Today's guest blogger is well-known speaker and IBM i expert, Alison Butterill, IBM i Product Manager.
Steve and I have been talking with many clients recently about the IBM Smarter Computing initiative and why IBM i is such a perfect platform for implementing smarter computing projects. It was as the result of some of those conversations that I asked to write a guest blog for Steve.
Many IBM i customers do not recognize Smarter Computing as something that pertains to i as much as, if not more than, to other computing platforms. Smarter Computing is not the playground of just large customers. Smarter Computing means just that – smarter ways of using technology. There is no specific mandate and our i customers make decisions every day about what makes computing smarter for their company and for their customers.
First of all, there are 3 main themes under the broader umbrella called Smarter Computing. The first, data and analytics, was discussed by Steve in a previous blog.
The second and the focus of my discussion is workload optimized infrastructure or tuned to a task. And the third is cloud and the requirements for implementing both public and private clouds. The video for the second theme was recently released. You can find it at bit.ly/IBMiWorkloadOptimized.
As I said, I want to talk about Workload Optimized Infrastructure, using some description and an example.
What differentiates a system that is “tuned for the task”? There are several technology components that make up optimization. Things like performance, consolidation, integration, virtualization, exploiting capabilities of the hardware are just a few of the features that make a system able to handle a specific workload more effectively.
Many of those optimization technologies are built into IBM i – virtualization, reliability and so on. One client who is using these capabilities is Multivac, a packaging equipment manufacturer, from Germany. They have been on a long journey to update their infrastructure, optimizing it to run their manufacturing business more effectively and more efficiently.
In 2003, Multivac examined their existing technology solutions and determined that they needed improvement. They chose a phased plan of action based on “the desire to reduce costs, by optimizing the IT infrastructure and reducing the total cost of ownership and operation for its business-critical applications”.
The next step was to choose the solution. Consolidating their applications into one ERP package and putting it onto a single IBM i server would significantly reduce overhead, and energy consumption, and staffing thereby saving money. Their Lotus Notes collaboration software has moved to the IBM i environment enhancing availability and reliability for their Notes users. They continue to add technology to their infrastructure including adding a PowerHA solution, using High Availability Solutions Manager and Cross Site Mirroring. They have added a SAN solution, externalizing their drives and an IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC).
Multivac is committed to ongoing reviews of their technology and their computing environment. Smarter computing to Multivac is using their technology and their computing environment to the fullest extent possible.
Exploiting the technology that they had, adding key components to satisfy business requirement such as virtualization and availability is what Smarter Computing means to Multivac. You can go to the IBM i website and read their full story.
Workload Optimized Infrastructure means many things to many people. What does it mean in your company?