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Smart Enterprise: Greater Expectations

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value-added resellers are also scrambling to host their small and mid-tier clients' applications. "They've got the customers and the relationships," O'Connell says. "By using computers in the cloud, they can run clients' apps better than the clients can themselves." Buddy, Can You Paradigm? While cloudbursting and one-off proj- ects make the public cloud appealing, for many companies, concerns about security and regulatory compliance can be deal breakers. But as IT companies solve those problems, and as the cloud's economics prove irresistible, more core business applications will appear in the public cloud, predicts Joseph Reger, CTO at Fujitsu Technology Solutions in Munich. Like it or not, he says, the IT industry and its customers are in for a paradigm change. "And everybody needs to be thinking about it," Reger says. After security, another CIO concern is potential lock-in: Will public cloud providers leverage their control of cer- tain interfaces so it becomes difficult for customers to migrate to another cloud offering? To answer, a group of companies — including Intel, AMD, Citrix, Rackspace and a variety of smaller firms and startups — recently launched an open source effort to develop cloud-based computing and storage services. Called OpenStack, the project is building on a cloud-provisioning code called Nebula, developed and donated by NASA. OpenStack's members intend to build software for public cloud service providers and enterprises. Private cloud technology is evolving rap- idly, too. Cisco Systems recently launched a data center platform, Unified Computing System (UCS), that streamlines the provi- sioning and scaling of cloud infrastructures. By integrating x86-architecture server blades with 10-gigabit Ethernet intercon- nect switches in a common set of hardware, UCS reduces provisioning time and cost. For example, when a new server chassis is added to a UCS cloud, all the necessary updates to Fibre Channel networking zones and security settings are handled automatically. It's true plug and play. This unified approach raises IT pro- ductivity while lowering the total cost of ownership. "You can add and move chassis without changing the switching and net- work topology," says Mark Balch, Product Manager, Engineering, with Cisco's UCS team. "With fewer individual pieces to manage, there's less impact on the overall IT environment. All policies are compat- ible and scalable as you add new servers." With so many new options available, CIOs might be forgiven for overlooking that tire- less data-center workhorse, the mainframe. But in some IT departments, at least, the mainframe is enjoying a quiet renaissance. Consider that in 2000, the world's IBM mainframes had an aggregate computing power of around 3.8 million MIPS (millions of instructions per second, a measure of mainframe processing capacity). By 2009, that worldwide figure had more than tripled to 14 million MIPS. "Not bad for a 'dead' platform!" says Scott Fagen, a Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect for Mainframe at CA Technologies. Much of this increase is attributable to Web-based e-commerce and banking, Fagen notes. While Web merchants such as and eBay rely on masses of distributed commodity servers to dish out Web content and process customer orders, the resulting payment transactions still pass through legions of mainframes operated by credit card companies and banks. Tried and True Why? It all comes down to reliability, avail- ability and serviceability (RAS), an IBM formulation. Because a mainframe's hard- ware and software are so tightly integrated, its RAS attributes remain unmatched by other hardware platforms. Also, RAS today extends to not only legacy mainframe oper- ating systems, but also hundreds if not thousands of virtualized Linux instances per mainframe complex. "Resilience turns out to be the mainframe's best-kept secret," Fagen says. Other factors are at work, too. Because m a i n f ra m e s g e n e ra l l y c o n s u m e l e s s energy per unit of computing work, they're "greener" than commodity hardware. Main- frames also pack more punch into a given area of data-center floor space, and they win hands-down in total cost of owner- ship — especially when measured over periods of three years or more, during which commodity servers typically need to be replaced. Also, the CPU utilization rates of main- frames are typically two to three times higher than those of commodity servers, even when the latter are heavily virtualized. "On a mainframe, utilization easily gets up to nearly 100 percent, while a standard CLOUD COMPUTING BY THE NUMBERS Server hardware spending for public cloud computing: $582 million $718 million Server hardware spending for private cloud computing: $2.6 million $5.7 million Percentage of IT public cloud services revenues represented by soware as a service (SaaS): 73% SaaS market revenues: $13.1 billion SaaS market forecast: $40.5 billion Cloud server hardware market opportunity: $3.8 billion or 600,000 units $6.4 billion or 1.3 million units DATA: IDC reports, 2010 Note: 2010 and 2014 figures are forecasts 2010 2014 2009 2014 2009 2009 2009 2014 2014 40 SMARTENTERPRISEMAG.COM

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