How cloud migration of IBM Power workloads adds value, thanks to Skytap on Azure

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

In this guest blog post, Matthew Romero, Technical Product Marketing Manager at Skytap, examines the benefits of overcoming perceived migration challenges for mission-critical IBM Power workloads.


The cloud is increasingly important for enterprise IT, and demand for Microsoft Azure continues to skyrocket: A reported 63 percent of enterprise-class organizations already run apps on Azure.

Despite this massive movement to the cloud, countless enterprises continue to run IBM Power workloads on-premises. These mission-critical applications have been developed over many years and represent deep investments. Often, these applications are perceived to be cloud-stubborn, as they were not originally designed for the cloud and are consequently often left behind because of perceived migration risks and challenges. However, leaving these critical workloads behind hinders your ability to fully realize the benefits of your organization’s cloud strategy.


Benefits of moving IBM Power workloads to the cloud


  • Flexibility and scalability – The cloud supports fluctuations in usage and aligns spending with business needs. If your team needs maximum resources during a software release, capacity can be spun up as needed, then released when work is complete. Or, if applications are not used during nights and weekends, resources during those periods can be freed up. Capacity can be adjusted to align with business demands (e.g., scaling up to support business growth or scaling down for declines in use).

  • Leading-edge security – Azure offers leading-edge security across physical datacenters, infrastructure, and operations that provides greater levels of threat protection than on-premises solutions and reduces the effort and expense of trying to stay ahead of evolving threats.

  • Eliminate datacenter costs – Hardware, operating systems, and maintenance contracts add up and require periodic upgrades and renewals, along with ongoing network, power, and other datacenter costs. Moving to Azure lets you adopt a more consistent operating expense (OPEX) model that more directly aligns spending with business needs.

  • Operational resilience – Cloud environments are ideal for supporting disaster recovery (DR), the demand for which is particularly high for mission-critical workloads. Rather than overprovisioning with duplicate hardware for maximum need, Skytap on Azure’s pay-as-you-go model allows you to approach failover with the capacity and compute resources needed in the event of an outage. This means you only pay for what you use when you use it.

  • Modernize and prepare for talent shortages – The people with the skill sets required to keep often-fragile legacy applications are maturing without the equivalent talent to replace them. By moving your mission-critical applications to Azure, you can start to gradually replatform into modern architectures that support agile development and DevOps processes.

Once your IBM Power applications are in Azure, you can modernize them at your own pace to support digital transformation initiatives and innovation. Beyond modernization, you can extend the value of your IBM Power investments by incorporating new technologies, such as advanced data analytics, machine learning, and AI, to better respond to changing customer and business demands. One such example is how you can unlock data insights for previously siloed data by connecting your IBM Power data to Azure Synapse analytics.


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Succeeding with IBM Power in the cloud via Skytap on Azure


Skytap on Azure, available in the Azure Marketplace, offers a simple, low-risk path to the cloud for IBM Power workloads. Skytap was purpose-built to run IBM Power in the cloud and makes it possible to move legacy applications to Azure without rewriting, refactoring, or rearchitecting. Once your IBM Power workloads are migrated, you can unlock cloud agility and scalability along with access to cloud-native services that extend the value and life of your existing applications.


Skytap on Azure supports native AIX, IBM i, Linux on Power, and traditional x86 workloads, making it a fit for enterprises across industries that have IBM Power on-premises and a cloud strategy. You can use it to run production workloads with 99.95 percent availability and secure connectivity to on-premises applications. You can also use it to run disaster recovery environments to meet business continuity requirements. Once your IBM Power workloads are migrated to Azure, you can immediately take advantage of cloud features and functionality for your business-critical workloads.


Here are two recent examples of how companies have leveraged Skytap on Azure to modernize IT infrastructure and support business objectives:


  • Intertek PSI – Consulting and engineering services firm Intertek PSI historically relied on Infor Lawson ERP software and line-of-business applications based on IBM Power Systems running AIX with interfaces to several x86 front-end systems. These essential applications had been hosted and managed by a well-known global IT services provider for roughly a decade. However, faced with expensive IBM Power Systems upgrades, the provider told Intertek PSI it was ending its Power support, forcing the firm to find a new solution within six months. Intertek PSI looked to Skytap on Azure to resolve this challenge and support future business needs.


  • SPAR Retail Group – When civil unrest erupted in South Africa in 2021, SPAR found itself in a precarious situation. The food suppliers in the country were directly threatened, including SPAR’s datacenter operations. SPAR’s engineers had no physical access to the datacenter and its mission-critical IBM Power Systems. SPAR looked to Skytap on Azure to resolve this challenge and support business continuity needs.


Create an account today and create your first LPAR (logical partition) within a matter of minutes; pay-as-you-go pricing lets you work with Skytap risk-free. You can also learn more about Skytap on Azure on our website, or download a copy of our Skytap on Azure migration guide.


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