IBM i for Midsize Businesses Minimizing Costs and Risks for Midsize Businesses


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This report deals with this cost/benefit equation. Specifically, it compares the IBM i 7.1 operating system deployed on Power Systems with two alternatives: use of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, and use of x86 Linux with Oracle Database 11g, both deployed on Intel-based servers.

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IBM i for Midsize Businesses Minimizing Costs and Risks for Midsize Businesses

  1. 1. October  2012  MANAGEMENT  BRIEF   IBM i for Midsize Businesses Minimizing Costs and Risks for Midsize Businesses International Technology Group 609 Pacific Avenue, Suite 102 Santa Cruz, California 95060-4406 Telephone: + 831-427-9260 Email: Website:
  2. 2. Copyright © 2012 by the International Technology Group. All rights reserved. Material, in whole or part, contained in this document may not bereproduced or distributed by any means or in any form, including original, without the prior written permission of the International TechnologyGroup (ITG). Information has been obtained from sources assumed to be reliable and reflects conclusions at the time. This document wasdeveloped with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) funding. Although the document may utilize publicly available material fromvarious sources, including IBM, it does not necessarily reflect the positions of such sources on the issues addressed in this document. Materialcontained and conclusions presented in this document are subject to change without notice. All warranties as to the accuracy, completeness oradequacy of such material are disclaimed. There shall be no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the material contained in thisdocument or for interpretations thereof. Trademarks included in this document are the property of their respective owners.
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 Challenges and Solutions 1 IT Costs 1 Risk Exposure 4 Costs of Downtime 4 Security and Malware Protection 5 Architecture and Technology 6 Conclusions 6 RISK TRENDS 8 Overview 8 Availability and Recovery 8 Security and Malware 13 Threat Matrix 13 Data Breaches 13 PLATFORM DIFFERENTIATORS 14 Overview 14 IBM i 7.1 14 Power Systems 18 Overview 18 Virtualization 18 Comparing with x86 21 Availability Optimization 22 Power Systems 22 Software Solutions 23 Energy Efficiency 24 DETAILED DATA 25 Installations 25 IT Cost Calculations 26 Costs of Downtime 27List of Figures 1. Overall Three-year Costs by Platform – Averages for All Installations 2 2. Three-year Acquisition and Ongoing Costs by Platform – Averages for All Installations 2 3. Power Systems and x86 Server Configurations – Example 3 4. Three-year Costs of Downtime – Averages for All Installations 4 5. Comparative Vulnerability Data: January 2008 Through June 2012 5 6. Comparative Vulnerability Data: Lifetime Totals 5 7. Basic Manufacturing Supply Chain Processes – SCOR Model 9 8. 24-hour Online Order Activity – Distributor Example 10 9. Potential Costs of Outages – Manufacturing Companies 12 10. IBM i 7.1 Single-level Storage Structure 15 11. IBM i 7.1 and IBM Power Systems Autonomic Functions 17 12. IBM i and Power Systems Architecture 20 13. System Environment Layers – Example 21 14. Key Power Systems Availability Optimization Technologies 23 15. Active Energy Manager and EnergyScale Functions for Power Systems 24 16. Installations and Scenarios Summary 25 17. Three-year IT Costs Breakdown 28International Technology Group i
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYChallenges and SolutionsThe challenges faced by midsize businesses remain daunting. An uncertain economic outlook, slowmarket growth and cost pressures continue to affect most industries. Yet, in most geographies, ITspending by midsize businesses is increasing. Technology continues to offers the potential for greatercompetitiveness, improved operating efficiency and higher productivity.Investment priorities vary. Mobile devices and social media are major targets, while interest in cloudcomputing continues to grow. Adoption of new tools to collect, analyze and exploit information hasbecome pervasive. These and other new technologies offer the potential for far-reaching change in theway businesses compete.Certain things, however, do not change. Companies continue to require core systems that “run thebusiness.” Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and core business-critical systems in banking,retail, insurance and other industries, remain the backbone of IT infrastructures. As new technologies aredeployed within organizations, the role of these systems becomes increasingly significant.The cost/benefit equation for platforms supporting these systems may be simply stated. If core systemscease functioning, so does the business. If performance or functionality is impaired, key processes acrossorganizations may be impacted.This report deals with this cost/benefit equation. Specifically, it compares the IBM i 7.1 operating systemdeployed on Power Systems with two alternatives: use of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and SQLServer 2008, and use of x86 Linux with Oracle Database 11g, both deployed on Intel-based servers.There are sharp distinctions between IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems, and these alternatives. Architecturesand software environments are significantly different. IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems are optimized todeliver levels of availability and security that are – by wide margins – higher than those of x86-basedequivalents. Risk exposure is correspondingly less.Such capabilities would justify a cost premium. In practice, however, overall IT costs for use of IBM i 7.1and Power Systems may be significantly lower than for x86 equivalents. Higher levels of consolidationand more efficient use of system resources, along with lower system and database administrationoverhead deliver economies that are seldom realized in Windows and x86 Linux environments.IT CostsIn six representative installations in midsize manufacturing, distribution and retail companies, three-yearIT costs for use of IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems average 44 percent less than for x86 servers withMicrosoft Windows Server and SQL Server, and 57 percent less than for x86 servers with Linux andOracle databases.Costs included hardware acquisition and maintenance; license and support costs for operating systems,databases and other systems software; personnel costs for system and database administration; andfacilities (primarily energy) costs.Figure 1 summarizes these results.International Technology Group 1
  5. 5. x86  Linux/Oracle   1,118.3 Windows  Servers   862.2IBM  i  7.1/Power  Systems   480.2 $ Thousands Hardware   Maintenance   SoLware  licenses   SoLware  support   Personnel   FaciliNes  Figure 1: Overall Three-year Costs by Platform – Averages for All InstallationsComparisons are between latest-generation versions of all platforms. These include IBM Power 720 and740 systems configured with POWER7 processors and PowerVM virtualization; and dual- and four-socket x86 servers equipped with Intel E5 and E7 processors. VMware ESXi 5 is employed withWindows and x86 Linux servers.Costs for use of IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems are lower across the board. For example, initial acquisitioncosts for hardware and software licenses average 24 percent less than for Windows and 47 percent lessthan for x86 Linux/Oracle servers. Ongoing costs average 51 percent and 61 percent less respectively.Figure 2 summarizes these results. x86  Linux/Oracle   1,118.3 Windows  Servers   862.2 IBM  i  7.1/Power  Systems   480.2 AcquisiNon  costs   Ongoing  costs   $ ThousandsFigure 2: Three-year Acquisition and Ongoing Costs by Platform – Averages for All InstallationsIndividual x86 servers and software suites may be less expensive, but proliferation inflates costs. Separateservers are deployed to handle database, application and Web serving, and to support test, developmentand production instances. Hardware, software and maintenance costs are multiplied accordingly. Greateradministrative complexity increases personnel costs.Although VMware is employed to help reduce numbers of x86 servers, its effects are incremental.Reflecting overall industry experience, VMware hypervisors in these comparisons host test, developmentand comparatively light-duty production systems.Higher per processor performance, along with more granular partitioning and real-time workloadmanagement mean that the level of concentration achieved with IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems issignificantly greater.In one of the comparisons presented in this report, for example, 10 physical Windows servers, two ofwhich act as VMware hosts, are required to handle the same applications, workloads and instances thatrun on two partitioned Power Systems configured in a PowerHA SystemMirror for i failover cluster.International Technology Group 2
