When IBM invented and implemented the virtualization concept back in the 1960s, it was all about getting more efficiency to share very costly hardware resources in this emerging mainframe architecture, both from a compute and memory standpoint.
IBM has pursued this never ending research and development investment —to push implementations deeply into all of our systems, and down to the silicon level.
So, positioning such smart implementations compared to others has always been complex , except for the IBM mainframe, which continues to be a leader and has been our design reference point for most of the other IBM systems implementations.
Nevertheless, the gap with some customer conversations I have in the field is huge. They tend to rely on the technologies that have the most “market share” and use that “information” as the standard for decision-making without considering alternative technologies.
I recently had other client conversations in which clients were looking for more in the way of business insights because the cloud is steering many technical IT discussions toward a “service-oriented” value; also, depending on the enterprise size, the expectations were different.
In fact, the cloud concept pushed the critical virtualization layer of any IT infrastructures to very new limits, because of higher stress on non-functional requirements (NFR) such as: customer experience, total cost of ownership, staffing, risk, availability, agility, efficiency, security, and so on.
The result of such new NFR impact is a need to evaluate, more deeply, such parameters in light of real customer feedback.
IBM has taken an innovative approach to give customers more insight, engaging Solitaire Interglobal Ltd. (SIL) to conduct surveys, gather data, and perform analysis to provide a clear understanding of the benefits and relative costs that can be seen when organizations implement virtualization as part of their IT architecture. This analysis has been primarily directed at the value of virtualization from a business perspective, so that those whose role is to provide business leadership can understand the benefit of the virtualization offerings when evaluating virtualization selection.
The overall survey shows a strong technology leadership of PowerVM implementation compared to other options, when customers need to push such technology to the design limits (that is, large scaling, large number of VMs, and so on). In this space, the end-to-end integrated design from the silicon up to the operating systems layers is the key for such leadership performance, and the guarantee of a quality cloud implementation.
My last advice to customers for a cloud with a sound virtualization layer choice is to “Think Big” even during the initial project design, because you never know where the cloud will grow your business, but selected technology should always be answering to your business needs, and, as such, does matter.