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Looking at the ROI and TCO of IBM PureFlex Systems

2013/08/25 Comments off

TCO_1By a show of hands, how many of you need to know, or want to know, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your technology investments? Fine. Now, how many of you need to calculate the return on your technology investments (ROI)? Chances are very good that if you raised your hand at either or both of those questions, you’re a company manager, a C-level executive, a project manager, or a marketing representative. You have a vested interest in knowing the numbers behind a technology investment. No one has enough power to make capital purchases without answering to someone for them.

Sure, there are some intangible returns reaped from using the best available technology but subjective value is difficult to put on a graph. It’s even more difficult to explain to shareholders. Perhaps the best way to gain an understanding of ROI, TCO, and value is to use a disinterested third party to give you an unemotional, objective assessment.

IBM understands the value of doing just that. That’s precisely why IBM has enlisted the services of Alinean, Inc. Alinean, Inc. (Alinean) is a company that develops “economic justification tools” for business-to-business (B2B) vendors. Alinean developed the IBM PureFlex System TCO Analysis Tool to compare the total cost of ownership for the IBM PureFlex System versus a traditional dedicated or virtualized IT infrastructure.

To use the IBM PureFlex System TCO Analysis Tool, you’ll need some assistance from your technical team leads. There are questions that refer to server groups, hypervisor type, databases, application servers, storage tiers, and virtual machine configurations that you’ll have to know to complete the Requirements section (tab).

breakevenBased on the information you provide in the Requirements section, the tool calculates the IBM PureFlex Systems equivalent hardware and software requirements and the total cost associated with the transition*.

The final page of the report compares your current solution to the IBM PureFlex equivalent. Given in the analysis are costs from capital outlay such as hardware, software, licensing, and storage. There’s a section outlining estimated operating costs from support contracts, support labor, and facilities. There are also sections that calculate employee productivity and revenue impacts.

The TCO Analysis page also summarizes your initial investment expenses, your five-year expenses, your total five-year benefits, your total ROI, and estimated payback time in months. The calculator also provides you with a graphical representation of the costs associated with your current solution versus the equivalent IBM PureFlex one. Finally, the report presents you with a graphical Break Even Analysis displaying your costs vs. benefits over a five year period.

As with any such automated analysis, there are factors that are specific to your circumstances that might alter your actual numbers and outcomes. This calculator provides you with a reasonable estimate based on your answers to the questions but can’t evaluate every scenario.

roi-equation

I challenge you to dedicate a few hours of research into your current solution and invest fifteen minutes into the TCO/ROI Tool to make the comparison. This PureFlex System comparison could save you a significant amount of money–a move that makes everyone happy–from managers to shareholders to customers. Take the IBM PureFlex Systems TCO challenge and post your savings numbers here as proof of the possibilities of moving to a PureFlex environment.

*As noted on the IBM PureFlex System Configuration page, the cost of training is not included in the price, since this number will vary depending on several factors.
IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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IBM Flex-es its computing muscle again by going ‘Beyond Blades’

2013/08/07 Comments off

systems_pureflex_maininfographic_620x360_v2This week IBM announced exciting news about new offerings within the Flex System. These offerings will help the system fully evolve into a high-performance, reliable, secure and cloud-based system that can be tailored to meet every SMB’s unique IT needs. Users will enjoy integrated computing, storage, networking resources that are both easy to use and adaptable to dynamic external conditions.

IBM’s new Flex systems go beyond blades to bring you truly integrated compute, storage, networking, and management into a modular and flexible system. It’s also the industry’s first 40GB bandwidths and integrated SAN.

What this means for SMBs is flexible, scalable, and customizable systems that can grow with business needs. The new modular Flex System is perfect for SMBs who are budget conscious in that this new Flex System provides more compute power per dollar than any comparable hardware on the market.

And IBM is going beyond blades in another way by designing its systems as ‘compute nodes’ and giving you the capability to support the equivalent of 28 compute nodes per  IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis.

“With a broad range of x86 and IBM POWER compute nodes, the Flex System V7000 storage node, enhanced networking capabilities and sophisticated system management capabilities, you can upgrade your existing blade server infrastructure and make your IT simpler, more flexible, more open, and more efficient.”

To learn more about IBM’s Flex System technology, watch the IBM Flex System video or connect to IBM’s Flex System page describing the technology and the new game changing improvements in detail.

IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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Virtualization Tips: Insights from Virtualization Experts

2013/02/12 Comments off

virtexpertsVirtualization is a move in the right direction for many reasons: service rightsizing, consolidation, cloud computing, agile solutions, better hardware utilization, XaaS and modernization. The migration from a purely hardware-driven data center to a more virtualized one can seem daunting. To add confusion, there are several options from which to choose in the virtualization market. And although some industry experts would argue, there’s no single correct answer to every problem.

If you’re considering moving toward a virtualized infrastructure, there are some things that you should know first. For example, server and service consolidation projects usually precede virtualization projects. You already have too many servers doing too little, so you don’t want to simply convert that inefficient environment to a virtual one. You won’t gain the savings that you deserve, if you do.

IBM has created a Virtualization Tips infographic that you can view or download for reference. This infographic contains valuable tips and advice from leading industry experts. The infographic includes the four primary steps toward realizing your own virtual infrastructure: prepare, plan, extend and implement.

The infographic also includes survey results and statistics from more than 2,000 industry decision makers.

IBM also offers you the code to embed the infographic on your website.

Dan Kusnetsky’s eBook promotion is on the IBM MM Facebook page: http://goo.gl/yZmY3. Please note that for the eBook promotion, users can only receive the download if they are a fan of IBM for Midsize Businesses on Facebook.

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IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.

