IBM Virtualization: The Underpinning of Smarter Computing

As we enter an era of Smarter Computing, IT organizations are facing exploding demand. Data is more than doubling every two years and new services with greater quality are requested. All this, on budgets that on average grow less than one percent per year.

As IT organizations learn how to do more with less, virtualizing servers, storage and networks can help them achieve a simpler, more scalable and cost-efficient IT infrastructure.  Proper management of the virtualized infrastructure also improves the speed of deployment of new services.  The road to improved business agility has four distinct stages that range from securing IT efficiency in the consolidation stage, to gaining business effectiveness in the optimize stage. 

Companies frequently start by virtualizing servers.  This can deliver immediate benefits from lower capital expense and reduced energy costs: For example, Edith Cowan University in Australia consolidated a large, distributed, older infrastructure of systems and storage into an end to end, cost effective solution using virtualization on IBM System x.  They reduced their physical server count from 600 to 100, achieved significant savings in power and cooling, and freed up administrator time for higher value projects.

Further benefits are available by using IBM Systems Director to manage physical and virtual resources across the entire IBM Systems portfolio (System x, Power, System z, storage, networking) and across multiple virtualization environments (KVM, VMware, etc.).  Companies who have implemented Systems Director achieve important savings such as reducing server management costs by up to 34 percent.  And using additional tools from IBM Tivoli, IT administrators can deploy new workloads and services more rapidly across IBM and non-IBM environments.

The virtualization journey offers a solid foundation for cloud computing. Clients like China Telecom Jiangxi (.pdf) rely on IBM’s virtualization solutions and expertise to achieve the flexibility and economic benefits of Smarter Computing.  Using IBM Power servers, IBM PowerVM and IBM Systems Director VMControl, China Telecom Jiangxi created cloud landscapes and managed pools of virtual systems. They used the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) to virtualize and manage storage. With this IBM solution, they reduced time to market for new offerings from months to days, improved utilization, cut hardware costs by over 50 percent, and reduced power requirements and CO2 emissions.

IBM also provides clients choice, by supporting open source virtualization technologies such as KVM that are cost effective, and offer enterprise-class performance and scalability.  In May, IBM helped found the Open Virtualization Alliance, an industry consortium focused on driving market adoption of KVM and fostering an ecosystem of KVM based solutions.  Since then, more than 170 members have joined, many of them virtualization, datacenter and Cloud solution providers. This fast pace of enrollment illustrates the excitement we see in the industry around KVM, and the customer demand for an open alternative in virtualization.

IBM’s virtualization solutions are a critical factor of Smarter Computing and the foundation for cloud computing, helping to improve business agility and staff productivity.  IBM consistently demonstrates the economic benefits of virtualization on our range of server and storage platforms, and with that addresses the biggest challenges that CIO’s and IT architects face today.

Inna Kuznetsova
Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Systems Software & ISVs
Systems and Technology Group, IBM Corporation

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