The following PowerUp blog entry was written by Nigel Fortlage, vice president of IT, GHY International.
GHY International was recently named a smarter computing reference client. As I write this, I am thinking about what this means for my company.. Is it just marketing hype? Is there any substance to it? Why would you even care? Do you know what it means to be a smarter computing client?
By now I would think everyone knows about IBM’s Smarter Planet marketing initiative--a combination of systems, software and services, including analytics software, that allow smarter decisions to be made. Behind this concept are real-world solutions implemented by customers. Unfortunately GHY isn’t at this stage yet, so we can only speak to being a smarter computing reference client.
The smarter computing role, though, is less well known at this time. It simply means as IBM says, “The IT Infrastructure that enables a Smarter Planet.” You must have a smarter infrastructure that enables you to build a Smarter Planet solution. So let me share with you some insights to what it means to have simply smarter infrastructure.
If you click here, you can see and hear GHY's Executive VP share his insights along with mine as to why the solution is good for our organization. It’s a good way to understand from a business perspective what it means to us as a company using “Simply Smarter Infrastructure.”
I would like to summarize the key points for you that we outline in that video, as it is because of these points that IBM sees us a “Smarter Computing” reference client;
- Save time--The solution we started implementing in 2003 has evolved through the years. Now you can implement an IBM Power server and get all of the benefits that we have right out of the box. If you’re fighting with disparate systems that don’t communicate well, have fluctuating bouts of reliability, or have created solutions so complex that you use multiple systems to deliver a single solution, then you too can benefit as we did from an IBM Power server. This changed our behaviors by saving 95 percent of our time that was spent servicing the data center rather than our users down to 5 percent.
- Create solutions--What do you do with 90 percent of your time back? Focus on the business, I hope. We did and created solutions to solve problems and improve the working lives of associates in our organization. Imagine what it might mean for to find a single solution that saves everyone 10 minutes a day. With more than 80 associates, this resulted in 2.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs) saved for each solution we find. We have found many dozens of solutions that help our organization today.
- Virtualization choice--Imagine a single platform that allows a choice of more than 15,000 applications (AIX, i, and Linux) that leverage investment in the infrastructure but also don’t limit the business.
While it isn’t an inherent part of this story on smarter computing, I must stop here briefly to explain that we are also using VMware for Intel technology-based virtualization (Windows and Linux). My team keeps telling me that it’s different from the IBM Power Systems way. They prefer the IBM Power server’s single-level storage. To achieve anything similar to the Power results, VMware adds an extra layer of virtualization management via the VMware Control Center. From our experience this layer adds no value just complexity in managing the environment.
Our choice to use IBM’s Power Systems hardware allows us to leverage that infrastructure to maintain existing costs (leasing, licensing), reduce ongoing maintenance expense (hardware and software) and add new capabilities such as running x86 Linux workloads in an IBM Power virtualized server. That makes for simply smarter infrastructure.
What smart choices will you make in 2012?