Two years ago, Gartner predicted that nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.
IBM’s latest announcements should make it easier for enterprises to hit that target.
IBM announced today new servers, storage, and mainframe software and solutions for cloud computing. In addition, the company unveiled new flexible software licensing for its middleware.
The moves are designed to ease and encourage adoption of hybrid cloud computing environments.
“IBM hybrid cloud solutions are built for the enterprise and clients are using them to enable new business models to drive growth,” said Don Boulia, Vice President of Cloud Services, IBM Systems. “Hybrid cloud computing requires new levels of openness, dynamic data management, integration, automation and scalable performance in server, storage and software technologies. IBM brings all of these technologies together from on-premises data centers and inside public and private clouds to more efficiently manage traditional computing with new mobile, big data and social computing workloads.”
The new solutions include the following:
IBM Power System E850. The industry’s first 4-socket system with flexible capacity and up to 70 percent guaranteed utilization. It’s designed for medium and large enterprises looking to deploy multi-tenancy workloads and offers up to 4TB of installed memory.
IBM Power System E880. Enhancements to the E880 allow it to scale to an unprecedented 192 cores, meaning that cloud deployments scaling at this level will experience no loss of efficiency.
IBM PurePOWER System. A compute, networking, and storage converged infrastructure with advanced security capabilities. Managed with OpenStack, PurePower offers a virtualized hypervisor with no documented vulnerabilities over the last three years.
IBM Spectrum Control Storage Insights. This new SaaS solution provides data management as a hybrid cloud service to optimize on-premise storage infrastructures, offering individual views into storage consumption at the department or application level. Storage Insights improves storage visibility and applies analytics to ease capacity planning, enhance performance monitoring, and improve storage utilization.
IBM XIV GEN 3. Allows seamless scaling as demand for data storage capacity expands. Its grid architecture and integrated real-time compression technology can store 50 to 80 percent more data with little or no application impact.
Big Storage Technology. A technology preview of a new active cloud archive service for storing large amounts of data and retrieving it on demand. This service is being piloted with IBM’s service partner Iron Mountain and various design partner clients.
Rocket’s Mainframe Data Access Service on Bluemix. This provides a seamless and secure connection to data on the IBM z Systems mainframe for development of new mobile and hybrid cloud apps through Bluemix. Starting in June, clients can access a no-charge trial of the service, which provides universal access to the data regardless of location interface or format, including VSAM, ADABAS, IMS, CICS and DB2, SMF, Tape and Sys Logs, and allows access to that data through methods including MongoDB APIs, JDBC, web services, SQL and the REST protocol via z/OS Connect.
In addition, IBM announced that many of its products are available for monthly licensing, including its WebSphere Application Server, starting at $166 per month, per core. Clients can move monthly licenses between on-premise and public and private clouds as needed, including third-party clouds.
Next month, IBM will deliver a self-service portal for clients to scale their infrastructure and software license footprint for hybrid deployments using its PureApplication Service. The company also is offering try-before-you-buy access to middleware software products for hybrid cloud computing, allowing clients to use WebSphere Application Server on-premise and run the same capacity in a public cloud at no-charge.
The announcements come on the heels of new hybrid cloud capabilities for Watson that will assist clients in connecting enterprise data with web-based cloud applications.
The new capabilities bring Watson’s cognitive computing and content analytics capabilities to services found in the Watson Zone on IBM’s cloud development platform Bluemix, enabling users to start building their own hybrid Watson applications.
The hybrid cloud environment addresses the problem, often encountered in cognitive computing application development, of where data lives. Several barriers prevent moving data sets to the public cloud, including the size of the data sets as well as data privacy and security considerations.
The company said the new hybrid cloud capabilities will help clients speed time to insight from data across multiple secure traditional and cloud environments, allowing them to deploy applications quickly and with minimal configuration.
Watson Hybrid Cloud will use Watson Explorer as the on-premise platform for the application development. Watson Explorer will combine enterprise data sources into the application through a scalable environment that keeps data local, private, and secure.
“Enterprise developers are building applications that are more than just using infrastructure, they are creating capability to process business transactions that fuse insights spanning various data sets,” Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson, said in a statement. “What we see today is that the cloud is transforming into a hybrid data delivery model, so naturally developers seek flexibility to run apps and services across on-premises systems and the cloud; thereby making it much easier to deliver Watson to the enterprise.”
According to IDC, 80 percent of new cloud applications are predicted to be big-data intensive, and much of it born on the cloud. The introduction of new connectors to Watson services, including the recent addition of the Alchemy API suite of services now part of the Watson ecosystem, will give developers the ability to leverage services, applications and any of the 25 APIs already on the Watson Zone, built on public data into their development plans.
This integrated development environment will facilitate access to advanced entity extraction, sentiment analysis, keyword extraction, tagging, and other capabilities to enrich the data in Watson Explorer.
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