By Jane Munn
When mapping out a cloud infrastructure, one of the first things that becomes clear is the bifurcation between low-end, commoditized products and enterprise-class solutions.
But even within that second category, a quick look under the covers of certain solutions often shows a patchwork of proprietary products that lack integration and optimization – a little server virtualization here, some specialized apps there, and a little “something-as-a-service” somewhere else – with no real thought to the enterprise as a whole.
For clients to gain the full advantages of this technology, a strategic cloud solution should include virtualization, standardization and provisioning for efficiency, cost-effectiveness, ease of management and fast deployment. Just as important, that solution should cover software, servers and storage, with deep roots in open standards, to ensure that clients can take advantage of cloud’s benefits today while beating a path to the future.
We see many examples of clients taking this approach, and the near- and long-term benefits are clear. Here are a few illustrations:
- The Dmitry Rogachev Clinical Center in Russia, which specializes in hematology, oncology and immunology, is using a cloud solution based on IBM PureFlex for systems and storage requirements and SmartCloud Entry for virtualization and provisioning. The solution will improve patient care by increasing access to medical files for faster and better diagnoses, and to allow researchers to better collaborate. A key requirement is to help manage the increasing growth of medical information — the center expects the volume of clinical tests to increase 5x by 2015, comprised of more than a petabyte of data, to serve more than 5,000 patients;
- The City of Bunbury in Australia is using a PureFlex solution that integrates servers, IBM Storwize V7000 storage, networking and software to provide a highly automated, simple-to- manage system that streamlines and simplifies the city’s IT infrastructure in the near term, and to create a cloud-ready environment for delivering future initiatives over time. The solution will virtualize the city’s desktops and mobile devices to reside on PureFlex, reducing hardware costs, power consumption and time spent maintaining multiple platforms supporting the city’s IT operations;
- French Managed Services Provider Zetark in France is using a solution composed of PureFlex and SmartCloud Entry to deploy their enterprise storage services. The solution provides Zetark with a fully integrated set of server, storage, network and management resources, allowing them to provision new environments for customers quickly and economically. This solutions has allowed Zetark to cut typical customer deployment times from two months to two weeks, reduce power consumption to just 750 watts per petabyte of storage, and allow customers to deploy virtual servers in 30 seconds. It also paves the way for Zetark to offer a broader set of IaaS solutions in the future.
Taking a strategic approach to cloud and focusing on open standards and creating an environment that is linked to the needs of the business, liberates clients from the dilemma of having to decide between short-term benefits or long-term advantages. That’s because it allows them to do both.