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End-to-End Cloud Offerings for Large Enterprises

Enterprises to Smart Enterprises

With cloud adoption becoming a de-facto option for small and medium enterprises, large enterprises are relatively slower in their adoption of cloud. The main reason is that large enterprises have a very complex existing IT setup and no single offering from various cloud providers has yet to satisfy all their needs.

However we find the recent announcements and offerings from IBM provide a perfect platform for large enterprises to on board to Cloud to make their businesses more agile.

Blueprint of Large Enterprises on Cloud-Enabled IT
The following reference architecture provides an overview of how the large enterprises would like to position their cloud-enabled IT so that they get best of their traditional operations while merging with the benefits of cloud.

Mission-Critical Workloads
These will be bread and butter for any large enterprise IT. For example if the enterprise is in the telecom domain, the workloads like provisioning, billing and network management will be a part of this workload category. If the enterprise is from the manufacturing domain, then product life cycle management, warranty analysis, supply chain management will be a part of this.

Large enterprises' utmost concern is the proper functioning of these workloads. Typically enterprises will receive the maximum benefit if these workloads are moved to private clouds which can handle heterogeneous platforms like mainframe, Unix flavors, Linux and Windows. Typically enterprises would like this workload to run without any changes even after migration to cloud.

Elastic Workloads
This is the new terminology coined to represent the workloads, which may not be 100% mission-critical for the enterprises, but are still important, but whose processing is dynamic in nature and are the ones that benefit from the elastic nature of the public clouds. Examples like data warehousing systems, content management systems, massively parallel processing operations, consumer-facing web sites form part of this workload. This workload will receive the highest benefit for migrating into public clouds.

Consumable Workloads
With the great proliferation of SaaS (Software as a Service), enterprises have many avenues to consume certain types of workloads directly from a public cloud without even hosting them. Popular CRM software like Salesforce are good examples. There are so many other BpaaS players and situations that I have been covering separately in my ‘Industry SaaS Series' form part of this workload.

Cloud Integration
With the large enterprises running their business partly in on-premise private clouds and partly on public clouds, robust application integration options are required to ensure that the applications are in sync with each other and information generated out of the extended enterprise is consistent and preserves the integrity across transactions.

Hybrid Environment Management
With the increased workload management across the public clouds and the new ways of monitoring the virtualization techniques adopted by private clouds, enterprises needed to move away from the traditional ways of IT environment management and move towards a hybrid environment management.

Application Development Life Cycle for the Cloud Environment
No enterprise can afford to be static with respect to their business capability needs. This means the cloud-enabled IT has to rapidly expand to the new market needs. This is only possible if the application development platform is cloud-aware and can support both private cloud deployment and public cloud deployment. The platform should also free enterprises from future upgrades and maintenance activities so that enterprises can become truly agile. PaaS (Platform as a Service) is the best option for large enterprises in this regard.

Enterprise Innovation with Cloud
While the above mentioned components of the reference architecture are still part of the traditional enterprises even without cloud in a different form, however in today's competitive environment large enterprises needed some options which are truly innovative and disruptive in nature. Cloud value proposition like high performance computing (HPC) and some other research options form part of this.

IBM SmartCloud Product Mapping for the Blueprint
SmartCloud is the IBM vision for cloud computing, which accelerates business transformation with capabilities from IBM cloud offerings. The following product mapping will help to realize the blue print for cloud enablement for large enterprises with the respective SmartCloud offerings.

Mission-Critical Workloads
As explained large enterprises will choose private clouds for running their mission critical workloads. IBM SmartCloud has a multitude of private cloud infrastructure and associated software options.

  • IBM SmartCloud Entry on Power Systems. It works with a client's existing Power Systems infrastructure.
  • IBM zEnterprise heterogeneous cloud solution
  • IBMStarter Kit for Cloudx86 Edition

Additionally there are IBM SmartCloud Foundation infrastructure offerings that  include servers, storage and virtualization components for building private and hybrid cloud computing environment.

Together the above options help an enterprise to run their mission critical, Mainframe, Big Endian Unix, Linux and Windows workloads on a private cloud.

Elastic Workloads
Public Cloud offerings form part of the management of these kinds of workloads. IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and Enterprise+ provide the enterprise class public cloud platforms, with the following major features.

  • Greater choice and flexibility with Enterprise class operating systems and software images
  • Availability and performance
  • Security and isolation
  • Payment and billing

Consumable Workloads
SaaS and BpaaS offerings form part of this workload, and IBM SmartCloud has a variety of SaaS offerings, and like any other community contributed application exchange this can grow further in the future. Current offerings are categorized into:

  • Business Process Management
  • Analytics
  • Social Business
  • Government Offerings
  • Buying, Procurement and Sourcing
  • Selling and Merchandising
  • Marketing and Web Analytics
  • Other Business Process As A Service
  • Payment and billing

To facilitate a collaborative ecosystem for more SaaS/ BpaaS products ‘IBM Application Development Services For Cloud' help partners to develop new SaaS applications.

Cloud-Based Integration
Continuous functioning of large enterprises on hybrid environments (i.e., public, private clouds) is only possible if there are strong cloud integration platforms. WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration is part of SmartCloud platform and enables cloud application to application integration.

Hybrid Environment Management
IBM SmartCloud Monitoring is a cloud monitoring tool for cloud infrastructure as well as the virtual servers running within it. SmartCloud Monitoring is designed to monitor very large environments. Coverage for KVM, VMware, Citrix XenServer, Citrix XenDesktop Citrix XenApp, Cisco UCS, NetApp.

With respect to Public Cloud, IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ provides robust management options.

Application Development Life Cycle for Cloud Environments
IBM SmartCloud Application Services allow your organization to develop, deploy, manage and integrate applications in the cloud. Initially, IBM SmartCloud Application Services will provide initial support for Java, and expand to include PHP, Ruby, C, C++, .Net and others later. IBM SmartCloud Application Services portal, tooling will be provided to manage the deployment and management of applications. In addition, Rational products will be available for application lifecycle management. The service will use the IBM DB2 Enterprise Edition 9.7 database, which is Oracle-compatible. Data can be extracted from an Oracle database and moved into the DB2 database.

Enterprise Innovation with Cloud
The HPC cloud offerings from IBM provide the methods and means to manage HPC infrastructure using cloud computing technology. The HPC cloud offerings from IBM complement the IBM SmartCloud.

Summary
Lot of material is available on the IBM site about the detailed offerings as part of IBM SmartCloud. The aim of this article is to position how the large enterprises can adopt to this robust cloud offering and can take comfort of an end-to-end offering, which will ensure that they handle any fear or uncertainty or doubt among the stake holders.

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Highly passionate about utilizing Digital Technologies to enable next generation enterprise. Believes in enterprise transformation through the Natives (Cloud Native & Mobile Native).