TREND: Walk with the times "in the clouds": smart business goes hand in hand with cloud solutions

Did you know that IBM is also a cloud company?

If your business is planning to move to the cloud this year, you will want to know what benefits each solution will bring you. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the IBM cloud.

Doing business "in the clouds" benefits the company from the first day of use. At the moment, cloud solutions are something of a challenge for many businesses, a way to make operating costs more efficient, but in the short term, it will be a necessity if they want to establish their position in the market. According to recent studies, a large part of IT budgets will be related to cloud solutions, and there are already a number of companies using the cloud in some form. The cloud is not just a trend, it is an inevitable solution that is changing the overall way companies approach information technology.

IT infrastructure in the cloud and subsequent services have changed business also in Slovakia. Companies that have switched to cloud solutions, especially from the perspective of smart business, enjoy several indisputable advantages. These vary depending on the chosen solution, of which there are several on the market. The biggest problem in deploying cloud solutions is the fact that they need to be incorporated into the existing IT infrastructure architecture. Because some companies still need to keep some data in private space and others prefer to keep it in the public cloud, so-called "hybrid solutions" are preferred. These bring efficiency and better use of operational resources to companies.

Don't pay unnecessarily

IIBM cloud is designed on the same principle as its competitors (Azure, Amazon, ...) so that you pay only for those services that you need. At any time, you can take advantage of increased performance or expanded capacity, yet you pay for the service as an operational expense - and therefore you do not have it in the assets. It also has the advantage of fast implementation - within two to four hours, the service is ready to use. "Of course, it takes experience in designing IT infrastructure, as well as knowing the answers to questions related to the architecture of information systems, their resilience to failures, licensing of individual software components, simply comprehensive knowledge of what will be operated in the cloud environment," explains Štefan Orosz from eGroup Solutions, a. s., who has been designing the technical architecture of IT systems for more than 15 years.

IBM has built a network of cloud data centers around the world, on 6 continents, in 19 countries, in 60 cloud centers. The entire system is built on a homogeneous data center architecture, making completely identical data storage elements available in Europe, Asia, or America.

Variability and diversity are also important with the IBM Cloud. It is not only about the possibility to "click" any hardware and software configuration within a few minutes or hours, whether it is physical or virtual servers, but also about local support, clear prediction of costs in the future (you know how much it will cost already at the moment of purchase) and also no dependence on external suppliers.

What services can be found in the IBM Cloud

Wide range of services

IThe IBM Cloud is on a par with its competitors - Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure - in its openness and virtually unlimited scalability. You'll find more than 200 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) operations, and the range is growing all the time. The most widely used IaaS service provides highly available IT infrastructure, the necessary basic computing resources, broadband network connectivity, and data storage where any software that includes operating systems and applications can be installed and run. At the same time, control over the operating systems, data stores, and running applications is maintained. The PaaS service involves installing and running custom applications, with the business having control over its application. The SaaS service is provided as a ready-made application from IBM's portfolio that replicates the requirements of the business. The uniqueness of the IBM cloud lies mainly in the availability of IBM-specific technologies, such as IBM Power architecture servers (running AIX, Linux, or IBM i), but also software solutions such as Watson or other cognitive systems, which are increasingly being applied in healthcare, industry, and commerce.

Safety first

Last but not least, security and information protection are very important in the cloud, which is still a major concern when deploying these solutions. Many technology companies are making sure that security is one of the strongest points of their cloud solution. An example is IBM's cloud, which provides sophisticated solutions for encryption and storage security. As Štefan Orosz further adds, "it is this high level of security and compliance with security standards of recognized authorities and legislative requirements (see illustration) that helps us convince customers that the cloud can be a very secure place for their data and efficient operation of information systems."

At the same time, the IT environments we operate, not only those in the cloud, are always under the control of the Zero Downtime Centre - a tool with modules to support IT management. The Zero Downtime Center uses several open-source technologies to provide its core functions, along with IBM software components licensed under an ESA (Embedded Solution Agreement) regime, which allows IBM software to be used as part of partners' own ESA solutions.

IT has recently faced several challenges related to Big Data processing, but also complex scientific computations. This challenge is also solvable through IBM Cloud, as it has physical servers with NVIDIA GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) accelerators for a variety of purposes - from HPC (High-Performance Computing) computing to applications in artificial intelligence.

In the industrial and commercial space, the advantage is VMware and SAP-certified Intel x86-based configurations with full control over the SAP environment, from the hardware level through Hypervisor to SAP HANA. Security according to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) or PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) standards is also a matter of course.

Give the green light to move to the cloud

Finding solutions for the company that are tuned to meet business requirements is a task that every IT manager must deal with. Cloud technologies mean a new dimension, bringing effective solutions to increase market competitiveness and better work productivity, at the cost of reducing costs. This brings us back to the idea with which we started, namely the necessity of a thorough analysis, knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of cloud solutions, and the resulting strategy for moving to the cloud. Real experience in the recent period shows that the most advantageous solution is a hybrid cloud, which adequately combines the operation in its own data centers or server rooms (so-called on-premises) and part of IT services using cloud infrastructure, such as IBM Cloud, along with the necessary experience of experts who know how to align it all correctly.

Source: TREND

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