IBM's AS/400 server platform has been rebranded several times since it launched 25 years ago this month, but the same core functionality lives on in today's derivations. Still seen as a futureproof product line by the majority of customers, the system is extending its legacy as an enabler of cloud computing strategies.
Before companies can become the architects of their very own cloud computing environment, servers must be virtualized as heavily as possible. This building block technology abstracts software from hardware—and has actually been a part of IBM server design for some time. Approximately seven in ten Power Systems administrators have already employed PowerVM today, cashing in on consolidated storage footprints, higher utilization rates, and simplified scalability. With the flexible mode of operation now in place, the stage is set for smarter, more cost-effective cloud implementation.
Perhaps the most disruptive development seen in server management over the last decade has been the emergence of the cloud. By making data and applications remotely available to users anytime and anywhere, entirely new possibilities await savvy business professionals. But while some have turned to the cloud as a way to offload responsibility to a third-party provider, a number of more diligent firms have decided to build dedicated private clouds.
IBM's Smart Cloud Entry solution capitalizes on the initial handiwork of IBM i shops that virtualized their data centers and elevates their operations all the way into the cloud. An intuitive, self-service provisioning portal is laid atop reliable platforms with roots tracing all the way back to the AS/400 days—bridging the past and future in one integrated, elegant system.
Although IBM i private cloud installations are renowned for the relative ease with which they can be administered, companies cannot fall into the trap of thinking new technology nullifies traditional responsibilities. As we've previously noted, backup, monitoring, reporting, and scheduling processes do not suddenly evaporate in the cloud. In fact, many firms may find that their end users' expectations have grown even more demanding as application usage becomes more pervasive.
So, for cloud hosts of any scale, it's important to keep the right checks and balances in place to confirm that new, efficiency-enabling architecture is living up to expectations and delivering anticipated ROI.