IBM has launched cloud-ready systems, services and solutions that simplify the movement of data, applications, and services across a hybrid cloud environment.

Organizations across all industries are investing in cloud technologies for innovation, growth and efficiency. Today's clients are seeking a blend of public cloud, private cloud and traditional IT platforms. IBM's new solutions help deepen this hybrid cloud integration.

"Today's business environment is very dynamic and filled with disruption," said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president, IBM Systems. "A hybrid cloud model enables clients to continuously adapt while also optimizing on-premises investments. IBM is uniquely able to support the flexibility clients need across IBM Systems and the cloud."

Clients are using IBM systems to take advantage of new capabilities, optimize their operations or support changing business demands. For example, HealthPlan Services, one of the nation's leading healthcare technology companies, implemented a hybrid cloud solution to address a new space in the market created by the Affordable Care Act. Today, HealthPlan Services administers more than 30% of the Individual On/Off Exchange insurance market, as well as a significant percentage of the Group Insurance market.

"Our triple-digit growth and leadership directly correlates to our technology strategy and how our hybrid cloud architecture has fueled business innovation," said Michael Lawley SVP of IT at HealthPlan Services. "We utilize IBM z, a technology that has adapted to disruptive change. It helped us deliver services, products and new opportunities for our business, as well as to our partners."

The new systems offerings designed for hybrid cloud include:

  • Power Systems for cloud. With integrated OpenStack-based cloud management and elastic consumption models, these new enterprise-class IBM Power Systems for the cloud enable clients to transform their IT infrastructure to a local cloud for AIX, IBM i and Linux workloads and extend them with rapid access to compute services in the IBM Cloud.
  • z Systems for cloud. IBM z Systems Operational Insights is a new SaaS-based offering that provides analytic insights on cloud operations for new levels of efficiency and application performance. It allows users to make better business and application decisions based on trends and embedded expertise on performance data through a GUI dashboard. This accompanies IBM OMEGAMON Application Performance Management, which provides quick identification of problem components through end-to-end visibility for clients' hybrid workloads that include z Systems applications. In addition, the newly available IBM Common Data Provider enables z Systems operational data to be efficiently consumed in near real time by the clients' cloud or local enterprise operational analytics platform.
  • IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management and Protect. IBM Spectrum Copy Data Management is a new solution that drives operational and development agility and efficiency across new and traditional applications by allowing detailed, easy-to-use management of data copies. Additionally, IBM Spectrum Protect has expanded its extensive hybrid cloud solution integration with cloud object storage options for use in hybrid cloud deployments.

These new offerings support the findings of a recent survey of more than 1,000 global respondents from 18 industries:

  • 92% said the most successful cloud projects enable creation and support of new business models.
  • They expect 45% of workloads to remain on dedicated on premises systems even as cloud use expands.
  • 83% of the highest performing organizations said cloud initiatives are integrated or highly coordinated.


Open Ecosystem Supporting Hybrid Cloud

An open and collaborative software ecosystem is critical for cloud deployment and innovation. IBM announced a series of new and expanded collaborations with IBM Systems for hybrid cloud environments:

Canonical: Canonical and IBM are extending their ongoing alliance to make Ubuntu OpenStack available today on LinuxONE, z Systems, Power Systems and OpenPOWER-based systems, including the new line of LC servers. The two companies will deliver solutions built on Canonical's software and IBM servers through a deeper engineering, product and support collaboration. This enables clients to leverage Canonical's portfolio across the three platforms with simplified and automated OpenStack management.

Hortonworks: IBM and Hortonworks, one of the top big data platforms in the world, are jointly entering the marketplace to make Hortonworks Hadoop distribution available on POWER. This will allow clients to utilize Open Enterprise Hadoop as a complementary component of their data architectures to enable a broad range of new applications, as well as to enrich existing ones with additional data sources.

Mirantis: Mirantis and IBM are collaborating to develop reference architectures enabling 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. With this integration, Mirantis will now bring its OpenStack based private cloud management to the POWER platform. This enables clients to leverage the efficiency of IBM Power Systems for data-driven workloads in a seamless and compatible way in their data center through Mirantis's OpenStack cloud management.

NGINX: NGINX's application delivery platform now supports servers based on IBM's POWER architecture, with the latest release of its commercial load balancer and web accelerator software, NGINX Plus R10. The combination of NGINX Plus and POWER brings new agility to enterprises, allowing them to scale their infrastructure and application delivery solutions across any environment – public, private and hybrid cloud, containers, and bare metal – providing a consistent user experience.

Red Hat: Red Hat and IBM are expanding their long-standing alliance to better help clients embrace hybrid cloud. Through joint engineering and deeper product collaboration, the two companies plan to deliver solutions built on key components of Red Hat's portfolio of open source products, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Virtualization, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux High Availability offerings, enabling IBM Power Systems as a featured component of Red Hat's hybrid cloud strategy spanning platform infrastructure located both on and off customer premises.

By supporting open communities and standards, IBM is giving clients a range of choices to create comprehensive hybrid cloud strategies for their businesses in order to help them address market place demands more quickly.