Welcome!

FinTech Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: FinTech Journal, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

FinTech Journal: Article

OpenStack and Integrated Hardware

OpenStack, optimized by hardware, can help customers meet their cloud computing needs

When I signed up to attend Enterprise 2013, a conference for IBM’s enterprise systems and storage users, I was wondering how much cloud computing information would be shared. A large number of sessions addressed how IBM has integrated OpenStack with compute, storage and network components of their hardware. While OpenStack, the open standard Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) management platform, has eight platinum founding members (as of Oct 2013), only IBM and HP are hardware manufacturers.

So why is hardware important for OpenStack? Apple builds great products having control over the entire stack for consumers, including the iPad and iPhone, and Microsoft has also recently delivered similar products like Surface Pro. Large IT vendors like Cisco, HP, IBM and Oracle are delivering integrated hardware and software stacks to reduce complexity for their customers. Open standard software is a rage with start-ups leveraging cloud computing, and enterprises are also contemplating open solutions consisting of an end-to-end stack. Here is a short table comparing System z & Power Systems on some aspects important to enterprise customers:

Private Cloud

Public Cloud

Security

Community development

System Z

Very applicable

Limited use

Very strong

Not shared

Power Systems

Applicable

Optimum use by partners

Strong

IP licensed to others through OpenPower

Below are four primary IT components delivered on IBM hardware:

1. Compute: Scaling compute power to meet unexpected usage spikes has been an eternal challenge to enterprises. Power Systems virtualization management with PowerVC and server virtualization with PowerVM, and z/VM mainframe virtualization allows IBM to automate these tasks through a programmable infrastructure. OpenStack Compute (Nova) APIs can leverage PowerVM & z/VM to have complete access of the underlying compute resources through a virtual management console. Both Power Systems and System z have robust attributes like VM placement and isolation that delivers an extra level of security within the compute infrastructure.

2. Network: Currently network administration capability is woefully inadequate to help customers respond to fast-changing market needs e.g. a sudden surge in interest of a commerce application. Controlling network assets using software reduces human intervention while meeting rapidly changing network capacity needs. Building connections from OpenStack Networking (Neutron) to various switches in both the Power Systems and System z platform can allow customers to automate connectivity and optimize network resources.

3. Storage: With the astonishing growth of data from mobile and social channels, enterprises face significant challenges to managing storage. Flash is increasingly becoming a way to optimize delivery of data to customers by shuffling information between traditional and flash storage resources. Using a common interface from OpenStack Object and Block Storage (Swift and Cinder), users can develop rules to optimize use of storage depending on service level agreements. IBM's software defined storage(SDS) strategy includes contributing heavily to OpenStack Cinder, and enabling it to control IBM and non-IBM storage thereby bringing together traditional and new delivery models.

4. Security: Security is one of the biggest barriers to enterprise cloud adoption. While IBM's recent licensing of ARM processors has been positioned as a play for custom chip clients, a bigger benefit would be to build cloud security into the network. IBM has the capability to develop and deliver a secure hybrid cloud solution by combining System z and Power Systems in the data center with public cloud resources from the recently acquired SoftLayer.

Other observations:

  • IBM has capabilities from their software organization, like Tivoli Orchestrator (OpenStack Heat), to manage non-IBM resources for a cross-cloud or hybrid cloud implementation.
  • The decision to license IBM Power technology to Google and NVIDIA (both initial members of the OpenPower Consortium) gives IBM an added value of pooling efforts into product development. This could bode well in increasing adoption of Power technology for cloud applications.
  • Power Systems Solution Edition for Service Providers could be an offering that grows cloud implementations with the help of managed service providers.
  • IBM's portfolio of hardware offerings plays well with community support from both OpenStack as well as the OpenPower movement. The only challenge for IBM is HP, the other hardware OpenStack platinum founding member, who can offer similar capabilities.

OpenStack is primarily considered a software play and very little attention is paid to supporting hardware. With OpenStack administration API's controlling infrastructure, you will see hardware vendors provide differentiated solutions.

At Enterprise 2013, IBM showed a broad portfolio of System z and Power Systems solutions to help customers leverage cloud computing inside and outside their data centers. My opinion is that customers are willing to pay a premium for functionality built into hardware if it meets their needs and integrated software could be the tipping factor.

This post was first published on Robustcloud.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...