  6. 6. Figure 3 illustrates this comparison. High levels of concentration may also be realized by standalonePower Systems with IBM i. POWER  SYSTEMS   PowerHA  SystemMirror  for  i     Power  740   Power  720           4  Partitions   6  Partitions   Production  ERP,  CRM  &   Production  BI  &  SCM   E-­‐commerce   Development  &  test   x86  SERVERS   Failover  Cluster   SCM   BI   Production  ERP,  CRM               E-­‐commerce   Application  &  Web  servers   Development  &  test   Development  &  test   (VMware)   (VMware)    Figure 3: Power Systems and x86 Server Configurations – ExampleIn this example, applications include production, test and development instances of ERP, SCM, customerrelationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI) and e-commerce systems. In the x86 serverconfiguration, failover clusters are employed for Windows database servers.Windows and x86 Linux/Oracle server costs escalate further when allowance is made for additional toolsfor system administration, security and other functions to provide capabilities equivalent to those includedin the base IBM i 7.1 offering.Personnel costs for use of IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems reflect lower staffing levels. Numbers of fulltime equivalent (FTE) administrators for Windows and x86 Linux/Oracle servers average 2.3 and 2.6times higher respectively.Higher costs for x86 Linux/Oracle compared to Windows servers primarily reflect Oracle databasepricing and lower x86 Linux system administrator and Oracle 11g database administrator productivitycompared to Microsoft equivalents.Details of installations, along with methodology and assumptions employed, and cost breakdowns may befound in the Detailed Data section of this report.International Technology Group 3
  7. 7. Risk ExposureCosts of DowntimeIt is a truism that downtime costs money. Operations may be disrupted, personnel and capacity idled,orders and shipments delayed, and a wide range of business activities affected. Customers may also bealienated and business lost.Not only unplanned (i.e. accidental) outages, but also repeated planned outages for such tasks as softwareupdates and modifications, and scheduled maintenance can impact the bottom line. Globalization, Internetcommerce and competitive pressures increasingly require 24/7 availability. Even if the business itself isnot functioning, key systems must.The impact of downtime is often underestimated. Companies may calculate that, say, an hour ofdowntime represents $50,000 in lost sales. Typically, such calculations are based on average sales volumeper hour. In practice, the damage may be significantly greater, and longer lasting.This is particularly the case for businesses that operate supply chains. As companies have moved to “justin time” and “lean” strategies that cut cycle times and minimize inventories, vulnerability to disruptionshas increased. There is growing evidence that in tightly integrated, lean structures disruptions at any pointmay “cascade” through the entire supply chain.Multiplier effects apply. The actual bottom-line impact is routinely three to ten times greater than asimple lost sales calculation would indicate.There are marked differences between platforms in this area. The availability strengths of IBM i andPower Systems have been widely documented. Users have consistently reported higher levels of uptimethan for any other platform employed by midsize businesses.In the same companies that form the basis of IT cost calculations, costs of downtime average 84 percentless than for use of Windows, and 79 percent less than for x86 Linux/Oracle servers. Figure 4 illustratesthese disparities. Windows  Servers    4,787.0     x86  Linux/Oracle    3,669.6    IBM  i  7.1/Power  Systems   766.1   $ ThousandsFigure 4: Three-year Costs of Downtime – Averages for All InstallationsCalculations for all companies include costs of supply chain disruption. Costs for manufacturing anddistribution companies also include customer-related costs such as late delivery and imperfect order fees.Retail company costs also include costs of lost sales and in-store disruption. The basis of thesecalculations is again described in the Detailed Data section of this report.International Technology Group 4
  8. 8. Security and Malware ProtectionHacking and infection by malware (malicious code) remain ubiquitous threats for organizations of allsizes. Most midsize businesses experience both on a regular basis. Many intrusions are not detected forlong periods, or not detected at all.The bottom-line implications may be substantial. Businesses that experience customer data breaches mayincur fines and other regulatory penalties, along with costs of remedial actions such as notifications, creditmonitoring subscriptions and query handling. Risks of customer loss and reputational damage may alsobe significant.Even if customer data is not compromised, other types of sensitive information may be stolen, andmalicious damage to systems and software may occur.In security and malware protection, differences between IBM i 7.1, and Windows and x86 Linux serversare not merely significant – they are dramatic. IBM i 7.1 is one of the most secure operating systems inexistence. Security violations are rare, and malware incidents are virtually unknown. There are no knownnative IBM i viruses.These differences are reflected in data compiled by Secunia, one of the industry’s leading authorities onsecurity and malware exposure.Figure 5 summarizes numbers of advisory notices issued by the company between the beginning of 2008and the end of June 2012 for the most recent versions of IBM i, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) andSUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and for Windows Server 2008. WINDOWS   RHEL   RHEL   SEVERITY   SLES  10   SLES  11   IBM  i  7.1   i5/OS  6.x   SERVER  2008   Server  5   Server  6   Extremely  critical   3   1   0   0   0   0   0   Highly  critical   64   93   61   134   88   0   0   Moderately  critical   34   185   84   79   53   0   6   Less  critical   73   175   85   60   66   0   5   Not  critical   5   53   31   18   14   0   0   TOTAL  ADVISORIES     179   507   261   291   221   0   11  Source:  Secunia  Figure 5: Comparative Vulnerability Data: January 2008 Through June 2012Figure 6 shows lifetime vulnerabilities; i.e., the number of vulnerabilities recorded by Secunia since eachversion was introduced. Multiple vulnerabilities may be documented in a single advisory notice. WINDOWS   RHEL   RHEL     SLES  10   SLES  11   IBM  i  7.1   i5/OS  6.x   SERVER  2008   Server  5   Server  6   February   March   November   July     March   April     January   Release  Date   2008   2007   2010   2006   2009   2010   2008   Lifetime  Vulnerabilities   352   1,871   906   3,557   1,889   0   16  Source:  Secunia  Figure 6: Comparative Vulnerability Data: Lifetime Totals(Windows Server 2012 became generally available in September 2012, and no comparable data wasavailable when this report was prepared.)International Technology Group 5
  9. 9. The significance of IBM i 7.1 security strengths is reinforced by two factors. One is that, most securityauthorities recognize, firewall-based perimeter defenses are no longer enough. Penetration of these hasbecome increasingly common, and they do not prevent escalating threats of insider abuse. Higher levelsof protection are required for core business databases.The second is that, since the onset of recession, businesses have become reluctant to increase spending onIT security, and many have reduced it. Threats, however, have continued to increase. Organizations havebeen faced with a choice between greater expenditure or greater risk. Use of IBM i 7.1 enables them toavoid this choice. Better security may be maintained at a lower cost.Architecture and TechnologyThe availability, security and malware protection strengths of IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems relative toWindows and x86 Linux/Oracle servers reflect fundamental differences in architecture and technology.High levels of availability reflect features built into the IBM i 7.1 kernel and embedded into Powerhardware and microcode (firmware). The overall simplicity and integration of IBM i 7.1, and itsautomation features also assist in minimizing outages.Certain Power Systems reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features may also be found in x86servers. However, the microelectronics technology used in Power Systems is a great deal more advanced.Clustered failover solutions for IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems