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IBM and Its Partners Build a Strong Power Cloud Ecosystem

Photo illustration: Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Victor Habbick/Getty

Because IBM recognizes the importance of Power Systems* as a cloud platform, the company has been optimizing its own software as well as working with open-source partners to develop a cloud ecosystem based on POWER8* technology.

The change has happened rapidly over the past 18 months. “The vitality and activity around Power Systems and POWER8 is phenomenal,” says David Bruce, worldwide marketing manager, Power Systems. “POWER* is now often seen as a standard for many new workloads—Web, mobile, analytics, security—as well as more traditional ones that clients count on Power Systems to deliver.”

IBM Software Solutions

IBM has made several key announcements regarding cloud offerings for Power Systems (see “Offering Momentum on Cloud,” page 16). By rounding out its cloud portfolio, IBM is enabling clients of all sizes to participate, notes Bruce. For example, the company’s acquisition of SoftLayer in 2013, a leader and innovator in bare metal cloud, has broadened IBM’s offerings. Starting later this year, clients can access bare metal POWER8 technology-based systems in SoftLayer, which are designed to handle large data and analytics workloads to make more insightful decisions faster, says Alise Spence, Power Systems cloud offerings product manager.

IBM is earmarking $1.2 billion to grow its SoftLayer infrastructure and another $3 billion for microprocessor research innovations

Because of IBM’s innovations, clients now have the capability to introduce additional data and use it to make more insightful decisions, says Bob Friske, worldwide portfolio marketing manager, IBM Power Systems Cloud and MSP. “We have the capability to embrace the growth of SoftLayer with POWER8 and give clients that extra choice,” he adds. The solution may be deployed in an on-premise or off-premise cloud.

IBM’s software teams have concentrated on providing value throughout the cloud stack. These value-added solutions can deliver anything as a service. Most recently, IBM launched its Bluemix* offering to deliver “born on the cloud” applications including the capability to seamless and securely connect those applications to Power Systems technology-based systems of record on premises.

“We are fully aligned to deliver complete cloud solutions with the unique capability to provide the hardware, software and a complete suite of tools for cloud—private, public and hybrid—we support it all,” Spence says.

Open Systems as Linchpin

The company is also deepening its partnerships with open-source standards groups and open-source solutions such as OpenStack, Kernel-based Virtual Machine, Cloudant, Cloud Foundry and Docker to accelerate deployments of clouds today and ensure their success into the future, Spence notes.

These partnerships are the linchpin to POWER cloud initiatives, building on IBM’s support of open source and investments in the open-source communities. “The industry is acknowledging that Power Systems technology is embracing open standards and that’s what’s creating the uptake in business,” Friske says. “It’s recognition of the added value that Power Systems provides to clients looking to deploy open and secure cloud solutions.”

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at



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