A Pivotal 2019

As the end of 2019 is quickly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2019 and the tremendous momentum heading into 2020 regarding IBM Power Systems in the hybrid multicloud world. I have the wonderful privilege to be able to spend a fair amount of time with our valued clients and partners—and worldwide I’m observing enterprises looking to “cloud” to fuel the next wave of their digital transformation. This includes everything from establishing a private cloud in their data center, leveraging the flexibility of (often multiple) off-prem public cloud providers and typically seeking to build a hybrid multicloud that bridges both for maximum flexibility. I’ve also observed that clients are strongly looking to new technologies such as containers and Kubernetes to modernize their applications, with the ultimate goal of delivering high-quality software faster to their end users.

To these points, 2019 marked such a pivotal and transformational year for the entire IBM corporation—and that undeniably included the Power Systems cloud business as well. Let’s take a moment to recap some of the major cloud milestones of the last year.

Red Hat

It’s hopefully no surprise that I need to start out by highlighting the landmark moment of Red Hat and IBM joining forces. It was such an exciting moment for all of us at IBM to welcome Red Hat to the family—we couldn’t be more excited about this partnership. Red Hat and IBM have been doing business together for nearly two decades and the opportunity to take that partnership to the next level was truly amazing. Red Hat is a pioneer and the market leader in the worlds of enterprise Linux and open source—and with technologies like Kubernetes-based Red Hat OpenShift (which is also commercially available on IBM Power Systems), they’ve also cemented themselves as a leader in the hybrid cloud world. And together, IBM and Red Hat provide the most comprehensive hybrid multicloud platform, ranging from the hardware (again, including POWER) all the way up through the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Lab Services layers and everything in between. With that, be sure to check out Red Hat OpenShift on POWER—you can request a free demo today through our IBM Systems Client Centers!

POWER in the Public Cloud

Yes, you heard right! AIX and IBM i are now available in the IBM Cloud—create an account today! Run all your applications (yes, that even includes RPG and Cobol!) atop the same PowerVM hypervisor, redundant Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) and Fibre Channel storage stack, just as you would on-premises. With a few clicks, you can have LPARs running in the private cloud in as long as it takes to grab a cup of coffee. And if you don’t want to use a GUI to provision your LPARs, no problem—we also provide REST APIs and HashiCorp Terraform-style provisioning capabilities as well. Geography-wise, as of this writing, we have deployed enterprise POWER in Dallas, Washington D.C. and Frankfurt—with additional geos coming soon. So whether you want to leverage public cloud to start your application modernization journey with new technologies like Kubernetes and containers, quickly incubate projects to explore new technologies, spin up development and test environments, build off-prem high availability and disaster recovery sites, IBM Cloud has you covered!

In addition to the IBM Cloud, Power Systems have also been rolled out in third-party clouds. For example, check out this excellent overview of Power Systems in the Google Cloud. It’s been an exciting year indeed for public cloud!

Advances in Private Cloud

As most are probably aware, we started our cloud journey by introducing Power Virtualization Center (PowerVC) in early 2013, which provides IBM’s strategic enterprise virtualization management solution for Power Systems. PowerVC has been wildly successful with thousands of worldwide deployments—and continues its growth. It often serves as the “starting point” for AIX, IBM i and Linux customers to embark on their cloud journey, establishing a strong private cloud presence. PowerVC makes it easy to move workloads into the public cloud via its VM image import and export capability. It also pairs nicely with Red Hat OpenShift in that PowerVC can handle requests for persistent volume claims (i.e., requests for storage by container apps) and route them to the underlying Fibre Channel storage used in PowerVC. That said, 2019 was another big year for the product as it saw several new functional enhancements, additional storage capabilities and deeper integration with Red Hat OpenShift—so be sure to check it out today!

IBM Cloud Paks: Containerized Software Made Simple

As enterprises look to embrace containers, they need it to be simple, secure, supported and run anywhere across their hybrid multicloud landscape. Cloud Paks are IBM’s response to these requests—they provide a collection of containerized software, delivered via a single installer, are fully supported by IBM and Red Hat and can run anywhere that OpenShift runs. There are six Cloud Paks—Cloud Pak for Applications, Cloud Pak for Data, Cloud Pak for Integration, Cloud Pak for Automation, Cloud Pak for Security and Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management (available on POWER today, while the others are being worked).

While all Cloud Paks provide a set of great capabilities, the Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management is crucial for Power Systems users. It provides the ability to integrate existing enterprise, LPAR-based applications directly into the Red Hat OpenShift catalog, providing a great way to start your app modernization journey as you can start surrounding your existing AIX and IBM i apps with new container-based technology—all on POWER! It also provides a single dashboard that can be used to deploy and manage your applications both on-prem and off-prem. Check out this short demonstration video to see things in action!

Getting Started: Co-Creation Labs, Client Centers and Services

After talking to hundreds of clients, one of my key takeaways is that enterprises are looking for a trusted advisor to guide them on their cloud journey. There are admittedly a lot of new concepts, processes and technologies in the hybrid multicloud world—and it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. We believe this is one of IBM and Red Hat’s strongest points—we can help you along this entire journey and move at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. To that end, we have developed a broad set of services to help you on this journey. For example, if you want to discuss your cloud objectives and seek out some guidance, we offer a “discovery workshop” with our IBM Systems Co-Creation Labs in which you can sit down with an IBM industry expert that can help you get started and even work with you to “co-create” your first cloud solution.

We’ve also established a series of IBM Systems Client Centers across the globe that not only help facilitate these Co-Creation workshops, but also provide technology demos and trials for the cloud technologies, so that it’s easy for you to see first-hand how they can help your organization. And once you’ve nailed down which cloud technologies you’d like to implement, we also provide a comprehensive set of IBM Systems Lab Service offerings that can roll them out for you—ranging from creating a private cloud with PowerVC, leveraging containers and creating your first Red Hat OpenShift cluster, moving POWER workloads into the IBM Cloud, adopting DevOps technologies like Ansible or Terraform, and everything in between! Browse the complete list of Lab Services and get started today!

Looking to the Future

As you can see, 2019 introduced several major advances in the POWER cloud portfolio—and the momentum heading into 2020 is nothing short of remarkable. We will continue to add new capabilities and strengthen the integration of our cloud technologies, creating an even more seamless enterprise hybrid multicloud experience. In addition to new functional capabilities, we’ll continue providing new digital assets—including Redbooks, videos, real-world use cases, so be sure to bookmark the Power Systems hybrid multicloud webpage and check it out for the latest news! With that, I want to thank all of you, our valued clients, for your business! We look forward to continued collaboration as you embark on your cloud journey—enjoy the remainder of 2019 and onward to 2020!

3 comments on"POWER and the Cloud: Reflecting on 2019 and Looking to 2020"

  1. Thanks Joe for good wrap-up!

  2. Julian Sambucetti December 18, 2019

    Excellent Joe!!!!!

  3. Good news ! To end the year 2019 on this note. Refreshing! Thanks Joe.

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