are more robust and have longer trackrecords of stable and successful operation.IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems also benefit from technologies transferred from mainframe systems, whichdeliver the highest availability levels of any major platform. According to IBM, the company’s Power andSystem z (mainframe) design teams jointly developed the availability optimization features of the latestgeneration Power Systems.The strengths of IBM i 7.1 in security and malware protection reflect the operation system’s object-based architecture. Objects are encapsulated in a manner that places strict controls on data as well assystem code, making it extremely difficult for unauthorized instructions to execute. Additionalcapabilities for IP security and other functions are overlaid on this structure.ConclusionsIBM i has a longstanding reputation for stability and robustness. Users routinely characterize it as “highlystable...extremely robust…completely dependable…rock-solid.” Such terms are not commonly applied toWindows or x86 Linux servers.IBM i 7.1 is the latest version of an IBM system environment that has been employed, in some cases formore than 20 years, by hundreds of thousands of midsized businesses worldwide. It was designed to meetthe needs of these customers for a simple, reliable, secure and easy-to-administer platform to support corebusiness systems.In an era when the IT world has veered toward ever-greater complexity, IBM i has retained thesecharacteristics. More than any other server environment available today, it is designed to minimize thecomplexities with which organizations must deal.This is particularly the case in two areas: 1. Integration. Core operating system features – including a unique object-based kernel and single- level storage – are tightly integrated with the DB2 for i relational database; an integrated file system; Web application and services servers; and more than 300 management tools.International Technology Group 6
  10. 10. Components are not simply bundled. They are engineered to interact with each other in a simple and efficient manner, and extensive testing is carried out to ensure that they do so. This testing extends not only across IBM hardware and software, but also across key independent software vendor (ISV) solutions. The implications are important. Integration does not simply increase administrator productivity. It also affects performance – efficient software structures generate lower system overhead – and quality of service. Tightly integrated, tested systems are less likely to experience outages. There are fewer potential points of failure. Equivalent functionality in Windows and x86 Linux server environments typically requires that users acquire, install, configure and administer multiple software products from different vendors. This increases deployment complexity, and magnifies integration and administration challenges. In addition to increasing FTE staffing, poorly integrated environments are more likely to degrade performance, and maintenance of availability, security, disaster recovery coverage and other quality of service variables becomes a great deal more problematic. 2. Automation. IBM i was designed to automatically handle a wide range of functions – including configuration, tuning, software updates, availability and security optimization and other common operational tasks – for which most other systems require extensive manual intervention. Core automation features have been reinforced by use of advanced artificial intelligence technologies and new POWER7 performance optimization features. Although the most visible effect of automation is that it reduces FTE staffing, other benefits are also realized. A system that can determine workload requirements and reallocate system resources in a matter of milliseconds, for example, will use capacity more efficiently than one that is dependent on administrator or operator intervention. Automation also reduces the potential for human errors leading to performance bottlenecks, outages, data loss or corruption and other negative effects.Other unique IBM i features also merit attention. The kernel incorporates one of the most elegant andsophisticated implementations of workload management available for any server platform today. Inaddition, the Technology Independent Machine Interface (TIMI) allows system technologies to beupdated without changes to applications software.Over the last few years, the IT industry has, ironically, rediscovered the advantages of reducedcomplexity. The principal value propositions for cloud computing – faster deployment and provisioning,more effective use of virtualization to enable consolidation, reduced administrative overhead and others –have been enjoyed by IBM i users for decades.The ability to minimize complexity strikes at the heart of the technology challenges facing midsizebusinesses today. Excessive complexity has undermined the IT strategies of many large organizations. Ina midsize business with limited resources and technical skills, the impact may be a great deal moreserious and longer lasting.A core business system typically has a lifecycle of five to ten years. Platform choices will affect costs,complexities and risk exposure for years to come. IBM i 7.1 on Power Systems offers the potential toreduce all three.International Technology Group 7
  11. 11. RISK TRENDSOverviewKey industry trends mean that the significance of IBM i strengths in availability and disaster recovery,and in security and malware resistance are increasing over time. These trends are discussed in more detailin this section.The following section, Platform Differentiators, deals with differences in architecture and technologybetween IBM i 7.1 and Power Systems, and Windows, x86 Linux and Intel-based hardware platforms thataffect comparative costs, complexities and risks. These differences, and their implications for businesses,are often underestimated.The last section, Detailed Data, provides additional information on the methodology employed for ITcosts and costs of downtime calculations. More granular cost breakdowns are also provided.Availability and RecoveryDecades of experience have shown that, in most industries, downtime costs money. During the lastdecade, however, avoidance of downtime has become increasingly critical for a broad range of systemsused by midsize businesses. Effective disaster recovery – i.e. the ability to resume operations and recoverdata rapidly in the event of a severe outage – is also increasingly mandated.These shifts have been driven by a number of trends, including the following: • Integration. Core business systems in most industries have progressively expanded to integrate a broader range of transactional processes, as well as new analytical and collaborative functions. This evolution has been particularly apparent for ERP and supply chain management (SCM) systems, but has also affected other core systems employed in a wide range of industries. Examples include core merchandising systems in retail; core banking systems; policy management revenue and service delivery systems in insurance companies; customer information and billing systems in telecommunications and utilities; reservation systems in travel and hospitality; and revenue and service delivery systems in government and others. Businesses, however, have found that the benefits of broader functionality and organization-wide process integration have a side effect: they become fundamentally dependent upon their systems. Quite simply, an outage may grind the entire business to a halt. Vulnerabilities have been magnified in many businesses by consolidation of core systems. Standardization in the wake of mergers and acquisitions, as well as the adoption of shared services structures for order processing, finance, human resources (HR), customer service and other functions have contributed to this trend. Vulnerability to disruptions also expands when organizations deploy new tools for planning and forecasting, business intelligence, e-commerce, mobile computing and other informational applications. Even if these are deployed on different platforms, they draw upon core databases. If core systems are down, they will at best be working with stale data. • Globalization. A growing number of midsize businesses operate internationally, or employ foreign suppliers, channel partners or both. Large segments of manufacturing industry, in particular, have moved to China and other offshore bases.International Technology Group 8