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Categories: Articles, Virtualization

IBM and CloudShare: Agile Development Partnership

2012/10/24 Comments off

Selecting a VM Template

IBM recently announced its partnership with CloudShare enhancing the world of cloud application development. The partnership provides advanced application lifecycle management capabilities for agile development in a single virtual package. IBM and CloudShare provide you with a complete development environment using Rational Team Concert, pre-installed and ready for your development projects. And, you also have ready-made client systems setup with the Eclipse IDE for rapid development.

CloudShare’s environment offers quick setup from single client systems to multi-server farms. The interface is very easy to use–so easy, in fact, that you could be logged into your new system in as little as five minutes.

The eight easy steps to your own CloudShare Cloud infrastructure:

  1. Register
  2. Login to CloudShare
  3. Select your Template
  4. Add Machine
  5. Save and Run
  6. View Machine
  7. Login
  8. Get to work

Working with a Linux VM

You might have a difficult time selecting from all of the available operating systems and setup options. Although, the CloudShare Available Machines site lists just over 30 options, you’ll find more than 60 when it’s time for you to setup your infrastructure. From classics such as Windows XP, CentOS 5 and Windows Server 2003 to Windows 8 Enterprise, Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows Server 2012 and everything in between and a few beyond, they’re all there and ready to serve.

Cloud computing addresses one of the more frustrating aspects of traditional application development, according to Guri Stark, CEO of CloudShare. “Getting additional resources and new versions of servers and software is costly and takes a long time,” he said. In contrast, a cloud service can spin up new virtual machines in minutes.

If you’re looking for spectacular, CloudShare has it with 23 different SharePoint Templates in every possible configuration. And, to get you up and running rapidly, you can deploy an entire SharePoint Development farm with a single click. For example, you can deploy the community written SharePoint farm for developers.  This “Small Farm” configuration has a separate SQL Server, separate Active Directory, a Web Front End, and an App server with all your favorite SharePoint development tools.

Deploying a SharePoint “Small” Farm

Imagine the possibilities with your own N-Tier, shareable, Cloud-based application development environment consisting of an Active Directory Server, two SharePoint Enterprise Servers and a SQL Server 2008 R2 deployed in under ten minutes.

The benefits of this type of environment and service are that SMBs can take advantage of low cost Cloud-based solutions without any capital expenditures or long-term contracts.

For those of you who’ve wrestled with Amazon.com’s AWS, you’ll thank IBM and CloudShare for this easy to use and rapid deployment solution.

Further information regarding the announcement and platform. If you’d like to try CloudShare for yourself, check out the 14-day free trial.

IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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Categories: Articles, Cloud, Virtualization

Integrated Systems and Virtualization for Midsize Businesses (Tweet Chat Recap)

2012/08/30 Comments off

On August 20th from 2pm – 3pm ET the @IBMPureSystems handle hosted a Twitter Chat around the question of “Integrated Systems & Virtualization for Midsize Businesses”. Listed below are our expert panelist answers, as well as top answers from others in the community. After each question, there is a synopsis of the answers and further analysis. Comments have been sprinkled throughout the post to guide the reader and help establish a flow to what is a free-flowing twitter conversation.

Recap of the Tweet Chat

The five questions asked during the Tweet Chat were as follows and my answers (I didn’t attend the Tweet Chat):

Q1: What ROI benefits does @IBMPureSystems deliver beyond more computing power?

Q2: Aren’t expert integrated systems too complex for midsize businesses to implement?

Q3: What common concerns do midsize businesses have when considering virtualization?

Q4: How can virtualization help with the cost and complexity of infrastructure management?

Q5: What are some essential requirements for simplifying a data center at a midsize biz?

Q6: #IBM says @IBMPureSystems is designed ‘with cloud in mind.’ What exactly does that mean?

A1: Efficiency improvements in deployment and management–two huge pain points for the #SMB market. The return on those two areas alone is worth the cost of the initial investment.

A2: Not at all too complex. It sounds complex but IBM makes it easy to implement and offers assistance where required. The increased efficiency negates any perceived complexity.

A3: I would say cost. Business owners and execs see dollars flying out the window with any technology shift. What they must understand is that there is an investment in any technology but it’s the return on that investment that really matters. Don’t look for the short term return. The real return on virtualization is realized longer term through fewer technology refreshes, lower staffing requirements and more efficient operations.

A4: I think I partly answered this one in Q3. However, virtualization brings all of the complexities of a standard network into a single location and makes them simpler. It also increases efficiency, and lowering costs, by leveraging skills. For example, System Administrators can now fully provision and deploy systems without help from a Network group, Storage group or Facilities staff.

A5: Consolidation would be number one. Consolidation decreases the number of physical systems to worry about, maintain and refresh. The second would be virtualization. Virtualization simplifies the server environment as discussed previously.

A6: It’s built with elasticity and workload optimization as part of its feature set, which is part of the definition of cloud solutions. Cloud solutions are elastic in nature and are workload optimized. This means that you can quickly deploy and undeploy computing resources as needed and you’ll know that you won’t have performance bottlenecks regardless of workload type or magnitude.

IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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Categories: Articles, Cloud, Virtualization

Mid-market Business Cloud Transition Pain Points (Podcast)

2012/04/25 Comments off

IBM’s Vice President of Global Mid-market Sales, Mike McClurg, and I discuss IBM’s role in transitioning mid-sized businesses into virtualized infrastructures and cloud-based technologies. We discuss IaaS, SaaS and pain points associated with the shift to hosted solutions. 21 minutes. MP3 format.

IBM_MidMarket_Cloud_Discussion_with_MikeMcClurg_Apr_2012

IBM for Midsize Business

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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