systems need to be reliable, economical and secure. And more and more organizations are moving to cloud computing to meet those needs. In the article, Tom describes three strategic considerations for successfully deploying a cloud model:
Ensure a flexible IT environment: Organizations must be flexible to embrace the new workload requirements of mobile and social applications. A dynamic hybrid cloud model provides flexibility and allows organizations to respond quickly to support changing business needs.
Build analytics-ready systems : It’s imperative for businesses to identify the right technology and the right time to apply for business advantage. An analytics-based environment enables organizations to handle... [Continue Reading]
As an IBM Cloud Architect for the past 6 years I have focused on the development, delivery and the maturity of cloud computing implementation with clients, partners and service providers. Recently the focus of “Hybrid” cloud services and implementations has seen a sharp rise as a strategic initiative for many clients.
By the industry definition, hybrid cloud provides services extending your data center to off premise private and public cloud. Hybrid cloud should leverage your investment in a common infrastructure model, operational management, user experience and skills. Hybrid cloud allows you to deploy and run your applications onsite, offsite, or in both combination. Likewise, hybrid cloud model that you adopt should ensure your cloud users have no need to rewrite applications or change APIs and have consistent user experience across deployment environments on-premise and off-premise.
Taking a closer look at off-premise cloud models, many enterprises concerned with control points, security and isolation consider using a dedicated private cloud tied into their on-premise data center. This environment provides single-tenant, isolated compute resources, and administration control. This can be combined with additional managed services provided through a cloud service provider or self-managed directly by the enterprise tenant. A dedicated private cloud can be ideal for DevOps and production workloads. Another common model is a... [Continue Reading]
In my first post , I discussed how combining Software Defined Environments (SDE) and deployment automation reduces application delivery time and increases agility. In this post, I look at these capabilities in greater depth.
In summary they deliver the following benefits:
SDE combines OpenStack-based Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) with application patterns to repeatably and reliably create the application environments for each stage of the delivery pipeline.
Deployment automation stream-lines deployment of applications into development, test and production environments via automation and elimination of manual tasks.
This SDE enabled approach to application delivery is illustrated in the figure reproduced here.
Deployment automation and application lifecycle
Deployment automation is central to enabling IT organizations to accelerate delivery by the elimination of manual tasks. As shown above, it automates environment creation via the SDE layer and perform application deployment, along with component tracking and versioning.
These tools also manage the configuration of each SDE environment, database and application component, ensuring repeatable and consistent delivery. This is an end-to-end solution from test environments, through to production. The approach tests the deployment and configuration process as much as the application code itself, eliminating... [Continue Reading]
IBM recently announced Elastic Storage on Cloud , a software defined storage-as-a-service offering on IBM SoftLayer that provides high performance data management and storage in the cloud to organizations as well as seamless data transfer between their on-premise infrastructure and the cloud. Optimized for technical computing and analytics workloads, Elastic Storage on Cloud offers more storage capability at lower cost by meeting additional resource demands without needing to purchase or manage in-house infrastructure. With on-demand access to elastic storage resources, organizations working on high performance computing and data analytics such as customer data mining to determine across massive data sets, seismic data processing, risk management and financial analysis, weather modeling and scientific research are able to quickly adapt to changing business needs and get their products or research out of the door faster.
Elastic Storage on Cloud, born in IBM Research Labs, is part of IBM’s Software Defined Environment and Storage solution , which enables clients not just manage but exploit the increasing growth of data in a variety of forms generated by countless devices, sensors, business processes, and social networks. The software includes a set of capabilities that automatically manages data locally and globally, providing breakthrough speed in data access, easy administration and the ability to scale... [Continue Reading]
It’s been just a year after its acquisition; SoftLayer has become the galvanizing force behind IBM's rapid acceleration to cloud leadership. In July 2013, IBM bought SoftLayer for $2 billion and has continued to invest considerably in its cloud portfolio. Clients from all over the world are moving to the IBM Cloud, with thousands of new clients migrating to SoftLayer in the past year alone. Over the last 12 months, SoftLayer has gained 6,000 new customers.
In addition to new clients, more than 1,000 business partners have signed on to offer their services on SoftLayer. Organizations embracing SoftLayer range from leading global players such as Avnet, Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro, to cloud-based services and solution providers like Mirantis, Assimil8, Silverstring, Clipcard, SilverSky, and Cnetric Enterprise Solutions. Large U.S. enterprise buyers (with more than 1,000 employees), ranked IBM as their top choice of service providers that they believe would be most effective in delivering IaaS for private and/or public clouds.
Also in IBM’s new cloud offerings designed to tackle big data, SoftLayer will play a key role in delivering IBM's rich data and analytics portfolio to clients faster, more effectively and efficiently. One of the most recent innovations include - Codename Elastic Storage is a new software-defined storage-as-a-service offering built on SoftLayer. It provides organizations... [Continue Reading]