  12. 12. As a result, certain processes – including those related to procurement, logistics and, in many cases, sales, order management and customer service – now routinely occur on a 24/7 basis. The impact of disruptions tends to be greater for regional and global supply chains. For example, rescheduling shipments may be a significantly more demanding process for businesses dealing with offshore suppliers and logistics contractors. • Supply chain strategies. For years, in manufacturing, distribution, retail and other industries, best practice supply chain strategies have focused on “lean” operating models and streamlined process structures. There is an important implication: as inventory buffers removed or reduced, and process delays are eliminated, the potential impact of disruptions increases. The effects of such strategies may permeate the entire supply chain. At the corporate or business unit level, for example, forecasting and planning cycles may be reduced from weeks to days, or to 24 hours or less. In some sectors, manufacturers are now receiving continuous demand signals from their customers, recalibrating plans and forecasts, and initiating procurement, production and logistics actions on a daily or even hourly basis. At the other end of the spectrum, cross docking (i.e., the immediate transshipment of goods between arriving and departing vehicles, without intermediate storage) in distribution centers may increase both efficiency and vulnerability to disruption. In consumer products and retailing, techniques such as Efficient Customer Response (ECR), Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR), Continuous Replenishment and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) have reinforced these effects. There is growing evidence that, in such environments, the effects of an outage may “cascade” through the entire supply chain. Not only internal operations, but also customers, suppliers, logistics contractors and other business partners may be affected. Moreover, the impact may continue to be felt long after service has been restored. The implications of cascading may be simply illustrated. Even a basic manufacturing supply chain will typically involve most or all of the processes summarized in figure 7. SOURCE   § Identify  sources  of  supply   § Schedule  product  deliveries     § Transfer  product   § Select  supplier(s)   § Receive  product   § Authorize  supplier  payment   § Negotiate  with  supplier(s)   § Verify  product   MAKE   § Schedule  production   § Produce     § Stage  product   § Set  up  production   § Inspect/test  product   § Release  to  delivery   § Issue  product   § Package  product   DELIVER   § Process  inquiry  &  quote   § Build  loads   § Load  product     § Receive,  enter  &  validate  order   § Route  shipments   § Generate  shipping  docs   § Reserve  inventory  resources   § Select  carrier(s)/rate(s)   § Ship  product   § Reserve  delivery  resources   § Receive  product   § Customer  receipt  &  verify   § Determine  delivery  date   § Pick  product   § Install  product   § Consolidate  orders   § Pack  product   § Invoice  customer   Figure 7: Basic Manufacturing Supply Chain Processes – SCOR ModelInternational Technology Group 9
  13. 13. This presentation is based on selected segments of the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model developed by the Supply Chain Council. These processes may be replicated hundreds or thousands of times every day for different products, customers, production lines and distribution centers. A disruption at any point may affect the entire sequence of processes. A delay in delivering components to a plant, for example, might cause finished product deadlines to slip. This may in turn impact transportation schedules and warehouse operations, resulting in further delays and causing disruption to spread. The effects are cumulative. Industry-specific effects may also be significant. For example, food and beverage suppliers face risks of spoilage if operations are disrupted. Traceability of ingredients and final products may also be impaired. Retailers and distributors risk stock-outs, whose impact may be particularly serious if they occur during peak sales seasons. • E-commerce and M-commerce. The trend across many industries is toward Internet-based customer and supplier self-service systems that handle processes such as inventory availability queries, order placement and customer service. The Internet is, almost by definition, a 24/7 medium, and the expectation is that online systems should be accessible at any time. Figure 8, for example, illustrates the frequency of online orders placed with a wholesale distributor over a 24-hour period. Orders per Hour 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 AM Time PM Figure 8: 24-hour Online Order Activity – Distributor Example Many of the company’s smaller customers often did not have time to check inventories and place orders until late evening or early morning. Inability to access the distributor’s online system at this time would, at best, be inconvenient, and could easily result in lost sales. If the experience were repeated, customers might defect. M-commerce – meaning use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones for key business interactions – also places a premium on uptime. Online interaction with customers may now occur continuously and irregularly, magnifying risks that business may be lost if an outage is experienced. Retailers, for example, must deal with growing use of mobile devices in stores. According to recent market research surveys, more than 40 percent of U.S. tablet and smartphone owners use these for comparison-shopping while visiting retail outlets, and some estimates put the ratio at over 60 percent. Similar trends are occurring in other geographies.International Technology Group 10
  14. 14. It has long been a principle that, in e-commerce, “customers are only a few clicks away from competitors” and that online outages translate rapidly into lost sales. M-commerce extends this effect to stores. Increasingly, any customer may be “only a few clicks away from competitors.” • Customer impacts. Economic conditions, changing expectations and mounting competition in many industries have made business customers as well as consumers less tolerant of vendor failings. Although the costs of operational disruption may be substantial, the largest bottom-line impact of outages often involves customers. A customer who is impacted directly (e.g., because an online self-service system is down) or indirectly (e.g., because supplier order management, production or delivery operations are disrupted) by an outage will inevitably be dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction may translate into immediate lost sales or (in financial services and other industries) transaction value. The long-term impact, however, may be significantly higher. For example, experience with e-commerce and, more recently, M-commerce has shown that some customers who are deflected to a competitor may not return. Even if they do, they are more likely to divide future purchases between multiple suppliers. “Word of mouth” may also discourage others. Traditionally, these typically included family members, co-workers and friends. In the age of social media, however, online reviews and comments about negative experiences may reach thousands or millions of prospective customers. Even if customers are not lost, there can be a number of potential bottom-line effects. For business-to-business suppliers, these might include late delivery and imperfect order penalties. It may also be necessary to offer special discounts or terms and conditions in order to win back the customer’s business. A less visible, but potentially more significant erosion of confidence might also occur. This could cause the customer to hedge by diverting some future purchases to other suppliers in order to reduce dependence. In addition, the customer might be reluctant to rely upon the company for future strategic orders, particularly where these were time-sensitive. No manufacturer or distributor wants to hear that customers consider them a “high-risk supplier.”An additional set of “strategic” costs may be incurred. These will tend to occur if outages are severe,protracted or both. Share prices may be impacted. Other effects such as reduced brand value; increasedrisk provision; higher insurance premiums; and a variety of reputational, legal and compliance problemsmay be experienced.System outages may have a wide range of potential cost impacts. Figure 9, for example, shows arepresentative list of these for manufacturing companies.Another effect should be highlighted. Disruptions tend to raise error rates. This may occur across multiplestages of the supply chain, and may cause additional customer dissatisfaction, along with penalties andresolution costs.International Technology Group 11
