IBM CIO Office integrates IBM Z into the hybrid cloud

Turning challenge into opportunity

In a multi-technology landscape, it is increasingly difficult for companies to choose the path that eases management across the IT landscape. However, it’s a decision worth investing in, as making the right choice can enable a better user experience.

Many organizations today face challenges with their core IT infrastructure:

  • Complexity and stability: An environment might have years of history and might be evaluated as too complex to maintain or update. Problems with system stability can impact operations and be considered a high risk for the business.
  • Workforce challenges: Many data center teams are anticipating a skills shortage for some platforms within the next few years due to a retiring and declining workforce.
  • Total cost of ownership: Some infrastructure solutions are evaluated as too expensive, and it’s not always easy to balance up-front costs with the lifecycle cost and benefits.

Trying to solve these challenges, IT organizations of all sizes have been investing heavily in a move to the cloud over the last few years. Many of them had been finding out that the usage of open and industry-standard APIs is very helpful.

Embracing a hybrid cloud approach that is based on open industry standards is better than opting for a platform-specific strategy. The IBM CIO Office determined the best approach for their needs and realized significant benefits, such as improving efficiency, agility and overall economics.

IBM Z is providing constant business value

“Our IBM Z® systems are still the high-performance, ultra-stable platform that our organization has relied on to support huge numbers of transactions for years and the assets running on these systems provide valuable content. That’s why it’s important for our organization that we include the IBM Z systems into our user portal,” says Eric Everson Mendes Marins, PCS_ZVM squad at IBM CIO Office. “We had been using a traditional IT operations model with individual management pillars for the infrastructure components. With that model it was hard and complex to manage the infrastructure assets across the multiple platforms. We had to develop scripts, and some administrator tasks had to be done manually. But what many people might not know is that IBM Z can be integrated seamlessly into an open hybrid cloud IT infrastructure.”

Creating a cloud provisioning portal for improved user experience

The CIO Office is helping its users to realize the potential of IBM Z, as well as the potential of IBM Power and x86 technology, demonstrating its power as part of an open hybrid cloud IT strategy.

“We aim to offer easy access and handling for our users—which means creating a portal for our cloud services that provide the access to our hybrid cloud IT environment,” explains Marins.

As part of the consolidation of the IT environment, the transition from the traditional IT operations model to a cloud operations model was implemented. For the integration of the multiple platforms into one cloud provisioning portal, the CIO Office wanted to use open standards and decided to use OpenStack APIs.

IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center provides an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) layer for IBM Z, enabling virtual machines to be provisioned and managed and the automation of services, and providing a platform for building higher-level cloud services.

Cloud Infrastructure Center helps to meet the demands of hybrid cloud strategy. It provides a ready-to-use solution for a consistent user experience with its integration capabilities to cloud management tools and with built-in OpenStack-compatible APIs to provision and orchestrate cloud workloads.

Its integration capability increased flexibility and improved efficiency at the CIO Office with a common skillset, simplifying the IBM z/VM-based virtual machine lifecycle management on IBM Z and providing unified cloud provisioning.

The entire setup of Cloud Infrastructure Center was done very quickly, in a few steps, and supports the CIO Office to reduce the costs and complexity in managing a hybrid cloud environment.

“IBM Cloud Infrastructure Center allows us to substantially improve our infrastructure management and reduce cost and complexity to manage from simple to complex environments,” says Marins.

The main values of integrating IBM Z into the hybrid cloud approach are increased business acceleration, higher developer productivity, increased infrastructure efficiency, improved risk and compliance management and long-term strategic flexibility.

Learn more about how IBM’s open hybrid cloud strategy can improve your business.