Logicalis Launches Power7 Cloud for IBM i and AIX
April 18, 2011 Alex Woodie
Logicalis launched its new Power7-based cloud offering last month, providing IBM Power Systems shops and ISVs another avenue for running IBM i and AIX applications. The vendor, which has its US headquarters in Farmington Hills, Michigan, says the usage-based pricing of its new Enterprise Power Cloud platform will help customers scale-up processing power without large capital expenditures.
Logicalis Group is a large reseller of Power, X64, and storage gear from IBM that’s based in the U.K. and brings in more than $1 billion in revenue each year. While the company, which is a unit of the South African company Datatec, does about four times as much AIX business as IBM i business, it does have a foot in the IBM i world and is looking to grow it. The company, which is also a reseller for Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems, has more than 1,900 employees around the world and serves 5,000 customers.
The new Enterprise Power Cloud is an extension of Logicalis’ managed service/outsourcing business, says John Iffert, vice president of IBM solutions at Logicalis. The company has provided IT and telecommunications outsourcing for more than 20 years.
Currently, the Enterprise Power Cloud is composed of a single four-socket Power 770 that can be carved up into multiple IBM i and AIX environments to run customer applications. As demand scales up, additional processors and memory can be activated. IBM XIV arrays provide back-end storage, and the PowerVM hypervisors and Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) carve up the CPU, memory, and I/O resources of the Power 770 among customers. A second Power 770 is due to be installed in the near future that will boost Logicalis’ data mirroring capability, Iffert says.
Logicalis will charge based on the amount of Power Systems memory and storage customers use, as well as charging for the network bandwidth consumed. IBM i customers will pay based on the number CPWs consumed (based on IBM’s Commercial Performance Workload benchmark for RPG applications running against DB2 for I database), whereas AIX customers will pay based on the rPerfs they use (rPerf being short for Relative Performance and used to gauge relative power on the same Power-based machines, but when running AIX).
The pay-as-you-go pricing model will particularly benefit customers with variable workloads, Iffert says. The capability to quickly scale up workloads as they are needed, and then scale them back down and pay for only the Power Systems resources that are used, will differentiate Logicalis’ cloud from general server hosting.
Logicalis takes security and disaster recovery seriously, Iffert says. The company’s data centers are SAS70 certified, and follow all applicable standards for protecting servers and data, including ITIL and HIPAA. “This wouldn’t be an effective offering without a good, secure environment. And certainly having the customer base around our data center in terms of pure managed services, we understand the security environment and deliver that to customers.”
DR and high availability look to be selling points in of themselves. “We’re having a lot of conversations about DR and having this environment in case of disaster. . . and having a replicated site that they can move to,” Iffert says. The company works with IBM i DR and HA experts at IBM and Vision Solutions, he says.
Being flexible in adapting to customer needs is a key element of what Logicalis will bring to the table, Iffert says. “You’re not ordering a part number and applying it to the customer environment,” he says. “Not every customer is the same. They’re going to consume IT in a variety of ways.”
This high level of customer service, as well as the proven technical capabilities of the Power System platform, will further set Logicalis apart from providers of generic X64-based cloud resources, such as Amazon‘s EC2 and Rackspace Hosting‘s eponymous Cloud, he says.
“Relative to the way we’ve modeled this, we’re first to market with this type of an offering,” he says. “We’re certainly going to leverage that and grow it effectively. We’ve made a huge investment to be able to make this type of an offering. Most of our competitors don’t have this capability.”
Logicalis is currently in talks with IBM and a select group of ISVs who are interested in offering their applications on the Enterprise Power Cloud. The vendor is particularly interested in working with IBM i application vendors, Iffert says.
This article was updated to reflect the fact that Logicalis’ US headquarters is in Michigan, while its corporate parent is based in South Africa.