Hybrid cloud with z at the center

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IBM InterConnect 2016 is winding down, and it’s been a great week. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to talk to people about what they see happening at the intersection of mainframes and cloud computing, and I’m coming away with one very important insight.

The debate is over. No one should be arguing whether z Systems can play a role in the world of cloud. In fact, I would argue that z must be at the center of any cloud strategy for any large scale enterprise. And it’s happening now, not in some hypothetical future.

But why? To answer this, we must first acknowledge that cloud is the platform and the vehicle that enables modern-day enterprises to redefine how they engage with their customers – experiences defined by information awareness that empowers customers in a timely, contextual and a simple manner. This redefined experience ultimately derives profitability and relevance.

So, let’s come back to the question of why z Systems are at the heart of this strategy.

First, let’s talk data. As businesses go on this journey of connecting their customers with relevant data, they must confront a clear fact: most of this data resides on z Systems. Additionally, most of the business logic surrounding this data also resides on z Systems. Banks, insurance companies, big retailers, airlines, and most other large enterprises utilize the z System for most (if not all) of their high velocity OLTP transactions. That means that the most valuable data, like account information and transactions, continue to reside deep inside their enterprise on a z System.

And connecting cloud apps to that treasure trove of enterprise data in a way that is secure, simple to manage, and efficient, is the key to redefining customer experiences for a more agile, interconnected and information hungry world.

Second, as enterprises prepare their applications to run in the cloud, they must confront the reality that cloud applications are built for a scale-out architecture where users can simply add a node to a cluster or drop a node to ensure customers continue to get the perfectly responsive experience and minimize infrastructure costs. However, the existing applications in the enterprise – especially those that deal with large OLTP transactions – require both vertical scalability and horizontal scalability. It calls for diagonal scalability. The only platform that can provide diagonal scalability (where users can both scale vertically and horizontally) is the z System platform.

Third, security is the key. It’s a table-stakes requirement when accessing enterprise data, and z Systems is the only platform that is trusted and proven to provide unparalleled security for sensitive data. Why move the data to the application and move it into a potentially less secure system? Accessing data in place under the watchful eye of the z System security is the key to empowering the enterprise to expose this data in cloud and mobile applications.

So, z Systems are at the heart of cloud strategy that any enterprise with valuable data pursues.

IBM z13s mainframeRocket is doing its part in integrating the mainframe to the cloud world in a secure and simple manner. Our Rocket Data Virtualization offering – which is available on all z13s for non-production workloads – and Mainframe Data Service on Bluemix offerings allow seamless access to mainframe data, using protocols familiar to non-z developers while continuing to enforce z security on data. This, along with IBM z/OS Connect, provides the complete platform that empowers the enterprise to realize a redefined customer experience by bringing their customers closer to their data at cloud speed.

We are also very excited about IBM’s new LinuxONE offering that offers diagonal scaling and simplifies infrastructure management and reduces the TCO for required infrastructure for enabling Hybrid Cloud.

An exciting journey is ahead of us, and we are looking forward to helping our customers and partners in redefining customer experiences.

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Azeem Ahmed
Azeem Ahmed joined Rocket Software in 2003 as a Software Engineer after having graduated from UT Austin. Over the course of past fifteen years, he has held many engineering and management roles. In his current role as Chief Technologist for Cloud, Azeem helps lead Rocket R&D around Hybrid & Public Cloud, is responsible for Rocket’s Cloud strategy, and leads Emerging Tech Research Group focused on Big Data Analytics & Cloud. In addition to this role, Azeem was instrumental in conceiving the Rocket.Build program – an internal hackathon for Rocket Engineers. He continues to direct that program every year for our engineers.

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