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236380 236380 Document Transcript

  • WHITE P APER IBM Offers ISVs a Fast Track for Virtual Appliance Deployment on New IBM PureSystems Sponsored by: IBM Mary Johnston Turner Jed Scaramella August 2012 IDC OPINIONwww.idc.com Increasing use of virtualization and cloud architectures is creating new challenges for enterprise-class ISVs that must deploy and integrate solutions across a myriad of unique customer environments and infrastructure platforms. As a result, enterprise customers and ISVs are exploring a range of new and more simplified infrastructureF.508.935.4015 architectures and application software deployment and support strategies. Converged systems that combine hardware and software elements create a simplified and integrated server, network, and storage platform that can improve operational efficiencies and increase time to value. Interviews with a number of applicationP.508.872.8200 software ISVs indicate that virtual appliances optimized for converged systems are becoming important delivery options because:  Virtual appliances can be deployed more quickly and integrated into existing customer environments much more efficiently — often in hours rather than weeks.Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA  Virtual appliances optimized for converged systems can provide significant application performance improvements because the system is optimized for the needs of the application and can be maintained in a more stable and consistently managed state.  ISVs are able to reach new groups of customers, engage new types of channel partners, and launch innovative go-to-market programs by delivering a solution that can be easily downloaded and installed and remotely managed. Many ISVs interviewed by IDC see virtual appliances optimized for converged systems as a game changer that will help them create more varied and cost-effective delivery and support models over time. IN THIS WHITE P APER This white paper discusses the application deployment and management challenges created by increasing enterprise use of virtualization and cloud architectures. It discusses the use of virtual appliances optimized for deployment on converged systems as one option for addressing these challenges. Profiles of three ISV partners in IBMs recently launched Ready for IBM PureSystems program describe the benefits and business impacts of this strategy.
  • SITUATION OVERVIEWIn todays fast-changing, hypercompetitive markets, IT agility has become a criticalsuccess factor for many enterprises. IT executives and line-of-business managers arelooking for ways to use IT to stay ahead of their competition. They expect IT teams tosupport an ever-growing number of users and business processes with little or noincrease in head count. Maintaining predictable application performance whileaccommodating the need for rapid change requires a new approach to ITinfrastructure.IDCs research indicates that these pressures are rapidly driving enterprisedatacenters to transition away from traditional, inflexible client/server architecturesthat tightly couple application and infrastructure resources. In their place, virtualservers, converged systems, and cloud environments are being deployed tostandardize and enable automated, dynamic pooling and sharing of compute,storage, and network resources across a range of applications and user groups.IDC predicts that nearly 120 million virtual and physical servers will be installed by2015. In addition, IDC expects that approximately one-third of North Americandatacenter IT spending will be devoted to private cloud initiatives by 2013. IT decisionmakers are pursuing virtualization and cloud to improve business agility, controlcapital and operating expenses, and improve application performance and availability(see Figure 1).FIGURE 1Top 5 Private Cloud Goals Improve business agility 91.0 Control IT capital costs 87.0 Control IT operations costs 78.0 Improve application perf ormance 47.5 and availability Control IT headcount 31.5 0 20 40 60 80 100 (% of respondents)n = 200 North American private cloud IT managersSource: IDCs U.S. Private IT Cloud Systems Management Survey, 20112 #236380 ©2012 IDC
  • Converged systems are increasingly viewed as building blocks for these highlydynamic virtual and cloud datacenters. Examples of converged systems include therecently introduced IBM PureSystems family, which leverages IBM expertise insystem design and system integration to deliver a new converged system that couldbe rapidly deployed and optimized for specific workloads. IBM took a clean sheetapproach in designing PureSystems, which combines hardware and softwareintellectual property from IBMs Systems and Technology Group and Software Group,to achieve better performance, security, and reliability.Converged systems enable rapid infrastructure deployment and streamlinedautomated provisioning and management because network, storage, server,virtualization, and infrastructure management and control software components arepreintegrated and standardized.IDC studies indicate that enterprises are increasingly looking to adopt converged systemsin order to simplify datacenter management and operations. In a recent IDC survey, 44%of customers indicated that they are considering deploying converged systems in the nextthree years. This fact is particularly true among organizations with a higher rate ofbusiness change because an agile environment can better handle disruptions to IT.Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged SystemsCreate Application Deployment andManagement ChallengesFor third-party application ISVs, the integration and configuration demands of traditionaldatacenter environments, where each customer relies on a unique mix of servers,networks, storage, hypervisors, and management software, can result in complexdeployment and support situations. Senior technical staff are often called away frommore important research and development activities to help troubleshoot a customer-specific integration problem that may often be related to the customer environmentrunning on a different security or software level than the application requires.Customer concerns about integration challenges can slow or derail the purchase ofnew application software as IT decision makers worry about time to value and totalcost of ownership (TCO). In fact, IDC data indicates that IT spends more thanthree-quarters (76.8%) of its time and resources on provisioning and maintaining theIT environment and less than a quarter on value-added initiatives. Increasingly,customers cannot afford to devote this amount of time and resources to provisioningand maintenance tasks and are looking for more efficient options.These challenges are exacerbated in virtual and cloud environments becauseapplications are no longer directly associated with specific infrastructure hardwareand software resources. ISVs find that they need to devote extensive resources totesting and validating application performance and compatibility with increasingnumbers of hypervisors, operating systems, storage resources, and networkequipment as well as databases, security software, and other middlewarecomponents. In many cases, ISVs need to rely on manual, customized processes fordeploying applications because their ability to automate deployment is limited by thediversity of individual customer environments.©2012 IDC #236380 3
  • Application deployment timelines are also impacted by the fact that new applicationimplementations often require customers to participate in an extensive configurationplanning, infrastructure resource acquisition, systems integration, and applicationdeployment process in order to implement the ISVs software. This cycle can take weeksor months depending on the customers internal approval and integration processes. Insome cases, the customer may need to get multiple approvals to purchase and integratethe necessary hardware and middleware in addition to buying the application itself.Once the application is deployed, updates and patches much be tested and validatedwith a wide range of configurations because not all customers upgrade or patchsupporting infrastructure and middleware on the same cycle. IDC interviews with arange of application ISVs indicate that it is common for vendors to spend weeks oreven months working with customers during the predeployment and postdeploymentphases in order to ensure that the application is stable and performing as expected.In an environment where customers expect to be able to deploy virtual machines(VMs) or access public cloud services in minutes, application ISVs cannot afford to tieup customer IT staff for months in planning, deployment, and integration programs. Inorder to stay competitive, ISVs need to find ways to accelerate applicationdeployment and simplify ongoing application support.Virtual Appliances and Converged SystemsAddress Emerging Application Deploymentand Management ChallengesConverged systems provide a well-defined, tightly integrated, and automaticallyconfigurable infrastructure platform that can be quickly customized to support the needsof a wide range of applications. Because the converged system platform is shipped in astandardized and stable state, application deployment patterns, policies, and processescan be predefined and automated for large-scale repeatability on these platforms. Corepolicies enforced using automated patterns can be quite sophisticated when the state ofthe underlying infrastructure is well defined. They can include automated management ofhigh availability, SLAs, security, multitenancy, and isolation requirements.Virtual appliances can package and automate the deployment of these predefinedpatterns, policies, and deployment workflows, including required operating systemsand middleware technology. The result is a highly automated deployment process forpredefined standardized infrastructure configurations that can be completed inminutes remotely rather than in weeks onsite. Application software updates andpatches can be coordinated with converged system updates to simplify andstreamline the life-cycle support of the application software.Beyond achieving faster application deployment, virtual appliances can help ensurebetter application performance because the enabling middleware, database, andinfrastructure can be appropriately sized, configured, and maintained for the specificneeds of the virtual appliance application. For many ISVs, virtual appliances provide ameans to reduce deployment costs and cycle times while presenting opportunities toextend channel partners to organizations that may not have the technical skills tosupport more complex, customized deployments but can handle the distribution andsupport of a virtual appliance.4 #236380 ©2012 IDC
