Top FIVE challenges faced by IBM AIX platform customers

Posted by Ian Hight on Sep 7, 2016 4:08:56 PM

Topics: Cloud services, Data centre services, Development integration & analytics, Hardware & software

IBM AIX customers have more in common with each other than you might think, despite a multiplicity of use cases, IT environments and industry sectors using the platform, the market is telling us they all face the same challenges.

Firstly, what is SAS IT's pedigree in the IBM Power Systems market? We manage in excess of 100 systems, both AIX and IBMi, this makes us one of the largest IBM Power MSP's in Australasia. 

After speaking to our customers, these are the top five challenges faced by IBM AIX users.

  1. Increasing systems performance without incurring an increase in cost read more
  2. Implementing systems architecture options that balance cost, agility, control, and resilience read more
  3. Maintaining a DR plan and capability that is matched to the changing RTO requirements of the business read more
  4. Retaining the necessary specialist technical skills/resources to ensure service quality read more
  5. Providing a more intuitive user interface to core business applications read more

 

Challenge #1 Increasing systems performance without incurring an increase in cost

IBM midrange systems are not commodity offerings and typically upgrading hardware and investing in new software involve significant investments.  The IBM AIX operating environment however provides a wide range of sophisticated tools and utilities which allow for effective tuning. Tools such as Lparstat, nmon analyser, and topasrec.

  Our customers have also highlighted that particularly useful tools are Puppet and Ansible for deployment and automation, and Centrify for effective AD integration.

 

Challenge #2 - Implementing systems architecture options that balance cost, agility, control, and resilience

The advent of cloud, both public and private along with the availability of sophisticated DR (Disaster Recovery) and HA (High Availability) software as well as lower cost telecommunications networks provides a wide variety of architectural options for all types of workloads.  Whilst options increase and costs typically reduce, overall the architecture can become more complex which we see driving increased demand for “solution architects”    

 

Challenge #3 - Maintaining a DR plan and capability that is matched to the changing RTO requirements of the business

The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the targeted duration of time and a service level within which a business process must be restored after a disruption in order to avoid unacceptable consequences associated with a break in business continuity.   We are seeing a significant increase in the number of organisations wanting to reduce RTO’s because of a move toward 24 x 7 operations.

We are also witnessing changes in storage utilisation.  Technologies such as deduplication, storage tiering and data management policies (sometimes incorporated into a single device as Rubrik have done) are lowering costs and as a consequence are also fueling improved DR capabilities.  Data growth is putting pressure on older DR approaches in some cases putting RTO targets at risk.  RTO requirements are undergoing change.   

 

Challenge #4 - Retaining the necessary specialist technical skills/resources to ensure service quality

Technologies such as deduplication, storage tiering and data management policies (sometimes incorporated in a single device as Rubrik have done) are lowering costs and as a consequence are also fueling improved DR capabilities.  Data growth is putting pressure on older DR approaches in some cases putting RTO targets at risk. RTO requirements are undergoing change.

 

Challenge #5 - Providing a more intuitive user interface to core business applications

There are many high profile new and emerging technologies that dominate IT conversations but in reality many organisations are still using “green screens” The technology typically associated with legacy mainframe systems.  These have remained because of the time and cost of replacing, modifying the systems themselves, or building graphical user interfaces; however through a range of tools which provide integrated front end GUI's we are seeing customers retain their backend systems preserving integrity and reliability as well as avoiding the need for more expensive software replacement projects. 

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Take the next step for free 

If you are experiencing any of these challenges we may be able to help.  During September and October we are offering four hours of consulting (no obligation) to identify options that will address these challenges.  

As a result of this free engagement we will deliver a report with actionable recommendations.

Download a free sample of your report here (pdf 440kb)

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