IBM SmartCloud Software Improves Visibility, Control, and Automation of Cloud Deployment, Management

SmartCloud Foundation solutions work in cloud and traditional environments.

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IBM has released new software that represents a significant advancement in the level of visibility, control, and automation for organizations to securely manage and deploy cloud services.

A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that 90 percent of organizations expect to adopt or substantially deploy a cloud model in the next three years. As organizations take the next step beyond virtualized data centers and expand their cloud environments, they are faced with what has become known as “virtual image sprawl.”

Virtual images are typically between five to 20 gigabytes in size. Multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having 5,000 to 20,000 virtual machines, making it costly and challenging for IT managers who responsible for improving service levels.

“Virtual images are tripling every two years, outpacing the doubling in compute power and essentially flat IT budgets. With current operating practices, every two years, you'd need 1.5 times the physical infrastructure to support cloud and twice the labor. That's an unsustainable cost and management problem which is the exact opposite of the promise of cloud," said Daniel Sabbah, general manager, IBM Tivoli Software. “We are delivering a much higher level of control over cloud service delivery allowing our customers to quickly, easily and affordably move to higher levels of value beyond virtualization.”

IBM’s new SmartCloud Foundation offerings allow organizations to install, manage, configure, and automate the creation of cloud services in private, public, or hybrid environments with a higher level of control than previously available. Collectively, the new offerings will help clients speed delivery, lower risk, and better control the move to deploy cloud alongside their existing production environments.

IBM’s flexible offering delivers best-practice cloud services. Since deploying IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, Dutch Cloud has seen its client base expand, and the high degree of automation built into the IBM solution has reduced Dutch Cloud’s administrative workload.

Now the IT team spends 80 percent of its time on client migrations and only 20 percent of its time on administration, a more than 70 percent decrease in administrative time. Dutch Cloud’s monthly recurring revenue has tripled twice in the last six months but their operational costs have remained flat.

“With our original tool, it could take almost an hour to provision an extra 200 virtual machines for a client,” says Martijn Van Zoeren, CEO, Dutch Cloud. “With IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, we can do it within five minutes. Previously, we had to keep changing our tool to support all new versions of VMware, KVM, and Microsoft software coming out, and all the new storage versions,” added Van Zoeren. “It was easy to do that when we first started, but we couldn’t maintain it as we grew. We were spending 80 percent of our time maintaining the tool and 20 percent on supporting client requirements.”

Improving Quality

As enterprises look to accelerate delivery and realize agility, many are starting their cloud implementation journey around their development, test, and deployment operations. SunTrust bank is working with IBM’s DevOps solution to increase their business agility while increasing operational discipline, quality, customer satisfaction, and governance. Utilizing a cloud environment, SunTrust developers have been able to achieve application build times up to five times faster.

Building on that and other experiences with clients, IBM will be releasing new capabilities with IBM SmartCloud Continuous Delivery. The new software is a suite of best-practice patterns for enabling integrated life cycle management of cloud services, combining Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management solutions with IBM SmartCloud Provisioning. The recent Green Hat acquisition will further extend these capabilities, reducing development life cycle times by streamlining test cycles as applications are transitioned to cloud deployments.

Clients using the software have seen dramatic results, including:

  • Shortened delivery time from months to days through end-to-end automation, standardization, and repeatability

  • 20 percent reduction in resource costs while increasing predictability of deployments through low touch and self service

  • 40 percent greater agility by streamlining operation and development collaboration with in-context communication

  • 20 percent increases in application service availability and performance by improving stakeholder alignment of development, test and ops

Reducing Risk, Controlling Complexity

Enterprises view cloud computing as a way to improve responsiveness and change the economics of IT. At the same time, the envelope of IT is stretching way beyond the data center, networks and workstations to new classes of mobile assets with embedded intelligence.

Clients need to exert the same control over this virtualized, distributed world as they would exert over prior models of IT. In order to address this IBM has launched new offerings, including:

  • IBM SmartCloud Control Desk helps organizations maintain configuration integrity in response to planned changes and unplanned incidents and problems occurring across a complex IT landscape to ensure continuity of service, speed of response, and efficiency of management.

  • IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices helps firms manage and secure their mobile environments, including iPhone, iPad, Android-based phones and tablets, Windows Phone and Nokia Symbian devices. With the ability to install in minutes, organizations will quickly be able to remotely set policies, monitor employees’ devices to identify potential data compromise and wipe data off the devices if they are lost or stolen.

By leveraging key innovations in cloud environment capacity analytics, storage utilization and optimization, operations teams can shift their focus from managing environment bottlenecks to delivering innovative best of breed services. IBM is offering:

  • IBM SmartCloud Monitoring enables cloud administrators to maximize cloud availability and utilization by monitoring virtual infrastructures and applying analytics to optimize workload placement.

  • -IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center improves the flexibility, cost, utilization, and performance of storage with automated administration, management and provisioning controls.

For more information about IBM’s cloud offerings, visit www.ibm.com/smartcloud.