BLOG: IBM Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud – Enhancements

August 4th, 2020 BLOG: IBM Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud – Enhancements

Ron Gordon
Director » Power Systems

The availability of Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud was announced last year, providing enterprise-level cloud services support of IBM Power Systems for AIX and IBM i workloads. This introduced the potential for customers to significantly reduce management and infrastructure costs associated with an on-premise data center. IBM continues to evolve and improve support for this iaas offering to satisfy customer business needs. This article outlines the latest set of enhancements that are now available to customers.

 

Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud: Now Power VS

 

Before we talk about the enhancements, let’s review the name, Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud, because I have to admit that, at first, it sounded a bit odd to me. IBM has a public cloud offering that contains several architectures of servers including x86, z, and Power (unlike Microsoft which only offers x86 servers in the Azure cloud platform), as well as various storage, operating system, virtualization, and network options. Last year, IBM added IBM Power Systems servers to the IBM Cloud services options. This allowed customers to continue to use the same user interface, pricing models, and options in the IBM Cloud, but added IBM Power Systems as one of the compute options. You do not access a specific server, rather you specify what class of server you wish (scale out or enterprise class) and the IBM Cloud creates a virtual machine with an operating system (AIX or IBM i) based on the capacity you need for your workload. You get access to a Virtual Server (aka virtual machine, VM, or LPAR) on a Power Systems server on the IBM Cloud, hence the name. Since the name is a mouthful, IBM has recently started to shorten it in their presentations and documentation to IBM Power VS.

 

Enhancements to IBM Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud

 

IBM’s latest enhancements offer a variety of benefits to customers, including extended operating system support and the potential to lower costs and increase performance. The following is an overview of the latest changes.

  1. Data Center Expansion Power Virtual Servers are now available for provisioning worldwide, including in Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, along with US locations in Dallas and Washington, DC, as previously provisioned. This may be important to customers who have worldwide locations and can benefit from a “local” off-premise cloud platform for network performance reasons.
  2. Virtual Routers IBM Cloud now includes the virtual routers for no charge, which should lower the costs, depending on configuration needs.
  3. Higher Capacity and Performance IBM Cloud has added the IBM Power Systems E980s to the previous E880 and S922 systems for higher capacity of virtual machines and higher performance.
  4. SAP Certified SAP has announced that SAP ECC and SAP HANA are now certified to run in the IBM Cloud on Power Systems. These will be secure, multi-tenant environments with PowerVM Persistent Memory capabilities and will enable the ultra-high scaling and ultra-high performance capabilities of Power Enterprise Systems or Scale-Out systems. This IBM Cloud Power VS environment will be useful to support backup and disaster recovery, development, testing, or production. It will initially be based on SUSE-enabled virtual machines.
  5. Linux Support Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud will now support Linux as one of the operating system choices. Today, the Linux will be SUSE, with IBM enabling Red Hat “soon.” This is a great change with all the open source Linux code being used for applications and also for Kubernetes nodes. You could BYOL but now the IBM Cloud has the Linux virtual machine provisioned for you.
  6. Ansible IBM has worked with Red Hat to enable Power VS virtual machines to be Ansible endpoints, so customers can manage the on-premise environment and the cloud environment with automation capabilities.
  7. Faster, Safer Data Transfer If you have 24 TB of data to upload, even using Aspera the transfer might take days and could risk an issue that causes a restart, and there are no tapes in the IBM Cloud. IBM now offers a mass data migration (MDM) tool. Simply load your data, send it to the cloud location, load the data from the MDM tool, and be done. This fills a gap that was problematic for workloads with large database requirements.
  8. Superior Storage Storage is now SSD as tier 3 and NVMe as tier 1.

These changes remove some of the impediments that prevented customers from using the cloud for certain workloads, broadening customer access to the variety of benefits Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud provide. This effort on the part of IBM demonstrates that they are continuing to focus on development of and enhancements to Power VS.

More Information

To learn more about how Power Virtual Servers in the IBM Cloud may be beneficial to your organization, please contact your Mainline Account Executive directly or click here to contact us with any questions..

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