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The Key to Cloud



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The Path to Private Cloud

IBM SmartCloud Entry builds on the PureFlex System and Flex System foundation to provide a dependable cloud stack for private clouds. By combining the flexibility of PureFlex System with IBM SmartCloud Entry, the benefits of cloud in general, private cloud in particular, and now IaaS are possible on an accelerated time frame: better resource utilization, shared management with improved responsiveness and streamlined operations.

Depending on individual needs, some enterprises may want to install a private cloud for their use while other business partners or MSPs looking to expand revenue in cloud may opt for cloud services delivery to expand their portfolio. To provide a seamless experience across these solutions, IBM developed software based on the latest OpenStack* architecture. Founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA in 2010, OpenStack is a global collection of developers and cloud computing technologists that work together to deliver solutions for all types of clouds. (For more information, see www.openstack.org.)

As a major contributor to OpenStack development, IBM actively continues to facilitate an IaaS open-source cloud computing platform that provides progression as business and IT requirements grow. Direct access to APIs enables standardization on a common OpenStack API for access to IaaS services in IBM cloud solutions. The API pathway allows further exploitation of IaaS services for storage, networking, identity and tenancy services.

Based on the latest OpenStack release, organizations can easily extend IBM SmartCloud Entry with clean upgrade paths to capabilities that build on the basic cloud functionality. This flexibility allows organizations to modularly add capabilities on top of a foundation that is already there, virtually eliminating the need to rip and replace.

Key features of the latest SmartCloud Entry release include:

  • Extensibility, from robust private cloud support within a private cloud environment, to extended capabilities supporting specific unique needs
  • Fast deployment of services—just a few clicks or less
  • An efficient self-service portal that can be used as a common interface for administration to manage virtualized environments, and gradually and securely made available to end users for self-service provisioning of IT services
  • An intuitive Web-based interface to initiate live migration of workloads across hosts
  • Broad network access to manage and drive the infrastructure through standard IP network access
  • Resource pooling with support from VMware, KVM and Hyper V as well as PowerVM* platforms
  • Rapid elasticity with automation features for fast request and release of resources
  • Built-in metering and simple billing to help efficiently use shared resources with a clear understanding of the cost, establish usage models and help determine future capacity requirements
  • Capability for cloud and managed service providers to add other SmartCloud solutions like advanced provisioning, orchestration, monitoring and backup for comprehensive service solutions for clients based on IBM PureFlex System or IBM Flex System

What’s Ahead?

Businesses that lead in technology must have a vision beyond the horizon because of the long lead time required to absorb new capabilities within the culture and fabric of the company. These new capabilities can offer significant competitive advantages for those prepared to grasp their potential. PureFlex System as an expert integrated system is a perfect example of a technology designed ahead of its time and delivered as a cloud-ready platform.

The combination of reliable, agile and scalable components and leading-edge management software merges capabilities that were once in silos. Massive consolidation now replaces server sprawl, virtual machines replace physical servers and resources such as networking components and storage are treated as flexible multilane highways and hotels for data in flight and data at rest, respectively.

In the near future, portability will become more critical with technologies such as dynamic hybrid cloud. As cloud technology matures, organizations will be able to make seamless transitions between private, hybrid and public clouds, from workloads to applications.

As the growing power of cloud continues to reveal itself, an open, standards-based architecture will provide maximum flexibility and interoperability to meet future requirements. With choice and portability, organizations can forge their own path on the journey to cloud. IBM is dedicated to making that journey simpler, faster and more efficient.

Frank DeGilio is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and a Chief Architect for Cloud.

Steven Hunter is an IBM Fellow, vice president and PureFlex System CTO.

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