Editor’s Note: We continue our Smarter Computing Breakthrough series this week with a post on Cross-Platform Virtualization from Guru Rao, IBM Fellow and Vice President of STG Development, India and South Asia. The Smarter Computing Breakthroughs series will help introduce you to the key technological breakthroughs that are the unsung heroes of the IT infrastructure that enables a Smarter Planet. You can find links to previous Breakthroughs posts at the bottom of this post.
Virtualization unlocks critical resources — and creates new business value
Virtualization is a key enabling technology for today’s IT infrastructures. What makes virtualization such a compelling story? Essentially, the fact that once virtualized, resources like processing power, memory, storage and even network bandwidth can be used in more ways, for more business value.
In traditional IT infrastructures, these resources are all tied to specific hardware, which in turn drives services. So, if the organization needs more resources for a given service, it has to buy more of those resources and add them to that hardware (more RAM, more storage, faster processors and so forth).
Virtualization completely changes all of that, and much for the better. Once these resources have been virtualized, they can be centrally pooled, and then allocated across the infrastructure whenever and wherever they’re needed in real time.
For example, if a given service experiences a spike in demand and needs more storage it will simply receive more. This flexible design minimizes resource waste, by ensuring that available resources are always utilized no matter which service actually needs them.
It also reduces costs, because instead of having to buy more resources, organizations can use the resources they already have in a smarter way.
Pick the right platform for each workload — then virtualize across all platforms
This story gets even more compelling once you consider how multiple platforms play a major part in it.
Some organizations have, in the past, utilized a standard platform — such as x86 hardware and Windows operating systems — for almost all the applications and services they support.
Others buy different IT components from various vendors. While this may work adequately in some instances, it certainly does not give the optimum performance levels. Infrastructures need to be tuned to the task to achieve peak efficiency.
So, for instance, in a common multi-tiered architecture, perhaps one platform might be best suited for supporting a database that an application calls on to perform a service.
Meanwhile, another completely different platform — using a different processor type and a different operating system, etc. — would turn out to be best suited for running the business logic of that same service.
The question is: How can the organization virtualize resources across all such platforms — ensuring that each platform gets the resources it needs, in real time, and thus keeps all services up and running optimally?
IBM’s cross-platform virtualization capabilities are unmatched by any other IT provider
The answer, unsurprisingly, comes from IBM. I say “unsurprisingly” because IBM has been a world leader in virtualization technologies of all kinds for more than 40 years (in fact, IBM is often credited with having invented virtualization in the first place).
Through IBM’s cross-platform virtualization capabilities, organizations can
- Choose the platforms that are best suited for particular workloads
- Virtualize key resources like processing power, storage, memory and network bandwidth
- Deliver those resources to all applications/services, on all platforms, as needed in real time
- Manage the entire virtualized infrastructure from a single point of control
That’s a pretty strong business case — and it gets stronger when you consider that only IBM offers cross-platform virtualization capabilities of this type.
No other IT provider can make the same case because no other solution provider offers both a complete range of computational platforms (including varying operating systems) as well as a complete range of virtualization solutions (including virtualization management).
What’s next from IBM?
Currently IBM System zEnterprise is the gold standard of enterprise mainframes. This solution offers the highest levels of security and scale-up performance, capable of running literally hundreds of Linux-based virtual servers simultaneously. And, because IBM is committed to maintaining its world leadership in cross-platform virtualization, we recently launched IBM PureFlex and the PureApplication System.
The IBM PureFlex system combines the flexibility of general-purpose systems, the elasticity of cloud computing and the simplicity of an appliance tuned to the workload. With the PureApplication System, you can provision your own patterns of software, middleware and virtual system resources within an innovative framework that is shaped by IT best practices and industry standards.
I encourage you to visit www.ibm.com/puresystems to learn more about this new family of products or read our previous Breakthroughs posts at the links below:
- Middleware Optimized Systems (6/4/12)
- Information Integration, Pt. 1 (6/12/12)
- Information Integration, Pt. 2 (6/18/12)
- Unified Management (6/26/12)
- Data Security (7/10/12)
- Image Management (7/23/12)
To effectively compete in today’s changing world, it is essential that companies leverage innovative technology to differentiate from competitors. Learn how you can do that and more in the Smarter Computing Analyst Paper from Hurwitz and Associates.