Wednesday, June 29, 2022

IBM: Hybrid Cloud Portfolio Review

IBM is an established provider of hardware, software, and consulting as well as hybrid cloud services.

Hybrid cloud solutions work by bringing together applications running across a combination of different environments. Hybrid cloud strategies leveraging existing infrastructure investments with the security and scalability of cloud solutions.

Some organizations use hybrid solutions as a temporary measure while migrating existing applications to the cloud. Some require a mix of private and public clouds to adhere to regulatory requirements. And others prefer compartmentalizing technology needed only for on-site purposes. Whatever the reason, hybrid cloud platforms provide flexibility and practicality.

See below to learn all about IBM’s hybrid cloud offerings:

IBM and the cloud market

Building on a solid reputation as a trusted advisor for businesses, IBM entered the cloud computing market in 2011.

Adoption of cloud computing solutions continues to increase, with a projected market value of $947.3 billion by 2026.

Though Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are considered the three primary players in the cloud market, IBM, Oracle, and other major providers serve the market.

Key features

  • Integrated, hybrid cloud strategy makes it possible for new and existing IT investments to work together seamlessly.
  • Reduce the possibility of security breaches by as much as 80% using a single point of control to monitor and enforce security and compliance policies.
  • Use data analytics to decide what and how to automate, look for improvement opportunities, and better understand how systems and processes run.
  • Support business continuity plans with integrated backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Key benefits

IBM hybrid cloud offers five primary sources of value:

  • Business acceleration: IBM’s hybrid cloud solutions enable faster time to market with more frequent releases and updates, allowing companies to respond to competitors quickly.
  • Developer productivity: Through IBM, developers can design and deploy applications using a consistent toolset as well as maintain control over design, development, and testing overhead costs.
  • Infrastructure cost-efficiency: IBM hybrid cloud solutions allow companies to manage infrastructure and workloads to reduce downtime and licensing fees.
  • Regulatory compliance and security: IBM hybrid cloud offers visibility and transparency into adherence to regulation, compliance, and security requirements through a consistent cloud environment.
  • Deployment flexibility: IBM offers deployment flexibility, allowing developers to utilize containerization, open source, and open standards options.

Use cases

IBM has been a valued partner of the Masters Golf Tournament for over 25 years, making them the logical choice when there was a need to begin using hybrid cloud technology.

Tracking every swing, every player, and every hole was only the start. With IBM’s assistance, more than 20,000 videos are analyzed during each tournament, providing customized content for popular golfers. The resulting customized feeds means millions of fans can follow along virtually in near real time.

Making sense of the sheer volume of unstructured data gathered by the Masters isn’t insignificant. Visual recognition, business rules that give context to video content, and comparisons made to historical data requires considerable computing power and intelligent artificial intelligence (AI).

“Everything you see at the Masters — every AI insight, every behind-the-scenes workload powered by IBM Cloud — is available to businesses around the world,” says Rob Thomas, SVP for IBM cloud and data platforms, IBM.

Differentiators 

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus offers unified data protection and resilience for hybrid cloud environments. As such, it provides recovery, replication, retention, and reuse for virtual machines (VMs), databases, applications, file systems, software-as-a-service (SaaS) workloads, and containers.

Edge Application Manager

Using IBM’s Edge Application Manager, a single administrator can manage the scale, variability, and rate of change of application environments.

IBM Cloud Paks

IBM Cloud Paks are AI-powered software solutions designed to add value and capabilities to hybrid cloud environments. 

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Data: Improve productivity by connecting the right data to the right people at the right time.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Business Automation: Automate work and accelerate business growth by analyzing and transforming fragmented workflows to boost efficiency and reduce operational costs.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps: This Pak offers powerful and proactive incident management by detecting hidden anomalies, anticipating issues, and resolving problems faster. IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps also provides intelligent root cause analysis, and AI-driven automated remediation.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Integration: Connect cloud and on-premises applications, transfer data, and more with IBM’s hybrid integration platform.
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation: This Pak enables zero-touch network operations that allows for the design, deployment, and scaling of services in minutes (or automatically).
  • IBM Cloud Pak or Security: Use a unified dashboard powered by AI to protect data, manage users, and contain threats.

User reviews

Ratings and reviews for IBM’s hybrid cloud solutions at user review sites are positive.

Pricing

IBM cloud users can begin with a free trial that has no expiration date. And a $200 credit is available for 30 days after sign up.

IBM offers two purchase models that include access to over 40 free services, including IBM Watson APIs, and over 350 products at discounted rates. 

Pay-as-you-go

  • Pay only for the billable services being used.
  • A basic support plan is included, and advanced and premium support are available at an additional cost.
  • Invoiced monthly with detailed resource charges.
  • Optional notifications can trigger alerts when a particular service has reached a predetermined spending threshold.
  • Optional Committed Use billing model allows accounts to commit to spending a certain amount in exchange for a discount.

Subscription

  • Commit to a minimum spending amount for a specified period of time, and receive a discount on the total cost.
  • The larger the subscription, the better the discount.
  • This pricing option is best for organizations that benefit from predictable billing with large cloud workloads.

Pricing for IBM cloud solutions is customized to the needs of each organization and can be estimated using their online calculator.

Conclusions

Businesses are accelerating their digital transformations and using adversity as a catalyst for change.

IBM asserts that organizations can achieve 2.5 times greater business value by looking to hybrid cloud solutions that work within your existing IT architecture, combining innovation without abandoning existing investments.

This practical approach, when combined with IBM’s unparalleled commitment to research and strategic transformations, makes their hybrid cloud approach one that can be trusted.

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