"The Cloud" is one of the most common yet least understood technologies in today's business…
With three different service models, three different deployment models, and a whole lot of context to take into consideration, the path to IBM iSeries cloud implementation isn’t so clear. With our roadmap to cloud implementation for IBM i (AS/400), we’ll clear things up for you.
Step 1: Analysis
The first step to implementing cloud computing for your IBM iSeries is undoubtedly analyzing your current situation, and comparing it to the benefits and and negatives of an IBM iSeries cloud solution. In general, potential benefits of cloud computing or storage include:
- Centralized data
- Scalable resources
- Heightened security
- Minimized complexity
- Consolidated workloads
- Easier to meet compliance
- Paying only for what you use
- Reduced management requirements
- Increased collaboration with partners
- Built-in IBM iSeries high availability (HA) solutions
- Ability to request for service management and support
Meanwhile, potential risks include:
- Bad fit with company practices or customs
- Integration being too complex to be practical
- Loss of flexibility from taking on a standardized solution
- Cloud computing or storage violates existing legal or contractual requirements
It’s obvious which list is shorter, but the real trial will be assessing the significance each point holds in terms of your own company’s context.
Step 2: Planning
Before implementing an iSeries cloud solution, you must first assess what specifications are right for you. The cloud includes three service models, and three deployment models. The three service models include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This is considered the foundation of cloud computing, and includes servers, storage and networking.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): This layer builds out of the infrastructure layer, with a focus on building, testing, deploying and managing applications.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This is the highest tier, which basically involves the ability to access software provided by the cloud provider through a network (a popular solution for industry-specific applications).
The three deployment models are public, private and hybrid. We go into the differences between these models in more detail in this blog, so here we’ll keep it short and sweet: public clouds host data at an anonymous and shared site, which gives lower prices but less security. IBM private cloud solutions are hosted on dedicated data centers at specific, known locations; they provide more security, but usually at a higher cost. Finally, hybrid clouds mix the two, hosting part of a company’s data on a private cloud, and the rest on the public.
When moving to the cloud, ask yourself: what components of your environment could benefit from a cloud solution? This scope could include:
- Hypervisors (virtual machines, LPARs)
- Security policy (host and network intrusion detection)
Once your scope, service and deployment models are defined, you can start considering implementation.
Step 3: Implementation
When teaming up with a cloud service provider (check out our article on why you should consider going third-party), the implementation process will be managed for you. That being said, the steps typically involve:
- Detailed planning
- Test and revise the solution, if needed
- Pilot implementation (and revision, if needed)
- Production implementation
The cloud might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. For more in-depth information, check out our comprehensive guide to understanding the IBM cloud for IBM i and AIX.
For more information on how to implement iSeries cloud computing or storage, contact us today at 317-707-3941.