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IBM Cloud And Z Systems Promises Easier Path To Hybrid IT

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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IBM targets hybrid clouds with new services, systems and software to help with tackle ‘dynamic environments’

IBM has launched a plethora of systems and services aimed at easing the chaotic nature of a hybrid cloud environment.

Announced at its Edge 2016 conference in Las Vegas, IBM says that its new hardware and cloud offerings will simplify the movement of data, applications and services across a hybrid cloud environment.

Hybrid Clouds

The new offerings include new IBM Power systems for the cloud that come bundled with “OpenStack-based cloud management and elastic consumption models.”

IBM says this helps IT departments to create a local cloud for AIX, IBM i and Linux workloads and provides access to compute services in the IBM Cloud.

A second new offering is z Systems for IBM Cloud that comes with Operational Insights to deliver analytic insights on cloud operations in order to improve performance.

And thirdly Big Blue is touting IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management and Protect as a way to ease the management of data copies. The IBM Spectrum Protect meanwhile has “expanded its hybrid cloud solution integration with cloud object storage options for use in hybrid cloud deployments.”

“Today’s business environment is very dynamic and filled with disruption,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior VP at IBM Systems. “A hybrid cloud model enables clients to continuously adapt while also optimising on-premises investments.”

ibm-cloudThe arrival of these new IBM offerings come as the firm also revealed the findings of a recent cloud survey of 1,000 respondents across multiple industries.

Some 92 percent of respondents admitted the most successful cloud projects enable creation and support of new business models. But they expect 45 percent of workloads to remain on dedicated on premises systems, despite the increasing use of cloud.

As well as the new cloud offerings, Big Blue has also expanded collaborations with other players to focus on hybrid cloud environments. To this end it has extended its alliance with Canonical to make Ubuntu OpenStack available on LinuxONE, z Systems, Power Systems and OpenPOWER-based systems.

It has also teamed up with Hortonworks to make the Hortonworks Hadoop distribution available on Power systems. Another deal is with Mirantis, with both firms collaborating to develop reference architectures to allow Mirantis OpenStack to manage compute nodes hosted on IBM Power Systems servers, and to validate a host of core applications to run its OpenStack private cloud.

Other collaborations include improved IBM Power integration with NGINX’s application delivery platform, and an expansion to the already long standing alliance with Red Hat to help “clients embrace hybrid cloud.”

IBM Cloud

IBM has long been a player in the cloud sector. Earlier this year it beefed up its ability to provide multimedia in the cloud with the acquisition of Ustream, as it felt that businesses in the future will increasingly use video as way of reaching their customers.

And besides the usual cloud offerings for businesses, IBM is also using its cloud service to find drugs that could cure Zika, a virus linked to birth defects mostly in South America.

Last year it even launched a cloud-based service to help car makers take advantage of the potential offered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

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