Why Should I Implement a Private Cloud with IBM’s PureFlex System?

In this blog post, IBM IT specialist Vijay Bhadriraju explores why the IBM PureFlex System is a most desirable and perfectly suitable platform for implementing a private cloud, with reduced cost and effort, and avoiding risk and complications.

* First Distribution currently has exclusive distribution rights on IBM's PureFlex Systems throughout South Africa *

Traditionally, building out a private infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for a private cloud involves selecting the appropriate hardware components, acquiring these components, and integrating all the components manually. This process is prone to significant cost, effort, risk, and complications.

When we talk about a private cloud platform, some of the key considerations that come to mind are:

-          Does the platform provide the necessary infrastructure (hardware, software, and virtualization) components, and accelerate the deployment of applications to a private cloud?

-          Does the platform provide integrated management capabilities to manage the hardware, software components, and complete cloud deployment lifecycle resulting in reduced labor costs?

-          Is the platform reliable and provide the quality of service for the applications running in the private cloud?

I answer these questions from a PureFlex System perspective. The following figure shows all the components that make up the PureFlex System. Looking at them, you can quickly realize that the PureFlex System is preintegrated with networking, storage, compute capacity, and management capabilities to manage all the components in the system. Given that it is a preintegrated system, now let’s look at it in more detail to see if it meets the key considerations mentioned above for implementing private clouds.

PureFlex System is an expert integrated system by design — that is, the server, storage, network, and software components are designed to work together as a system, which is a key infrastructure requirement for cloud deployments. Hence from a cloud standpoint, it is viewed as an IaaS. This integration makes application deployment to the cloud simpler and faster. The integration is well optimized, based on industry best practices in all components of the system, and making the deployed application achieve the required performance, high availability, and scalability.

It is a flexible system giving the user the option to pick the compute nodes of choice between Intel and POWER7. Based on the compute nodes chosen it provides virtualization capabilities such as VMware, KVM, and Hyper-V on Intel compute nodes, and PowerVM on POWER compute nodes. The system supports a wide variety of networking options giving the user the choice based on the need of their applications. The IBM Storwize V7000 storage is a high performance storage subsystem with system attached storage (SAS) and solid state drives (SSD) and provides the Easy Tier function, which moves the frequently accessed data from SAS to SSD, leading to improved application performance and response times.

The integrated management capabilities available in the system make the management of hardware, software, and virtualization components seamless through a single monitor console (“single pane of glass”) user interface called the IBM Flex System Manager (FSM). The FSM is an extremely comprehensive user interface that manages the provisioning of networking, storage, compute nodes, health monitoring and virtualized application workload management. Traditional user interfaces — for standalone non integrated network, storage, and server components — use separate interfaces to manage each of the components, an approach that becomes cumbersome to manage and leads to increased labor costs. However, FSM, being an integrated management user interface, reduces labor costs significantly and provides best time-to-value through a single user interface for all infrastructure management functions of the PureFlex System.

The PureFlex System is built to support high availability and failover, which makes the system highly reliable, and fault tolerant. It includes the following items:

-          Three Flex chassis with failover support, making the chassis and the compute nodes highly available.

-          Two top-of-the-rack switches with failover support making the networking fault tolerant.

-          Two Storwize V7000 storage subsystems with failover support making the storage redundant.

The reliability in the system scales across multiple PureFlex System spread across multiple data centers, making the hosted applications highly available and reliable in delivering the required quality of service to meet service level agreements.

The Standard and Enterprise versions of PureFlex System is pre-installed with IBM SmartCloud Entry software and comes with entitled support from IBM Global Technology Services. For the Entry version the IBM SmartCloud Entry, support can be ordered separately.

This article originally appeared on the Expert Integrated Systems Blog and can be found here.