  • IBM Offers ISVs a Fast Track for VirtualAppliance Deployment on New IBMPureSystemsThe recently introduced IBM Virtual Appliance Factory and Ready for IBMPureSystems program offer ISVs a turnkey solution for rapidly creating and marketingvirtual appliance versions of existing software products. Specifically, the IBM VirtualAppliance Factory provides a downloadable tool kit to help ISVs define and createvirtual appliances for deployment on the IBM PureFlex System (see Figure 2).FIGURE 2IBM Virtual Appliance Factory OverviewSource: IBM, 2012Key elements of the toolkit include the IBM Image Construction and Composition Tooland the IBM Virtual Activation Engine, which enable ISVs to create predefinedbundles of base virtual images combined with middleware and application softwareand automation installation activators and extensions that can be rapidly deployed onand integrated into the standard IBM PureFlex platform system.©2012 IDC #236380 5
  • The use of predefined bundles that are proven and optimized for deployment onstandard expert integrated systems streamlines or eliminates many postdeploymentconfiguration steps, which in turn reduces complexity and human error and improvesISV development and deployment cycles. This speeds customer time to value withfaster, simpler, and more reliable deployments.Once the virtual appliance has been created, ISVs upload their solution entrydescription to the PureSystems Centre, a new catalog of unified content showcasingPureSystems optimized solutions. IBM supports PureSystems Centre partners byincluding a detailed, searchable listing page for the product in the online IBMPureSystems product marketplace. Virtual appliances can be downloaded directlyfrom the ISV Web site and are sold via ISV channels and direct sales staff. ISVs canopt to sell only the virtual appliance or to ship customers a prepackaged solutionincluding the application software already deployed on a standardized IBMPureSystems platform. Validated virtual appliances can be branded with the "Readyfor IBM PureSystems" mark. Many ISV partners are also being featured at IBMPureSystems events around the world.IBM PureSystems Partner ExperiencesEarly IBM PureSystems partners have chosen to participate in the IBM PureSystemsvirtual appliance program because they see an opportunity to minimize delivery anddeployment complexity, reduce support costs, improve application performance, andgain increased visibility and leverage with IBM channels and customers. Partnersinterviewed by IDC view their ability to offer customers a virtual appliance deploymentoption as a game changer that not only will allow them to reduce the cost and complexityof deploying the application but also will drive them to rethink the overall architectures oftheir software products to simplify and remove complexity and costs wherever possible.Innovation GroupInnovation Group provides both software products and business process outsourcingservices to insurance and financial services customers globally. In addition to serving80% of the top 20 global insurance companies, Innovation Group supports theneeds of many tier 2 and 3 auto, property, and casualty insurers with less than$1 billion in revenue. These insurers arestriving to grow their business, reduce costs, Innovation Insurer Virtual Applianceand streamline business processes to stay for IBM PureSystemscompetitive. Many of them are looking for titlealternative software delivery models such as  More rapidly deploy and scale applicationsoftware as a service (SaaS) or virtual  Deployment time cut from 70 minutes toappliances in order to streamline their IT 30 minutesenvironments and reduce TCO.  Improved deployment predictability andInnovation Groups Innovation Insurer repeatabilitysoftware solution is an integrated browser-based suite that includes Insurer Policy,  Easier, more cost-effective maintenanceInsurer Analytics, and Insurer Claimsmodules. It is an end-to-end solution with one data model, one rules engine, oneprocess engine, and a common set of administration tools that support the end-to-endinsurance value chain.6 #236380 ©2012 IDC
  • Innovation Group decided to partner with IBM to develop a virtual appliance for theIBM PureFlex System in order to provide customers with a solution that can be morequickly deployed and more efficiently maintained than the firms traditional on-premisedeployment of the software solution. As with most SOA applications, the packagedsoftware solution can be complex to deploy and integrate in a customers existingenvironment. As a result, Innovation Group had to commit staff with significanttechnological expertise to support field installation and ongoing support services.Deployment processes were inconsistent, and meeting customer deploymentmilestones was challenging.The development of the virtual appliance version of Innovation Insurer allowsInnovation Group to more rapidly deploy and scale individual modules or the entiresuite on a predictable and repeatable basis. The firm is able to use less skilled staff tocomplete most implementations. A comparison of traditional deployment processesused prior to the availability of the virtual appliance shows that Innovation Group hasbeen able to reduce the typical single server database and application deploymentprocess from 70 minutes to just 30 minutes. Customer IT organizations using IBMexpert integrated systems save additional time by not having to integrate network