Iowa MSP Teams with Vision for Hosted HA
November 9, 2016 Alex Woodie
In the market for hosted high availability? There’s a new IBM i offering now available from Iowa managed service provider (MSP) LightEdge Solutions, which teamed up recently with Vision Solutions to put MIMIX and iTERA Availability on its private Power Cloud.
LightEdge Solutions is a 20-year old IT services firm based in Des Moines that hosts and manages systems on behalf of its clients. The company currently has two data centers, including a 20,000 square-foot facility in Altoona, Iowa, and another located in the underground “SubTropolis” business complex in Kansas City, Missouri. The company is currently building two additional data centers, including one in Des Moines and a second data center in Altoona that will be 76,000 square feet.
LightEdge personnel have decades of experience working with IBM Power Systems servers and the IBM i environment. The company has been managing co-located IBM i environments for the past five years, a service that it calls its Power Practice. Recently it launched a private cloud hosting business based on IBM Power Systems systems called, appropriately enough, Power Cloud.
Roger Mellman, a solutions architect with LightEdge, tells IT Jungle the company was approached by Big Blue and LightEdge’s own IBM i customer base to expand the scope of its business resiliency services for customers of the venerable platform.
“Our roots in the Power Practice started out by managing and monitoring customer-owned equipment and MIMIX within our data center,” Mellman says via email. “This has evolved over the last five years to customer equipment outside of our ecosystem and continues to increase.”
A shortage of IBM i expertise is making it harder for companies to effectively manage the platform at the high level that it demands, including skills related to running high availability replication and recovering from disasters, Mellman says (see related story “Is the IBM i Skills Shortage Accelerating Platform Migrations?”)
“Our customers were telling us there was no economically feasible disaster recovery option for iSeries,” Mellman says. “The platform was still extremely critical, yet aging, and iSeries knowledgeable resources were very scarce.”
The company was already managing MIMIX environments on behalf of some customers, so it decided to partner with Vision and standardize the offering in the hopes of attracting more customers. In addition to MIMIX, the company will manage iTERA Availability environments on behalf of its customers.
Most HA engagements require a second IBM i server to serve as the backup system. With a hosted HA offering like LightEdge’s, customers’ data is replicated to a virtualized IBM i environment running in a separate LPAR in LightEdge’s data center. In the event of a disaster, LightEdge can quickly scale up additional resources to support the customers’ processing needs. The company also makes extensive use of the virtual tape library (VTL) equipment from Dell EMC‘s Data Domain in its IBM i backup and recovery service.
A close attention to customers’ individual needs is what distinguishes LightEdge from other hosted HA solutions, Mellman says. “There are numerous companies who provide similar services to one degree or another,” he allows. “LightEdge, however, engages at the business level first to understand what’s most important for businesses to be successful and then helps architect the appropriate LightEdge components, people or partners to achieve optimal success for our customers.”
LightEdge is making use of the new software licensing scheme that Vision introduced in 2014 for hosted HA. The advent of metered billing eliminated the need for MSPs to buy perpetual licenses for hosted HA clients.
LightEdge is supporting IBM i customer environments running on IBM i 6.1 and higher. For more info see www.lightedge.com.