IBM today showcased a series of technology breakthroughs that extend its leadership capabilities in virtualization, image management and cloud computing, including software that can virtualize a data center within minutes to instantly meet business demand. These new technologies build on IBM’s existing provisioning and image deployment capabilities that help clients better manage virtualized cloud environments to achieve greater business efficiency, agility and innovation while controlling costs.
According to IDC, $17 billion was spent on cloud-related technologies, hardware and software in 2009. IDC expects that spending will grow to $45 billion by 2013. The demand for cloud computing is exploding as organizations seek to expand the impact of IT to deliver new and innovative services while realizing significant economies of scale. The power of the cloud computing model is the ability to harness varying technology investments by enabling rapid and dynamic scheduling, provisioning and management of virtualized computing resources on demand.
IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt cloud models and manages millions of cloud based transactions every day in areas as diverse as banking, communications, healthcare and government, and securely tap into IBM cloud-based business and infrastructure services. By offering proven solutions to accelerate the deployment of advanced infrastructure virtualization with capabilities to visualize, control, and automate these infrastructures, IBM helps global organizations optimize their ROI from technology.
New software virtualizes a data center in minutes:
IBM’s new, advanced virtual deployment software — now available as an open beta program — enables organizations to build a cloud environment rapidly and manage with greater ease than ever before. The software has unmatched dynamic provisioning and scheduling of server resources, two capabilities at the core of cloud functionality.
While traditional technologies deploy virtual machines slowly, requiring significant hands-on management from IT staff, the IBM software can deploy a single virtual machine in seconds, dozens in a few minutes and hundreds or thousands at the unrivaled speed of under an hour.
In addition to speed, the new IBM software provides a powerful “image management” system to help organizations install, configure and automate the creation of new virtual machines to better meet business demands, while minimizing costs, complexity and the risk associated with IT deployment.
An organization’s ability to instantly access computational resources enables quicker response to changing customer demands as well as new business opportunities that require IT resources from a large data center.
For example, a telecommunications operator could leverage a high-performance cloud environment to support rapid development and deployment of fourth-generation applications, reducing time to market from months to weeks; a healthcare provider could leverage the cloud’s computational resources to accelerate retrieval and analysis of medical records to provide better service to patients in a more cost-effective manner.
As organizations rely more heavily on the rapid availability of computational resources, the demand for virtual machines increases dramatically. In fact, virtual machines under management will grow tenfold from 2008 to 2012.(2) Virtual server images are typically between five to 20 gigabytes in size. Multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having five to twenty thousand virtual machines, and the resulting complexity makes it challenging for IT managers who are tasked with improving service levels.(3) These types of requirements demand an environment that delivers rapid access to IT resources. It is becoming a critical requirement to have an automated, “low touch” design that supports a much larger number of virtual machines with fewer administrators — reducing costs and risks associated with human error.
“These new technologies deliver a definitive step forward in simplifying the way IT staff can manage the cloud,” said Ric Telford, vice president of Cloud Services, IBM. “They come at a critical time for businesses as the demand for computing resources and new services are becoming nearly insatiable, despite generally stagnate budgets. IBM is delivering again on our promise of leading cloud innovation with a focus on fundamentally transforming the economics of IT.”
IBM also announced three new breakthroughs for managing virtual environments:
Automating IT Resources:
IBM has expanded the capabilities of Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.2 to help organizations better manage virtual computing resources easily by automating best practices for data center provisioning activities. New capabilities to this provisioning software include a federated image library, image mobility and application deployment utilizing composite images.
The new software enables clients to rapidly deploy images in order to provide high value applications, while the automated provisioning helps control image sprawl, reduce cost and optimize resources. Leveraging best practices drives greater consistency to help minimize human errors and speed the execution and accuracy of the testing process.
Extending Service Management to Hybrid Cloud Environments:
IBM demonstrated technologies that provide a centralized management platform for hybrid cloud environments for both on and off premise deployments. IBM’s cloud integration strategy enables clients to simplify, centralize and control the secure use of hybrid public and private clouds.
The new technology demonstrated today extends service management capabilities such as governance, monitoring and security across physical and virtualized resources in private and public clouds as well as traditional physical deployments.
Protecting Virtualized Data:
The IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments integrates with and extends clients’ requirements to meet backup and recovery needs, online database and application protection, disaster recovery, reduction in stored data, space management, archiving and retrieval
In the virtualized environment, this software improves the frequency of backups to reduce the amount of data at risk, and enables faster recovery of data to reduce downtime following a failure. By off-loading backup and restore processes from virtual machines, Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments allows users and applications to remain productive without disruption.
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments includes features that:
- Utilize VMware’s vStorage APIs for Data Protection, including block-level incremental backups based on VMware’s Changed Block Tracking
- Offload the backup workload from virtual machines and production VMware ESX hosts to vStorage backup servers
- Provides flexible recovery options — file, volume or image — from a single-pass backup
- Centralizes and simplifies management with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
For photos and more on today’s news, please visit the PULSE 2011 press kit at www.ibm.com/press/pulse.