Skytap Offers Deals and Discounts in IBM, Azure Clouds
February 10, 2021 Alex Woodie
IBM is offering up to $500 in free money for new customers who sign up for Skytap on IBM Cloud, a joint infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering between the two companies that allows customers to run IBM i, AIX, and Linux workloads in the IBM Cloud. Meanwhile, Skytap is offering a free upgrade to enterprise support for the remainder of 2021 for customers who sign up for its Power on Azure cloud IaaS offering.
Skytap landed on IT Jungle’s radar in late 2018, when it announced it was building a “true cloud” offering for IBM i. By “true cloud,” the company meant that customers would be allowed to scale their IBM i workloads — as well as their payments — up and down from a Web console as needed, as opposed to being locked into IBM i infrastructure of a fixed size that requires manual intervention to change.
In 2019, Skytap told us that its hourly pricing structure gave it a key advantage over other private cloud offerings available to IBM i customers. At that point, the only other way to get hourly pricing in a cloud was directly from IBM, which had just added IBM i support to its IBM Cloud and was finalizing the all-important pricing structure. At this time, Skytap was hosting IBM i slices in its own data center in Seattle, Washington, as well as in IBM Cloud facilities in Dallas, Texas, and London, England. (It has since expanded to run in the Toronto, Ontario IBM Cloud data center).
In December 2019, Skytap inked a deal with Microsoft to add another public cloud option for IBM i customers. The partnership brought Power Systems servers into the Azure cloud for the first time, with responsibility for managing the IBM i, AIX, and Linux environments falling to Skytap personnel.
The IBM Cloud and the Microsoft Azure cloud represent the two main go-to-market strategies for Skytap. The company’s claim to fame is hosting and managing complex enterprise applications that require careful orchestration of components residing across multiple legacy platforms and networks. Skytap has figured out how to virtualize all of this and run it as a cohesive whole, which is not an easy thing to do.
To help drum up cloud business, IBM is offering $500 in credit to new Skytap on IBM Cloud users. According to Skytap, that’s enough money to create a Power Systems environment with up to 44GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage and run it for four weeks, which should be enough time to get a feel as to how a production or backup system will run in the Skytap on IBM Cloud environment.
Once customers activate the deal from IBM, the $500 must be spent within 90 days, according to Skytap. It’s only available to new customers. Once the credit has been used up, the customer is under no obligation to continue with the service, Skytap says.
Not to be outdone, Skytap also has a deal going for its Skytap on Azure offering, which also targets IBM i, AIX, and Linux workloads. “Now all customers who purchase Skytap on Azure directly through the Azure Marketplace will be upgraded automatically to our Enterprise support tier at no additional cost through 2021,” Skytap said in a blog post on February 1.
The enterprise support tier offers several enhancements over the standard support tier, according to Skytap, including faster response times, free best practices support and two half-days of consulting per year. It also includes phone, email, and screen-sharing access to technical support staff and support for API issues, among other benefits.
Meanwhile, Skytap last week inked a deal with backup provider Commvault to provide data protection for IBM i environments running in the Skytap on Azure environment.
“Working with Commvault so we can provide backup, recovery, and migration support for mission-critical IBM i workloads just makes sense,” Skytap CEO Brad Schick said in a press release. “We combined Commvault’s industry-leading data backup and recovery solution with Skytap’s ability to natively run IBM i workloads in Microsoft Azure to offer customers the most reliable and affordable IBM i solution available today.”
Commvault isn’t normally thought of as a major player in the IBM i backup space. But the company does offer support for the platform, including IBM i version 6.1 through 7.3, according to its website. According to a white paper available on the site, Commvault develops an IBM iAgent that deploys to the IBM i server and communicates with the Commvault Data Platform. It supports traditional IBM i data, as well as the IFS, and offers encryption, compression, and de-duplication.