  15. 15.  STRATEGIC  COSTS Charge  against  earnings   Damaged  reputation     Legal  exposure   Financial  metrics/ratios   - Financial  markets   - Customers   Share  price  decline   - Customers/prospects   - Third  parties   Share  price  volatility   - Banks   - Shareholders   Cost  of  capital   - Business  partners Compliance  exposure   - M&A  candidates - Regulatory  reporting   Increased  risk  provision     Impaired  credit   - Impaired  inspection   Reduced  brand  value   Liquidity  exposure - Impaired  traceability Insurance  premiums   CUSTOMER-­‐RELATED  COSTS Lost  short-­‐term  sales   Late  delivery  penalties   Customer  rebates   Lost  short-­‐term  profit   Imperfect  order  penalties   Buyback  pricing/concessions   Lost  future  sales/profit   Product  defect  penalties Additional  customer  service  cost OPERATIONAL  COSTS Idle  capacity   Finance  processes   Error-­‐related  costs   - Overall  supply  chain   - Delayed  billing/receivables   - Order  processing  errors   - Procurement   - Inventory  carrying  cost   - Product  defect   - Plant  operations   - Cash  flow  cost   - Specification  error   - Logistics/distribution   - Delayed  close   - Manufacturing  error   - Transportation       - Quality  failure   - Warehouses   Costs  of  change   - Shipment  error   - Third-­‐party  services   - Procurement  change   - Damaged  product     - Revised  order  processing   - Wrong  packaging   Personnel  costs   - Special  order  cost   - Routing  error   - Idleness/underutilization   - Production  schedule  change   - Wrong  delivery  time   - Reduced  productivity   - Line  change  cost     - Additional  work  required   - Costs  of  logistics  change   Other  costs   - Overtime/shift  premiums   - Supplier  premiums   - Lost  promotional  expenditure   - Additional  T&E  costs   - Expedited  transportation     - Lost  marketing  expenditure   - Additional  handling  cost   - IT  costs     - Additional  inventory  cost   - Administrative  costs   - Additional  checking  cost   - OverheadFigure 9: Potential Costs of Outages – Manufacturing CompaniesThe potential significance of such effects was highlighted by a study co-authored by Kevin Hendricks ofthe University of Western Ontario and Vinod Singhal of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Afterreviewing the financial results of more than 800 public companies that had experienced severe supplychain disruptions, the authors concluded that company stocks experienced 33 to 40 percent lower returnsrelative to industry benchmarks over a three-year period because of these.The study also reported declines of 7 percent in sales growth, 107 percent in operating income, 114percent in return on sales, 93 percent in return on assets, and increases in cost of sales, selling, generaland administrative (SG&A) expenses and inventory levels.There is also a growing body of evidence from other industries that the effects of major systemdisruptions may have a significant – and protracted – effect on key measures of financial performance.A clear conclusion emerges. Whether outages result in operational disruption, customer-related costsand/or strategic costs, they have a significant bottom-line impact. Maintenance of the highest possiblelevel of availability and recovery for core business systems should be a central goal of IT strategy.International Technology Group 12
  16. 16. Security and MalwareThreat MatrixSecurity and malware attacks are now so common that security authorities have largely abandoned effortsto quantify their frequency. The U.S. government-supported Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT), for example, stopped reporting numbers of incidents in 2003. CERT takes the position thatattacks are now so common that it is no longer meaningful to aggregate totals.The number of malware variants – including viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, rootkits, backdoors andassorted hybrids of these – circulating on the Internet and intranets continues to expand. Security firmSymantec Corporation, for example, reports that it detected more than 400 million unique variants during2011, a more than 40 percent increase over 2010.Although most organizations have invested in information security for more than a decade, the extent ofimprovement is questionable. The sophistication of cybercriminals continues to evolve, as do thetechnologies and techniques they employ. Because organizations are often reluctant to report incidents,threat statistics are often unreliable.Until recently, cybercriminals tended to attack large corporations and government agencies. They are nowincreasingly targeting midsize businesses. These are also vulnerable to – and usually less well protectedthan their larger counterparts against – the actions of individual hackers, disgruntled employees andothers who may hold grudges against them.Security analysts report consistent growth in “gateway” attacks, which seek to create covert breaches thatcan be exploited over time, and in the prevalence of spyware (malware that collects and forwardsinformation from computers without the knowledge of users). Increasingly, the fact that breaches are notdetected does not mean that they are not occurring.Use of bots – malware that allows an attacker to gain control over a computer for illicit purposes – hasalso expanded. Estimates of the number of bot-infected computers worldwide range from 12 million tomore than 200 million.Economic conditions have accelerated growth of all types of cybercrime.Data BreachesMidsize users increasingly risk intrusions that expose sensitive data. The bottom-line impact of suchincidents may be substantial.In most countries, privacy laws expose businesses to penalties in the event of data breaches, and othercosts may also be substantial. In the United States, for example, most estimates put the average cost of adata breach in the range of $150 to $300 per record exposed. A leading industry authority, the PonemonInstitute, put the overall average cost of breaches in 2011 at more than $5 million each.These averages include direct costs, including notification; remedial action such as security fixes,subscriptions to credit monitoring services and costs of marketing initiatives to retain disaffectedcustomers; as well as indirect costs due to lost business, customer defections and other effects. Inindividual cases, costs may be significantly higher.International Technology Group 13
  17. 17. PLATFORM DIFFERENTIATORSOverviewIBM i 7.1 and Power Systems represent the convergence of two major technology streams: 1. IBM i 7.1 is the latest version of an IBM operating system that originated with the AS/400 in 1988, and has been progressively enhanced to incorporate new technologies. These include latest-generation SQL relational technology, C/C++, Java and Eclipse, the PHP Web enablement language, XML, MySQL database, Apache Web server, the IBM Rational Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) and others. As a result, IBM i users have been able to take full advantage of the Internet and, more recently, mobile technologies, to employ popular “open” development tools, and to draw upon large pools of third-party tools and add-ons conforming to widely supported industry standards. IBM has also continued to invest in established IBM i technologies such as the RPG II, COBOL and CL languages. IBM Rational Open Access (ROA) for RPG, for example, enables mobile access to native RPG applications from devices such as iPhones, iPads, web browsers and Android phones. IBM i 7.1 is supported by more than 2,500 ISVs – including most major vendors of ERP and industry-specific core business systems – along with systems integrators and professional services firms worldwide. It enjoys one of the highest levels of customer loyalty for any platform. 2. Power Systems are built upon the seventh generation of IBM POWER reduced instruction set computing (RISC) architecture. POWER7-based systems, which also support the IBM AIX UNIX-based operating system and Power versions of RHEL and SLES Linux, have consistently outperformed competitive RISC and x86 platforms in a wide range of industry benchmarks. POWER7-based systems also incorporate industry-leading advances in chip density, memory technology, multithreading virtualization, workload management, availability optimization, energy efficiency and other areas. In the UNIX server market, Power Systems have progressively increased their share since 2008, and by the end of 2011 had reached the 50 percent mark.For midsize organizations considering whether to employ IBM i 7.1 on Power Systems, or Windows orx86 Linux servers, it is important to understand the differences between these environments.IBM i 7.1The current IBM i version 7.1, introduced in April 2010, as well as IBM i 6.1 are supported on PowerSystems. Binary compatibility has been retained for earlier IBM i, AS/400, System/36 and System/38applications.Major features include the following: • System integration. IBM i includes not only core operating system functions. It also includes DB2 for i, an integrated file system, WebSphere Application Server (WAS), Tivoli Directory Server, Java Virtual Machine (JVM) environments, and tools handling system, database, storage, backup and recovery, communications, security, operations and other management tasks.International Technology Group 14
