IBM Launches New Systems, Software, Services for Hybrid Cloud

IBM announced new Power Systems as well as software, services and storage to support hybrid cloud environments.

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IBM has announced a series of new offerings that enable users to deploy private cloud environments while also tapping into the IBM Cloud to balance workloads based on changing business demands.

At its Edge 2016 conference in Las Vegas on Sept. 19, IBM announced new hardware solutions and cloud offerings that simplify the movement of data, applications and services across a hybrid cloud environment. The new offerings include a line of Power Systems for IBM Cloud with integrated solutions that enable users to extend workloads to the IBM Cloud.

IBM also introduced new z Systems services for IBM Cloud with Operational Insights for analytics and continuous bench-marking. The new z Systems services enable developers to build data-driven applications even if they do not have mainframe skills, IBM said. The company also enhanced IBM Spectrum Protect with new performance optimization for cloud storage pools.

"Today's business environment is very dynamic and filled with disruption," Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems, said in a statement. "A hybrid cloud model enables clients to continuously adapt while also optimizing on-premises investments. IBM is uniquely able to support the flexibility clients need across IBM Systems and the cloud."

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value executive report, titled "Tailoring hybrid cloud: Designing the right mix for innovation, efficiency and growth," found that 92 percent of executives surveyed said the most successful cloud projects enable the creation and support of new business models.

In the report, based on a survey of more than 1,000 global respondents from 18 industries, respondents said they expect 45 percent of workloads to remain on dedicated on-premises systems even as cloud use expands. And 83 percent of the highest-performing organizations said their cloud initiatives are integrated or highly coordinated.

The new IBM Power Systems for cloud come with integrated OpenStack-based cloud management and elastic consumption models. The systems enable users to migrate their IT infrastructure to a local cloud for AIX, IBM i and Linux workloads and extend them to the IBM Cloud for additional, scalable compute services.

At the Edge conference, Dan McCredie, an IBM Fellow as well as vice president and CTO of the IBM Systems and Technology Group, said IBM has been working at increasing acceleration of the IBM Power platform.

"Acceleration can hit not only the compute piece, but also the network and storage" components of systems as well, McCredie said. "Acceleration is what we need to take the big step and drive innovation in the market. We're all in with Power, and we're committed to acceleration."

Moreover, "we're in the golden era of getting insights out of data thanks to acceleration," said Hillery Hunter, director of Systems Acceleration and Memory and a memory strategist for IBM Research at the TJ Watson Research Center.

"You know the importance of insights," said Jacqueline Woods, global vice president and chief marketing officer of IBM Global Financing. "Insights help you drive more growth."

Meanwhile, IBM said its new z Systems Operational Insights is a new SaaS-based offering that provides analytic insights on cloud operations that enables users to track trends to make better business decisions. It provides a GUI dashboard that helps with application performance management. The solution complements the IBM OMEGAMON application performance management solution. In addition, IBM said its newly available IBM Common Data Provider enables the consumption of z Systems operational data in near-real time by cloud or local enterprise operational analytics platforms.

Further, the new IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management offering enables detailed, easy-to-use management of data copies. And IBM has expanded its IBM Spectrum Protect with cloud object storage options for use in hybrid cloud deployments.

IBM also announced a series of new and expanded collaborations with industry leaders focused on hybrid cloud environments, including extending an existing partnership with Ubuntu to make OpenStack available on LinuxONE, z Systems, Power Systems and OpenPOWER-based systems.

In addition, IBM and Mirantis are collaborating to develop reference architectures to enable Mirantis OpenStack to manage compute nodes hosted on IBM Power Systems servers and to validate core applications to run its OpenStack private cloud. Mirantis is bringing its OpenStack based private cloud management to the Power platform.

Also expanding an existing relationship, IBM and Red Hat will collaborate to deliver solutions built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability and other offerings in Red Hat's portfolio. Also, IBM and Hortonworks are working to make the Hortonworks Hadoop distribution available on Power. And IBM is working with NGINX to add support for the NGINIX application delivery platform on IBM's Power architecture.