Blog | System architecture matters in era of cloud and analytics

By Ricky Lopez

ricky lopez

Today’s enterprise computing solutions must be flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of a customer’s business environment while delivering continued value over time.

Customers across industries are looking for solutions that offer improved performance and efficiency without having to expand their already limited IT operating budgets.

For many, this includes transforming and expanding the role of Big Data, analytics, and cloud play in their organizations in order to increase business agility and overall business results.

Having the right system architecture to better enable Big Data, analytics, and enterprise application delivery via the cloud goes beyond just ensuring peak processing power and maximum memory capacity.

Those features alone can cause a bottleneck in the data center, and a more holistic approach to system design that accounts for flexibility and reliability must be taken. Breaking it down into simpler terms, a system’s processor can be compared to the engine in a car.

A car’s speed and performance is largely dependent on the engine, but it can’t operate without the transmission and other key components. As with a car, server performance is not solely dependent on the processing speed and not all systems are created equally, despite being built with the same engine.

The same can be said for x86-based systems. To get the most from these systems, the architecture around them must also be optimized in order to expand workloads and increase performance, efficiency and economies.

For more than a decade, IBM has invested in innovation with its enterprise X Architecture to deliver industry-leading performance, scalability and reliability on industry standard x86-based systems.

This innovation is unparalleled in the industry, and IBM just introduced the latest version of that architecture – X6 – designed specifically for mission critical environments, including virtualization, database, analytics and ERP.

The most efficient database and transaction processing applications require systems with peak processing power and maximum memory capacity. The next-generation X6 servers are fast, agile, and resilient. They deliver significant increases in both processor and memory scalability while also offering maximum performance for enterprise applications.

X6 is the first IBM server designed from the ground up to be optimized for flash memory. The integrated flash memory channel storage delivers the fastest I/O performance to optimize performance on I/O intensive applications like analytics, database and ERP and match the processor and memory scalability.

The unique X6 modular design offers unmatched configuration flexibility and ease of configuration to speed solution deployment.

For enterprise applications, customers need solutions that are designed to scale as their business grows, and the X6 modular design accommodates multiple technology generations enabling customers to grow performance and optimal return on investment in the same chassis.

This investment protection is matched with new levels of system reliability to give customers the confidence to deploy business essential enterprise applications.

Additionally, X6 is built with solutions that are aligned with customers’ business priorities, including IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration and multiple offerings from ISV partners such as SAP, Microsoft, and VMware.

These features combine to make System x ideal for extending the Big Data and analytics workloads that today’s businesses are rapidly implementing.

Not only does X6 offer the performance needed for database applications, it’s optimized to virtualize large I/O intensive applications like ERP, database and analytics that previously were not possible on x86 servers.

This provides new application availability via a cloud model, which saves on capital, floor space and energy by consolidating enterprise workloads onto fewer physical servers.

The X6 solution offers the ability to run more virtual machines per processor, which can provide customers with significant savings in software licensing costs. This lowers the acquisition cost for customers while giving them the ability to scale for their business needs.

When planning a systems approach to achieving competitive advantage from new levels of insight with Big Data and analytics, and using the cloud to improve economics and maintain flexibility, remember to look at the complete system architecture.

The smartest organizations are discovering that system architecture innovation is the key to confidently building and managing efficient IT infrastructures for mission-critical applications in today’s changing business environment.

The author is the country manager for System x in the Systems and Technology Group at IBM Philippines

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