Volume 13, Number 17 -- June 18, 2013

Zend Server Gets a Seat on the IBM SmartCloud

Published: June 18, 2013

by Alex Woodie

Organizations that tap IBM for private cloud services will be able to get the PHP runtime from Zend as part of the bargain, the companies announced this month.

The expanded partnership has the companies working together to load Zend Server on SmartCloud Application Services (SCAS), IBM's platform as a service (PaaS) offering that includes Linux, WebSphere, DB2, SAP business applications, and Rational's Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) tools.

A new pattern, dubbed the Zend Server V6 Application Pattern for PHP, provides SCAS customers all of the capabilities of Zend Server 6, the latest PHP stack from the Cupertino, California company. The other major pattern is based on IBM's WebSphere and provides the Java runtime. SCAS also has the capability to run COBOL and C/C++ apps, according to IBM, but not RPG.

Zend founder Andi Gutmans praised the move as a continuation of a closer partnership between IBM and Zend. "Zend has a longstanding collaborative relationship with IBM, dating back to our original technical collaboration on the integration of PHP with IBM DB2 database software, and we enjoy strong existing partnerships around the IBM i platform, IBM SmartCloud and IBM PureSystems. I couldn't be more pleased to see the continued expansion of our partnership," he states in a press release.

One of the benefits of the expanded partnership is giving customers the capability to move PHP workloads running on customers' in-house PureSystems servers to SCAS workloads running in IBM data centers, Gutmans says.

"The pattern Zend and IBM developed leverages Zend's expertise in management, performance, and scalability," Gutmans says in a video on the Zend website. "With the pattern, IBM Pure Systems can easily provision PHP applications on the fly and scale them out as needed. In addition, the pattern is shared across PureSystems and SmartCloud, so when the customer wants to burst out into the public cloud, they can."

There isn't much here for the IBM i customer, unfortunately. The PHP apps that IBM i shops have running on System i and Power Systems servers could run on SCAS just as easily as they could run on a Linux or a Windows server, and this provides them one more cloudy option for running PHP workloads. But then, moving these apps from an in-house IBM i server to a Linux-based system would defeat the purpose of running on IBM i in the first place.

This is all because IBM doesn't currently offer an IBM i version of SmartCloud for Application Servers, although it almost certainly could if it wanted to. If and when it does offer something like SCAS for IBM i applications and workloads, partners like Zend would undoubtedly be there in a heartbeat to support it.


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Editor: Alex Woodie
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