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Blog > December 2020 > How Will You Manage Your Critical Value Streams End-to-end in the Hybrid Cloud?

How Will You Manage Your Critical Value Streams End-to-end in the Hybrid Cloud?

IBM shook the market earlier this year when it announced that it would spin-off its infrastructure services business, including zCloud. The split will result in two enterprises, currently referred to as IBM and NewCo, and is expected to complete toward the end of 2021.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna makes this move to transform the remaining IBM into a hybrid cloud management company, going forward. Hybrid cloud is a computing model that combines technology stacks in both private and public cloud, allowing for workloads to shift to one or the other based in their requirements for security, control and cost. Making this transformation allows IBM to capitalize on the 2018 acquisition of Red Hat and its OpenShift technology as a primary design paradigm for hybrid cloud.

The influence IBM has on large enterprise computing inevitably means there will be adoption of the model, and broad deployment. It will combine the extraordinary new capabilities of the IBM z15 platform with OpenShift integrated Kubernetes and Red Hat technology so workloads can shift from z/OS to Linux on a single frame.

What Brought IBM to this Point?

IBM has been seeding the market for this evolution for some time, as seen in their aggressive promotion and discounting of the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors and software for IFL LPARs, to the point that some analysts have estimated 35% of all mainframe computing capacity in the enterprise data center are IFLs dedicated to Linux.

Those unfamiliar with the current IBM Z mainframe may think this to be somewhat internally contradictory if they are not current on the latest mainframe capabilities and IBM policies. While some still think of the IBM mainframe as an insular participant in enterprise IT, the technology shifted away from that long ago. IBM z/OS supports all the modern standards and technology to earn its place at the hybrid cloud table, including:

  • Pervasive encryption and Data Security Passports for leading data privacy and infrastructure protection
  • System Recovery Boost for up to seven nines (seven 9s!) availability (that is the equivalent of only 3.15 seconds of unplanned downtime in a year)
  • Tailored Fit Pricing offering cloud-like capacity elasticity and expense management

Additionally, enterprise data center integration extensions are expected by default, such as API-exposed applications, blockchain, Java virtual machines (JVMs), TCP/IP connectivity and more.

The new hybrid cloud opportunities that IBM (and others) enable for the enterprise are leading to new development models and new approaches for cost containment while still delivering leading new functionality to users. It also brings new challenges, particularly in the end-to-end management of enterprise operational value streams.

The Need for Managing Operational Value Streams

Operational value streams are the steps that must be completed between the receipt of request from a customer for a good or service and the delivery of that good or service. Contrast with development value streams that create technology for automating the steps of an operational value stream.

In a time of hybrid cloud, maintaining visibility and control of the end-to-end execution of instances of an operational value stream are more challenging. This is magnified when the operational value stream includes steps (or jobs) that may run on IBM z/OS on z15; on Red Hat Linux on z15; Linux, Unix, and/or Windows on server on prem; applications deployed on private cloud on prem; and applications deployed on public cloud hosted by IBM, AWS, Microsoft, and others.

Appropriate control requires a value steam management platform (VSMP) that presents a unified view of the current state of any given value stream instance, regardless of which or how many technology stacks are required—mainframe, distributed, or cloud; on prem or off prem; private or public.

In addition, the VSM must present a tight security profile, particularly in the way it manages the elevated credentials frequently required on mainframe and other technology stacks to execute the work required. Last, it must provide complete facilities for issuing alerts when an operational value stream instance is stalled or fails.

Watch for a new blog post in the next week that describes how enterprises are turning to ASG Technologies for necessary hybrid cloud operational value stream management. To learn more right now, please visit the ASG-Enterprise Orchestrator webpage.

Posted: 12/15/2020 8:00:00 AM by Jeff Cherrington - VP, Product Management
Filed under :IBM, IBM_Z, Value_Stream_Management, VSM, Z