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A New Wave in Cloud Computing: Reflections on IBM Pulse
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By Ian Lee, Linux and Cloud Marketing Manager, IBM System z
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend IBM Pulse in Las Vegas, NV. With an estimated 11,000 attendees and hundreds of sessions, Pulse is a huge conference focused on broadcasting and highlighting IBM's leadership in one key area: Cloud.
An electric event, the four day conference featured keynote presentations from IBM leaders such as Tom Rosamilia, Deepak Advani, and Softlayer's Lance Crosby, a diverse group of clients including Honda, Red Bull Infinity, and Continental, and performances by Elvis Costello and Fall out Boy. While each day's keynote speaker spoke to a different area of cloud technology or from a different point of view, one universal message for why cloud adoption is accelerating and transforming the way the world works was clear; SPEED.
Cloud delivery models, be they public, private, or hybrid, are transforming traditional IT operations by providing businesses with the opportunity to react faster, become more agile, and continuously adapt to changing consumer and market demands. In short, cloud enables business services to meet the expectations and demands of today's generation of B2C and B2B consumers. While this all sounds great on paper, deploying and maintaining the underlying infrastructure foundation to meet these requirements can be a serious challenge for a business' IT department. To meet the changing demands of the business, IT administrators need systems that are quick, simple, and intuitive.
For clients running business critical applications on IBM System z, the need for a secure, highly available, and trusted platform for IT operations has never been greater (see infographic) but the pressure to adapt these systems to move faster and adopt the advantages of cloud computing is ever growing. To help clients meet this need, last week IBM announced two new additions to the System z cloud portfolio, IBM Wave for z/VM and new IBM Cloud Management Suite. These two products provide a solid foundation for clients wishing to take the first, second and third steps to adapting their System z environments for cloud delivery.
The product of IBM's 2013 acquisition of CSL International, IBM Wave for z/VM speeds up administration of Linux environments in z/VM by simplifying and automating most common tasks. This helps improve the speed by which IT administrators can respond to changing IT requirements by up to 95%. If you don't believe me, check out the following results from the IBM Competitive Project Office.
A highlight of the Pulse EXPO Center, we saw tremendous interest in the product with hundreds of attendees stopping by the #Mainframe50 demo area for a live demonstration of IBM Wave from Sharon Chen or Amir Glaser. In addition to the activity around the booth, one of the greatest areas of interest has been from non System z clients interested in gaining the QoS advantages of the mainframe but who have concerns about training or retaining the necessary management skills.
As a new component of the IBM Enterprise Linux Server, IBM Wave makes moving from a competitive virtualization environment, such as VMWare, easier than ever before and eliminates a key client objective to Linux on System z. By enabling a Linux administrator to get up and running in a z/VM based Linux environment in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months, IBM Wave enables IBM sellers to quickly alleviate potential skills concerns and help clients focus on identifying the right solutions to help them master their concerns around IT complexity, QoS and rising costs. It's a difference clients can see and it's a message that is resonating in the market, marked by a tremendous response to our February 25th webcast on the enhanced IBM Enterprise Linux Server with IBM Wave (replay) and near packed sessions at IBM Pulse.
As clients seek to move beyond virtualization management and enterprise class Linux deployments to a fuller cloud capability, the new IBM Cloud Management Suite is a great addition. This suite combines three powerful IBM cloud management software products (SmartCloud Orchestrator, Tivoli Storage Manager and OMEGAMON XE) into a single software suite, allows clients to begin to take the second and third critical steps to cloud deployments and easily and quickly provision, monitor, and manage to a System z based cloud infrastructure. This is a key area of interest to clients and one that we will continue to see developments and enhancements to over time as IBM continues to build out its portfolio of cloud management applications for System z. For more information the IBM Cloud Management Suite, check out the product webpage for more information.
Overall, IBM Pulse2014 was a fantastic event that highlighted the importance and need for IBM and System z to continue to quickly and rapidly adapt to fit the growing cloud infrastructure demands of institutional clients, management service providers, and others who are driving the next wave of IT innovation. Stay posted to this space, I'm sure there is much more excitement to come!
Ian is the Linux and Cloud Market Manager for IBM System z. Ian is a 2012 graduate of University of North Carolina and currently resides in Durham, NC with his wife. Outside of IBM , Ian is a die hard Tar Heel fan and a member of the UNC Young Alumni Leadership Council. An avid traveler, Ian is actively seeking reasons or invitations to visit New Mexico, Hawaii, and Oregon so that he can complete his goal of visiting all 50 US states. Follow Ian on Twitter @Think_Computing or connect with him on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest on System z Linux and Cloud technologies and advancements.