Connectria Bringing IBM i Workloads Closer to AWS
November 11, 2020 Alex Woodie
Organizations that want greater integration between their IBM i and cloud systems may be interested in a new offering unveiled yesterday by Connectria. In January, the private cloud company is planning to launch a new hybrid cloud offering that delivers a low latency connection between its hosted IBM i environments and AWS data centers located on the East and West coasts.
Connectria says its new hybrid cloud offering provides an “ultra-low latency direct connection” between its IBM i and AIX resources and Amazon Web Services’ US-East-1 and US-West-1 regions. With just 2 milliseconds of latency between Connectria’s Power Systems servers and the AWS data centers, Connectria says the hybrid cloud makes it possible for IBM customers to use AWS’s cloud to run X86 workloads, such as for advanced data analytics, and to leverage AWS’s capability to deliver multi-region high availability. Connectria calls this hybrid cloud its “IBM on-net with AWS” solution.
To be clear, this does not mean that AWS is running Power Systems gear. At this point, AWS still is the only major public cloud provider that has yet to accept IBM Power Systems servers into its cloud, as both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have (or are in the process) of doing. AWS is still an X86-only shop for Linux and Windows workloads (unless you count the speedy Nvidia GPUs that all the cloud vendors are furiously adopting to support emerging AI workloads).
What this does mean is that Connectria has managed to procure data center space that is very close to the physical locations of the AWS data centers, and that it has placed its Power Systems gear into those data centers. Where exactly these data centers are, we don’t know, since Amazon tends to be fuzzy about the specific locations of its data centers (although you can find out if you really want to).
What we do know is that that Amazon’s US-East-1 region is composed of a cluster of data centers, which in turn compose six separate availability zones (AZs), in the area around Arlington, Virginia, while its US-West-1 region is composed of a cluster of data centers (comprising three separate AZs) located around the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We have established two brand new datacenters which are physically adjacent to the AWS datacenters on both coasts, US-East and US-West,” a Connectria spokesperson tells IT Jungle. “The term ‘on net’ is traditionally used with datacenter providers and tenants to describe that a provider had a POP (point of presence) in a facility. In the facilities we are located, AWS has a point of presence which allows us to achieve the ultra-low latency.”
With the new data centers in San Jose, California, and Ashburn, Virginia, Connectria now has a presence in six data centers across the United States. It gives Connectria the room to expand what already was, arguably, the biggest private cloud for the IBM i market. The St. Louis, Missouri, company has offered IBM i private clouds for more than a decade, and has been in the OS/400 hosting business going back to 2000. Today, the company has more than 850 LPARs under management, across a wide range of new and vintage IBM hardware, and more than 1,000 Power Systems LPARs total.
But Connectria is not a Power-only shop, and it has worked with (and competed against) AWS for many years. The company has also explored the possibilities for linking AWS and IBM i (and AIX) workloads before. Two years ago it launched TRiA, which allows customers to manage their hosted Power environments using the same screens and management tools that they use to manage AWS.
TRiA is a component of the new “IBM on-net” offering with AWS, but it goes beyond that. AWS recognizes Connectria as an advanced AWS consulting partner with AWS competencies in migration and managed services. According to Connectria President and CEO Rich Waidmann, the new hybrid cloud offering provides a good opportunity for IBM and AIX shops that are looking to migrate their systems to the cloud.
“By combining our IBM and AWS capabilities, we’re able to deliver the first end-to-end solution of this kind, starting with the migration of your existing IBM i/AIX environment, as-is, to our modern POWER environment (with full 24/7 managed services) and backed by our next generation multi-cloud management platform, TRiA,” Waidmann says in a press release. “You can then build advanced capabilities in AWS utilizing your existing IBM assets as the base.”
AWS is the world’s largest public cloud. In addition to selling infrastructure as a service (IaaS), the company offers a host of pre-built data management tools, including relational databases, streaming analytics, and development of machine learning models.
For more information, see www.connectria.com.
Editor’s note: This article has been corrected. Connectria has more than 850 IBM i LPARs under management. IT Jungle regrets the error.