  18. 18. DB2 for i is an i-optimized version of IBM DB2 platform also offered by the company for Windows, Linux, UNIX and mainframe systems. It is a full-functional SQL relational database enabling high levels of transactional as well as query performance, along with industry-leading data compression, encryption and Extensible Markup Language (XML) compatibility. Components share a common, high-productivity administrator interface through IBM Systems Director Navigator for i, which forms part of the larger IBM Systems Director portfolio of operational management tools. Integration of DB2 for i allows database and system administration tasks to be handled by the same individuals. Users of other platforms typically require a database administrator (DBA). In the cost comparisons presented in this report, FTE staffing for Windows and x86 Linux servers includes SQL Server and Oracle DBAs respectively. • Core design. The core IBM i design is built around an object-based kernel in which all system resources are defined and managed as objects. The kernel incorporates single-level storage capability – meaning that the system treats all storage resources, including main memory and disks, as a single logical entity. Placement and management of data on all resources is handled automatically by the system, minimizing tasks that must be handled by administrators. Single-level storage capability, as figure 10 illustrates, is built into the core system design. Objects     SINGLE-­‐LEVEL  STORAGE     STORAGE  MANAGEMENT   Main  memory  (RAM)   Solid  state   Disk  storage   Figure 10: IBM i 7.1 Single-level Storage Structure These features enable high levels of configuration flexibility; improve system administrator productivity; and materially improve the efficiency with which processor and storage resources are used, with corresponding benefits in performance and capacity utilization. A further benefit of single-level storage is that integration and management of solid-state drives (SSDs) is comparatively simple. The operating system automatically places the “hottest” (most frequently accessed) data on SSDs, reallocates data to SSDs or hard drives as workloads evolve, and optimizes performance on an ongoing basis.International Technology Group 15
  19. 19. This provides basic automated storage tiering capability without array-based tools, and without the additional storage administration overhead that is normally generated by this approach. No application changes are required. IBM i users have realized gains in high-throughput applications such as large batch runs (reductions of 20 to 50 percent in elapsed time are common) and initial program loads (IPLs). A no-charge SSD Analyzer Tool may be employed to determine which workloads would benefit from use of SSDs. The IBM i kernel also includes the Technology Independent Machine Interface (TIMI), which acts as a “virtual” instruction set with which applications interact, regardless of the instruction set of underlying processor hardware. The TIMI allows users to update underlying hardware platforms without obliging users to recompile applications software. • Workload management. Since its inception, IBM i has incorporated industry-leading workload management (in IBM i terminology, work management) capabilities designed to handle diverse workloads such as online, batch and collaborative processing in a highly efficient manner. The backbone of these capabilities is provided by IBM i subsystems, which leverage the IBM i object-based architecture – individual workloads or applications (e.g., ERP, CRM, e-mail, Web serving) are described and managed independently. The system allocates memory, limits consumption of resources by individual workloads, and manages scheduling, tuning and other tasks automatically, or based on priorities set by users. Subsystems are integral to the IBM i design, and may be employed independently of or in conjunction with PowerVM virtualization. • Security and malware resistance. The strengths of IBM i’s object-based design are reinforced by tight integration of security functions with compiler, directory server and object-based file system structures. In contrast, security functions for Windows and x86 Linux are implemented as software overlays. The level of integration is significantly less. IBM i 7.1 also contains a comprehensive IP security suite, including support for the principal industry security standards and encryption techniques. Extensive access control and audit facilities are included, and single sign-on is enabled using an industry-leading IBM autonomic technology, Enterprise Identity Mapping (EIM), which maps user IDs across all middleware and application components. IBM i 7.1 strengths offer a further advantage. The time and effort that must be spent on routine security and malware protection tasks, and in patching and auditing is a great deal less than for Windows and x86 Linux servers. • Automation. Core IBM i automation strengths have been reinforced by autonomic technologies. Autonomic computing – meaning the application of artificial intelligence technologies to IT administration and optimization tasks – has been a major IBM development focus since the 1990s, and the company is the recognized industry leader in this area. Four categories of autonomic functions – self-configuring, self-optimizing, self-protecting and self-healing – are implemented in IBM i and Power Systems. These functions, which represent one of the most advanced implementations of autonomic technologies within the IBM product line, are summarized in figure 11.International Technology Group 16
  20. 20. SYSTEM   Self-­‐configuring   Self-­‐protecting   Connect  automated  services   Automatic  virus  removal   CPU  capacity  upgrade  on  demand   Chipkill  Memory   Enterprise  Identity  Mapping   Digital  certificates   EZSetup  Wizards   Digital  object  tagging   Hot  plug  disk  &  I/O   Enterprise  Identity  Mapping   Linux  &  Windows  Virtual  I/O   Integrated  Kerberos  support   RAID  subsystem   Integrated  SSL  support     Switchable  auxiliary  storage  pools   IP  takeover   Windows  file/print  support   RAID  subsystem   Windows  dynamic  storage  addition   Self-­‐protecting  kernel   Wireless  system  management  access   Tagged  storage   Self-­‐optimizing   Self-­‐healing   Adaptive  e-­‐transaction  services   ABLE  problem  management  engine   Automatic  performance  management   Auto-­‐fix  defective  PTFs     Automatic  workload  balancing     Automatic  performance  adjuster     Dynamic  disk  load  balancing   Chipkill  Memory,  dynamic  bit  steering   Dynamic  LPAR  for  i  &  Linux   Concurrent  maintenance     Expert  Cache     Domino  auto  restart,  clustering   Global  resource  manager     Dynamic  IP  takeover,  clustering   Heterogeneous  workload  manager     Electronic  Service  Agent  (“call  home”)   Quality  of  service  optimization   First-­‐failure  data  capture  &  alerts     Single-­‐level  storage   Service  director     DATABASE   Self-­‐configuring   Self-­‐protecting   Automatic  collection  of  object  relationships     Automatic  Encryption  management   Automatic  data  spreading  &  disk  allocation   Automatic  enforcement  of  user  query     Automatic  data  striping  &  disk  balancing                &  storage  limits   Automatic  disk  space  allocation   Automatic  synchronization  of  user  security   Automatic  distributed  access  configuration     Digital  object  signing     Automatic  object  placement     Object  auditing   Automatic  self-­‐balancing  indexes   OS-­‐controlled  resource  management   Automatic  tablespace  allocation   Automatic  TCP/IP  startup   Graphical  database  monitor   Self-­‐optimizing   Self-­‐healing   Adaptive  Query  Processing   Automatic  object  backup/restore   Automatic  Index  Advisor   Automatic  database  object  extents   Automatic  memory  pool  tuning     Automatic  database  restart     Automatic  query  plan  adjustment     Automatic  index  rebalancing   Automatic  rebind  &  reoptimization     Automatic  journaling  of  indexes  &  objects   Automatic  statistics  collection   Automatic  rebuild  of  catalog  views   Auto  Tuner   Automatic  restart  of  journal  processing   Caching  of  open  data  paths  &  statements   Self  managed  database  logging   Cost-­‐based  Query  Optimizer   Self-­‐managed  journal  receivers   On  Demand  Performance  Center     Systems  managed  access  path  protection   Performance  monitoring  &  analysis   Figure 11: IBM i 7.1 and IBM Power Systems Autonomic FunctionsAdditional automation capabilities are implemented in Power Systems. Two new functions – IntelligentCache and Intelligent Threads – allow cache allocation and numbers of threads to be varied according toworkload requirements. Parameters may be set by administrators, or determined automatically by thesystem based on application priorities.International Technology Group 17
