When implemented correctly, cloud computing should provide a better return on investment (ROI) than an internal computing model. To keep corporate information secure while evaluating an ROI-positive environment, the cloud workload should typically :
- Be non-critical
- Have varying demands and durations on system resources
- Have low network volumes
- Be able to quickly reset, clone or expand the environment
- Have simple, clear and measurable benchmark comparisons
A corporate Development and Test (Dev/Test) environment, for example, matches most of these characteristics.
In today’s AIX internal environments, including Dev/Test, the system resources are often acquired based on existing maximum requirements with projected growth estimates. These estimates are often based on 3- to 5-year business requirements, which can lead to over- or under-sizing the resource needs.
Addressing Demand Spikes
In our experience, most organizations will over-estimate their requirements, as the result is less impactful than having to go through the system acquisition process to correct a future resource shortage. Over the course of the term requirement, idle resources may consume valuable space, cooling and power.
This is further complicated by the on-demand nature of development testing workloads. Certain test environments spike for user acceptance or break-fix testing. The ability to enable these environments quickly—and have the appropriate skilled resources available at the exact time—can be a challenge.
To address these demands, environments are usually generated well in advance and system resources are allocated to respond to potential future demands. To keep these environments up to current application levels, skilled resources are continually deployed, rather than being refreshed on demand, which would increase staffing costs.
On-Premise vs. Cloud-Based AIX Dev/Test
AIX Cloud is ideally positioned to address these challenges. The cloud model is based on acquiring what is currently needed rather than what might be needed in the future, and you pay only for what you use.
Resource demands, including processor cores, memory and data storage, are addressed within minutes of receiving the request—rather than days or weeks. In this scenario, provisioning additional resources for AIX dev/test workloads is a painless exercise, and scaling back down after the demand has passed is straight-forward.
When utilizing the Data Integrity AIX Cloud, customers can choose to leverage current AIX versions or provide their own custom build, which is then stored securely and used for designated workloads. As builds are refreshed, the associated workloads are maintained by trained AIX Cloud experts during non-peak hours.
The IBM PowerVC Cloud Manager is used to manage AIX environments in the cloud. Existing customers using stored images can have totally new environments; processors, memory and storage deployed within hours, assuming the network IP addressing has been pre-defined. When environments are no longer required, the entire environment can be removed—also in just a matter of hours.
These capabilities remove the need to acquire unnecessary resources for future requirements, and address the requirement to quickly enable new environments.
Dev/Test in the Cloud: Repatriate Your Resources
Moving existing test environments to the cloud adds the additional benefit of being able to repurpose existing internal resources to requirements like Production or Disaster Recovery—a very effective way to validate the transition to cloud for AIX workloads.
Data Integrity, in partnership with TeraGo Networks, provides Canada’s first AIX Cloud Service that lets you rapidly access Power System and AIX resources as needed, at a fraction of the cost of on-premise solutions. Managed and Operated by Data Integrity, the AIX Cloud Service is deployed in TeraGo’s Tier3 Data Center in Mississauga.