Thirumal: When it comes to choosing a cloud computing provider, it’s important to be very selective and precise over promised service levels — and to match the service level agreement with the workload. The outage that Amazon cloud users experienced this year is an example of what can happen. The Amazon offering features a low cost of entry with an appropriate service level promise for that price point. There are workloads that are right for that environment, but the ‘run your business’ production workloads are not the ones to place in this environment.
That’s why IBM has announced two flavors of public cloud offerings — SmartCloud Enterprise and SmartCloud Enterprise +. These offerings will give customers the flexibility to match their workloads to the cloud environment that offers the level of service they require. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for and there is a tradeoff between paying a little more to get far better resiliency and reliability. Before committing to run production workloads on the cloud, customers need to be convinced that they won’t suffer business outages. The SmartCloud Enterprise + service, which will be available later this year, is designed to deliver the level of service that production workloads demand. While SmartCloud Enterprise will satisfy workloads like development and test, for example, that require lower SLAs.
Our extensive experience in designing and implementing private clouds has helped shape our SmartCloud Enterprise + offering. In a prior post on this blog, I referenced our work implementing SAP in a private Cloud. This was a significant accomplishment given the expectation that sophisticated enterprise applications, like SAP, were too complex to be run in a cloud model. The SAP experience also demonstrated an ability to deliver the highest level of automation to speed not only the deployment of SAP environments, but also how these applications can be refreshed with the latest changes or updates quickly. As a result, we have demonstrated to our customers how we can drive a high level of agility and automation into managing a complex SAP environment on a private cloud.
The SAP experience is one example of the cloud investments IBM has been making to deliver the highest quality cloud services to our customers. With the announcement of SmartCloud Enterprise +, we’re expanding these production capable clouds into a public cloud offering — one that is attracting interest from the marketplace for the benefits that cloud can provide combined with the service level customers require for production workloads.