  21. 21. A broader characteristic of IBM i 7.1 is that its different components are implemented in a highlysynergistic manner. For example, DB2 for i exploits the underlying object-based structure and single-level storage capabilities of the operating system. Multithreading, virtualization, workload managementand other functions are also closely integrated.IBM i 7.1 is also supported on Power processors in new IBM PureFlex Systems, which combine IBMPower, System x (x86) and midrange Storwize V7000 disk arrays in a single integrated platform.PureFlex systems also implement common management services across the full range of operatingsystems, systems software and hypervisors supported by the platform.Power SystemsOverviewPower Systems have been the recognized industry leader in server performance since the mid-2000s. Tosome extent, this has been a function of the performance delivered by successive generations of POWERprocessors. However, other factors also come into play.In Power Systems, system-level performance has been optimized at all levels of design andimplementation – including microelectronics and module-level components, internal communications, I/Oand system-level hardware and software.Key capabilities include highly effective compiler- and operating system-level performance acceleration,including chip simultaneous multithreading; low levels of symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) overhead;and extensive system-level integration and optimization of performance-related features.A key differentiator is that Power Systems are optimized not only to deliver high levels of performancefor single applications and workloads, but also for the mixed workload environments that are typicallygenerated by core systems in midsize businesses. Transactional, as well as query and collaborativeworkloads may be handled concurrently in a highly efficient manner.The level of integration of virtualization and workload management capabilities is also higher than forWindows and x86 Linux servers, and availability optimization and energy efficiency features are builtinto the core system design.Current-generation Power Systems may be equipped with quad-, six- or eight-core processors withfrequencies of 3.0 to 4.0 GHz, supporting up to four simultaneous threads. Processors incorporateindustry-leading on-chip cache, memory compression features and resiliency features.Power Systems include single-socket (710 and 720), two-socket (730 and 740) and four-socket (770 and780) models covering a wide range of prices, and performance and expandability levels; and the high-endPower 795, which is configurable to 32 sockets (256 cores). There are also single- and two-socket blademodels equipped with quad-core POWER7 3 GHz processors. All models support IBM i 7.1 and i 6.1.Power Systems and IBM i support use of the principal IBM disk storage platforms – including enterprise-class System Storage DS8000 and XIV Storage System, midrange Storwize V7000 and entry-levelDS3000 arrays – as well as the IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC) cross-platform storage virtualizationsolution. A wide range of tape systems and standards are supported.IBM i support for use of removable disk storage (RDX) storage devices on Power Systems has also beenannounced. RDX is a comparatively new SATA-based drive technology that offers an alternative toconventional entry tape drives for backup and recovery.International Technology Group 18
  22. 22. VirtualizationEffective virtualization requires more than the ability to create virtual machines.Multiple mechanisms are required to create and modify partitions, share system resources between these,and change resource allocations as needs change. It is also necessary to prioritize availability of resourcesto different applications based on business criticality; monitor and control workload execution processes;and meet service-level performance and uptime targets.PowerVM virtualization meets these requirements. Capabilities include three types of partitioning: 1. Logical partitions (LPARs) are microcode-based partitions that may be configured in increments as small as 1/10th core. The technology was originally developed for IBM mainframes. As a general principle, this approach (often referred to as hard partitioning) offers better isolation of workloads than software-based techniques. Workloads running in different partitions are less likely to interfere with each other, enabling higher levels of concentration. LPARs also provide additional security functions. System resources used by LPARs may be dedicated (Static LPARs), or shared according to application priorities (Dynamic LPARs). Static LPARs are typically employed for applications with high levels of business criticality. Hard partitioning is supported on Hewlett-Packard Integrity and Oracle Sun M-Series UNIX server platforms, albeit in a more limited form than on Power Systems. Integrity systems have suffered a severe loss of market share during 2011 and 2012. Sun M-Series servers, first introduced in 2007, are now rarely seen in competitive bids. No equivalent capability is available for Intel-based servers with Windows, x86 Linux and/or x86 virtualization tools, or for newer Oracle Sun servers. 2. Micro-partitions are software-based partitions. They are typically employed to support instances requiring limited system resources, and to improve load balancing for large, complex workloads. Micro-partitions may be configured in initial increments of 1/10th core, and subsequent increments as small as 1/100th core. LPARs and micro-partitions are supported by mechanisms that allow processor, memory and I/O resources to be pooled and re-allocated in an extremely granular manner. The system monitors resource utilization every 10 milliseconds, and may change allocations as rapidly. Business-critical workloads may run in dedicated LPARs, using dedicated physical processors. However, other workloads may be executed based on assigned priorities using combinations of threads, partitions and shared processor pools. The system allows workloads to run on one or more processor cores within shared pools. 3. Virtual I/O Servers allow operating system instances running in multiple LPARs to share a common pool of LAN adapters as well as Fiber Channel, SCSI and RAID devices; i.e., it is not necessary to dedicate adapters to individual partitions. Hardware, maintenance and energy cost savings may be realized.The overall architecture, illustrated in figure 12, integrates with IBM i to allow users to manipulate awider range of variables – including subsystems, threads, processors, cache, main memory and I/O,multiple types of partition, multiple threads and dedicated or pooled processors – with higher levels ofgranularity and flexibility than any competitive platform.International Technology Group 19
  23. 23. IBM  i  7.1   Object-­‐based  architecture    •    Single-­‐level  storage   System  integration  &  automation   WORKLOAD  MANAGEMENT   Subsystem   Subsystem   Subsystem   Subsystem   RESOURCE  SHARING   Processors,  Cache,  Memory,  I/O   Threads     POWERVM HYPERVISOR Virtual  disks   Virtual  tape   LPAR LPAR LPAR       LPAR   Micro-partitions Micro-partitions   LPAR   LPAR   Virtual  LAN   DEDICATED     SHARED   SHARED   PROCESSORS   PROCESSOR  POOL   PROCESSOR  POOL                               Physical  processors   Virtual  processors   Virtual  processors       Physical processors VIRTUAL  I/O  SERVER   VIRTUAL  I/O  SERVER  Figure 12: IBM i and Power Systems ArchitectureIn this figure, Virtual I/O Servers are duplicated to provide redundancy.International Technology Group 20
