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By John Hamel, Principal, TurningPoint Systems

It can be hard to change how your business operates. Especially when you’re considering a move as fundamental as how and where to store your data.

IBM Power Systems make their customers’ decision a lot easier.

Disaster Recovery as a Simple First Step

As recent readers of this blog know, there are a number of reasons to use cloud solutions for IBM when building out your disaster recovery plan. Hosting systems and storing documents on the cloud provides a smart safeguard in case of an emergency. Man-made and natural disasters can damage equipment, shut off power and incapacitate critical IT functions.

And for many businesses, this type of disaster recovery planning is a first step toward a complete move to the cloud. Once they see that their data is safely up in the cloud for recovery purposes, they’re more willing to engage in a role swap, from recovery to production.

Reliability is Tough to Beat 

Still, it’s easy to see why IBM Power System customers might hesitate to make a move. That’s because reliability is a cornerstone of the system. In its 2016 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability results, the Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC) reported that IBM Power Systems consistently achieved the highest reliability rating in every category, besting all other alternative server technologies.

In a 2017 report, IBM Power Systems hardware platforms achieved the highest level of reliability with 61% of Power Systems having 99.999% uptime compared to 46% of HP servers and 40% of Oracle HW users. And 82% of Power Systems users rated their satisfaction with server setup, configuration, and provisioning “excellent” or “very good.”

But even for longtime IBM Power System users, a move to the cloud makes sense. After all, the cloud is just comprised of servers (computers) and storage in data centers, similar to what you may use internally. The more stable the platform the more stable and reliable the cloud is.

5 Ways Cloud Solutions Free You to Build Your Business

Consider these five advantages to such a move:

1. You’re out of the technology game. With your data stored off-site, you no longer have to contend with equipment upgrades, switching out obsolete systems, tracking compatibility of various systems. For example, Gartner’s IT Budget report shows that healthcare companies often spend nearly 75% of their IT budgets on maintaining internal systems. Companies in all sectors often get caught up in the upfront price of software and fail to realize the total cost of ownership.

Cloud services allow you to pay for the resource usage you need while taking advantage of scale and reliability, two things that most companies can’t afford internally.

2. IT-related day-to-day worries go away. The elasticity of the cloud is tough to beat. If you need more power at a certain time of the year, you no longer have to go out and procure equipment and get it up and running. Instead, scalability is a phone call away. That’s the real value of moving to the cloud: you can react to your business needs without having to worry about changes in infrastructure.

3. Your data is kept safe. Really. Data centers and mature infrastructures build in considerable security measures. Their equipment is monitored, and access to their physical premises are heavily guarded. The cloud is no less secure than servers managed internally by your company. In fact, there’s a very good chance that these cloud infrastructures are more secure.

Back  2014, the CIA made a $600 million purchase with Amazon Web Services (AWS), displaying its trust and understanding of the benefits of the cloud. The article goes on to mention that AWS has made similar deals with NASA, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Obama administration.

Since 2014 there have been leap frog enhancements to security and the cloud. Specifically, IBM keeps enhancing the already very secure IBM Power Systems. In every road map of IBM Power platform there is a continual investment in security and cloud. Secure platform is another reason for Power Cloud.

4. Less infrastructure, more business applications. Without the expenses associated with infrastructure purchasing, care and feeding, you can spend your money or more importantly your IT resources on business enhancing applications. You’re free to shift your thinking about IT from a part of your business infrastructure to using it as a tool to better understand customers and better run your business.

5. Pay as you go. Most cloud services operate on a subscription model, where your cost is based on usage. The advantage to that? First, it allows you to pay for only the services you need; no wasted compute power or storage. Second, it allows you not to spend all your budget at once in upgrades or replacement infrastructure.

Conclusion

The simple truth is, some clients using IBM Power Systems aren’t ready to make a move to the cloud. They rest easier knowing their own data is accessible from their own systems and their own equipment. However, more and more of these clients are engaging the cloud for disaster recovery. The cloud is a valuable part of their disaster recovery plan.

In fact, the fastest growth area in the cloud market is disaster recovery, and IBM Power Systems clients are no exception. It’s a practical and economical solution and yes, it is the first step to moving to the cloud.

Let’s face it, if you declare a disaster you will be running in the cloud. First steps often take a long time but once the first step is taken, the rest come fast.