Last weekend, release 1.1 of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ (SCE+) was deployed in selected data centers. All remaining SCE+ data centers will be upgraded to release 1.1 by January 21, 2013. As this is another step forward in IBM’s managed cloud experience, I would like to discuss what’s new in R1.1 and how this affects new and existing clients.
One of the obvious things that was introduced with 1.1 is the support of selected OS languages for client image operating systems. Although the underlying OS image language is still English, SCE+ 1.1 provides the possibility to add language packs on top for the following Tier-1 languages: Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese.
Another new feature is the revised handling of backup tapes. With release 1.1 all backup data is now encrypted on the backup tapes and those tapes are stored off site. This is performed automatically, so there is no need for existing clients to ask for this service additionally.
The next two new functionalites deal with databases on SCE+. In release 1.1, database online backup together with database monitoring was introduced as optional services for Oracle, DB2 or MS SQL databases. Currently, the monitoring feature only includes the observation of critical database parameters and alerting of the client’s responsible functions if thresholds are exceeded, but this service will evolve in future SCE+ releases!
SAP services of the SmartCloud for SAP offerings are now included into the standard SCE+ portal.
Big improvements are made in the storage and disk area of SCE+. In release 1.1 a single VM can have up to 8 (AIX) resp. 14 (Linux and Windows) disks attached, providing a total storage volume of 4TB (AIX) resp. 7TB (Linux and Windows). Additional disks can now be attached to already provisioned VMs, too.
The change which will effect existing clients most is the new patch management process. In release 1.1, clients get the ability to approve every patch before deployment. This provides much more control about patch management and a better ability to coordinate the deployment of operating system patches and patches for other software components like middleware or applications.
Although these new features are compelling, they are by far not the end of the journey. SmartCloud Enterprise+ is backed by a strong roadmap and will introduce revolutionary new features with each new release.