  24. 24. PowerVM and x86 VirtualizationIn comparison to PowerVM, x86 virtualization tools employ only a single, software-based partitioningmethod. While they may be able to support diverse workloads, they do so less efficiently than PowerSystems. System overhead may be significantly larger.Differences in two other areas should also be highlighted. 1. Workload management. Partitioning creates the potential for high levels of capacity utilization. However, the extent to which this occurs in practice depends on mechanisms that allocate system resources between, and monitor and control workload execution processes across partitions. If these mechanisms are ineffective, a high proportion of system capacity may be idle over time. Most workloads experience fluctuations, and processes (e.g., online, batch, collaborative) may vary. Unexpected spikes may also occur. When multiple applications are concentrated on a single physical platform – particularly if these generate mixed workloads – highly granular, real-time monitoring and resource assignment will be required. If systems cannot provide such capabilities, administrators will tend to limit the number and size of partitions to prevent workloads interfering with each other. This is one of the key weaknesses of such tools as VMware and Hyper-V, and helps explain why most installations of these realize only a fraction of their architectural potential. 2. Complexity. Ironically, solutions intended to reduce complexity by enabling consolidation of physical x86 servers have often had the reverse effect. Implementation has often proved to be a longer and more difficult process than anticipated, and skill requirements and staffing levels have tended to escalate. As figure 13 illustrates, virtualization inevitably increases complexity by introducing a new layer of architecture into system environments. APPLICATIONS DATABASES/MIDDLEWARE OPERATING  SYSTEM VIRTUALIZATION HARDWARE Figure 13: System Environment Layers – Example In an IBM i 7.1 system environment, the bottom four layers are integrated by IBM in a highly efficient manner. The company’s close relationships with ISVs also mean that the applications layer is better tested and optimized for the overall IBM stack than is the case for Windows and x86 Linux servers. A VMware environment, in contrast, will typically include components from Intel or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD); the server hardware manufacturer; operating system, database and/or application suppliers; and VMware itself. The number of vendors may be significantly larger if storage and networks, and third-party tools are included.International Technology Group 21
  25. 25. Another difference is that VMware and (to a lesser extent) other x86 virtualization tools have becomecommon hacker and malware targets. Businesses deploying these may find that their vulnerabilitiesincrease, while patching workloads expand.PowerVM is less vulnerable. The National Vulnerability Database maintained by the U.S. NationalInstitute of Standards and Technology (NIST), for example, recorded 39 medium and high severityvulnerabilities for VMware, and 13 for Xen and KVM during 2011. None were reported for PowerVMover the same period.Availability OptimizationPower SystemsA first set of availability optimization features is built into Power Systems hardware and microcode. Itincludes the following: • Basic capabilities include high levels of component reliability and redundancy, along with hot swap capabilities enabling devices to be replaced without taking systems offline. Redundant and hot swap components include disk drives, PCI adapters, fans, blowers, power supplies and, on high-end models, system clocks, service processors and power regulators. • Monitoring, diagnostic and fault isolation and resolution facilities are built into all major Power system components, including processors, main memory, cache and packaging modules, as well as adapters, power supplies, cooling and other devices. In many cases, multiple layers of protection and self-test are implemented. Key functionality is provided by IBM-developed Chipkill and First Failure Data Capture (FFDC) technologies. Chipkill is significantly more reliable than conventional error correction code (ECC) techniques. FFDC employs embedded sensors that identify and report failures to a separately powered Service Processor, which also monitors environmental conditions. The Service Processor can automatically notify system administrators or contact an IBM Support Center (electronic support or call home service) to report events requiring service intervention. • Fault masking capabilities prevent outages in case failures do occur. For example, in the event an instruction fails to execute due to a hardware or software fault, the system will automatically repeat the operation. If the failure persists, the operation will be repeated on a different processor and, if this does not succeed, the failed processor will be taken out of service. In addition, memory sparing enables alternate memory modules to be activated in the event of failures; and enhanced memory subsystem enables memory controller and cache sparing.Availability optimization features of Power Systems are summarized in figure 14. Additional capabilitiesare provided for high-end Power 770, 780 and 795 models.LPARs contribute to reduction of planned outages. Software modifications may be made and newversions installed and assured without disrupting operations. Backups may be performed, and batchworkloads executed concurrently with online processes.A further capability, Live Partition Mobility, was introduced for IBM i 7.1 in April 2012. This allowsmovement of active LPARs between Power Systems without disrupting operations. Service interruptionsof one or two seconds may occur due to network latency. These are, however, rarely noticeable to users.International Technology Group 22
  26. 26. Software SolutionsAvoidance of planned as well as unplanned outages is a central IBM i design parameter. High levels ofstability, integration and automation minimize risks of unplanned outages caused by software failures andhuman error, and reduce both the frequency and duration of planned outages. BASIC  CAPABILITIES   Redundancy,  hot-­‐swap  &  related   Redundant/hot-­‐swap  disks,  PCI  adapters,  GX  buses,  fans  &  blowers,  power   supplies,  power  regulators  &  other  components.   Redundant  disk  controllers.  I/O  paths  &  oscillators.   Concurrent  system  clock  repair.   Concurrent  firmware  update   Server  microcode  may  be  updated  without  taking  systems  offline.   Concurrent  maintenance   Allows  processors,  memory  cards  &  adapters  to  be  replaced,  upgraded  or  serviced   without  taking  systems  offline.   MONITORING,  DIAGNOSTICS  &  FAULT  ISOLATION/RESOLUTION   Hardware-­‐assisted  memory   Automatic  daily  test  of  all  system  memory.  Detects  &  reports  developing  memory   scrubbing   errors  before  they  cause  problems.     Chipkill  error  checking   Employs  RAID-­‐like  striping  of  data  across  memory  devices  to  provide  redundancy   &  enable  reinstatement  of  original  data.  Significantly  more  reliable  than   conventional  error  correction  code  (ECC)  technology.     First  Failure  Data  Capture  (FFDC)     Employs  1,000+  embedded  sensors  that  identify  errors  in  any  system  component.   Root  causes  of  errors  are  determined  without  the  need  to  recreate  problems  or   run  tracing  or  diagnostics  programs.     FAULT  MASKING   Processor  instruction  retry   If  an  instruction  fails  to  execute  due  to  a  hardware  or  software  fault,  the  system   Alternate  processor  recovery   automatically  retries  the  operation.  If  the  failure  persists,  the  operation  is   Processor-­‐contained  checkstop   repeated  on  a  different  processor  &,  if  this  does  not  succeed,  the  failed  processor   is  taken  out  of  service  (checkstopped).  Only  LPARs  supported  by  the  failed   processor  are  affected.     Dynamic  processor  sparing   Allows  idle  Capacity  Upgrade  on  Demand  (CUoD)  processors  to  be  automatically   activated  as  replacements  for  failed  processors.   Partition  availability  priority   In  the  event  of  a  processor  failure,  maintains  LPAR-­‐based  workloads  based  on   assigned  priorities;  i.e.,  remaining  processor  capacity  is  assigned  to  the  highest-­‐ priority  workloads.   Memory  sparing   Enables  redundant  memory  to  be  activated  in  the  event  of  failure.   Enhanced  memory  subsystem   Enables  memory  controller  &  cache  sparing.   Enhanced  cache  recovery   Detects  &  purges  processor  &  cache  errors.  Recovers  original  data.   Dynamic  I/O  line  bit  repair  (eRepair)   Detects  &  bypasses  failed  memory  pins.   PCI  bus  parity  error  retry   Retries  an  I/O  operation  if  an  error  occurs.  Figure 14: Key Power Systems Availability Optimization TechnologiesSpecialized features further minimize risks of data loss in the event of an unplanned outage. Theseinclude Remote Journaling (file and system changes may be automatically copied to a second server),Save While Active (backups may be performed without taking systems offline) and IndependentAuxiliary Storage Pools (IASPs) (data may be mirrored to local or remotely located alternate systems).Additional protection may be provided by IBM or third-party clustered failover solutions, IBM PowerHASystemMirror for i, for example, builds upon IASP technology to provide more advanced databasemirroring, failover and recovery. Synchronous or asynchronous replication may be employed.International Technology Group 23