andsystems infrastructure prior to application deployment.The process of scaling the application environment has also become much morestreamlined. As customer requirements increase, the IBM PureFlex System canrapidly add more CPU or disk resources as needed.The virtual appliance program also allows Innovation Group to standardizeand streamline application updates and patches because the environmentremains stable and predictable, thereby simplifying many routine maintenanceprocesses and allowing the use of more automated, remote systems to take care ofthese activities.Innovation Group reports that its experience with the program was very well definedand efficient. Starting with an internal analysis and planning session, InnovationGroup felt that IBM provided solid support and sufficient resources to help create thevirtual appliance in just a few months. Beyond the technical support, InnovationGroup felt that IBM was a supportive partner in exploring creative pricing models thatare enabling Innovation Group to expand its delivery models across expert integratedsystems and private, public, and hybrid cloud software services.©2012 IDC #236380 7
  • RadwareRadware is the provider of Alteon, a fully functional application delivery controller(ADC) solution that ensures high levels of security and performance for compute-heavy networked environments. The solution includes global application disasterrecovery, performance optimization, and end-to-end encryption. Radware offerssophisticated analysis of application andnetwork behaviors to detect and mitigate Alteon Virtual Appliance formalicious denial of service attacks IBM PureSystemsdisguised as legitimate traffic. title  Reduce time and staff expertise needed forRadware has relied on virtual appliances to deploymentdeliver its products for a number of years. It  3-week process reduced to 60 minutes oralso offers its solutions as traditional lesspackaged software and is in the process oflaunching a SaaS-based option.  Applications run 4–6 times faster with integrated application accelerationRadware became an early participant inthe virtual appliance program in order to  Improved scalability and multitenancyprovide its customers with a more efficient supportand stable virtual appliance option that canbe deployed and activated in 60 minutes. Prior to creating the Alteon VirtualAppliance (Alteon VA) for IBM PureSystems, Radware had faced a number ofchallenges deploying and maintaining Alteon VA implementations. Specifically,customers were reluctant to deploy dedicated hardware to support a virtual appliance,so Radware often had to invest time and resources to integrate its virtual appliancesolution with customers existing datacenter and network environments.Radware partnered with IBM to create a standardized application delivery controllervirtual appliance using KVM and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization on the IBM FlexSystem platform. This PureSystems virtual appliance allows Radware to offer IBMPureFlex System customers a highly standardized, predefined solution that can bedeployed quickly and managed effectively. Radware reports that the application runsfour to six times better in this type of environment compared with customizeddeployments of its virtual appliance. This performance impact is largely due to theentire implementation being fine-tuned on an end-to-end basis for a specificintegrated system.Customers see not only important performance benefits but also significantimprovements in time to value. Previously, customers could expect a three-weekprocess to procure the product, integrate the product into the existing environment,and complete configuration of the application itself. With the PureSystems virtualappliance, customers that already have an IBM PureFlex System expert integratedsystem in place can activate the Radware license in 20 minutes via the IBMPureSystems Centre. They can avoid delays associated with integration and cablingand leverage the built-in IBM Workload Deployer technology to drive a 10-minuteconfiguration workflow process. Radware tells customers to plan on 60 minutes fordeployment just to be safe.8 #236380 ©2012 IDC
  • Internally, Radware has found that the virtual appliance optimized for the IBMPureFlex System is also enabling significant improvement in the performance andcost of the Radware Alteon SaaS service. Historically, Radware has encounteredchallenges in managing a high-density multitenant service delivery environment.Using the virtual appliance, the company is now able to support as many as 256tenants on a single IBM PureFlex System platform.Radware found that the IBM PureSystems Centre provided extensive supportthroughout the process of developing and validating the Alteon Virtual Appliance forIBM PureSystems. Radware reported that in the past, it participated in vendor-sponsored platform validation programs that were poorly defined and dragged on foranywhere from 6 months to 12 months. The process enabled by the PureSystemsCentre brought together all required IBM and partner resources using a detailedprocess and plan. As a result, the validated solution was ready in 2 months.Beyond the well-defined technical process and availability of resources, Radware hasfound that the PureSystems Centre portal provides an efficient means for sharinginformation about the virtual appliance with customers and other IBM partners in aconsistent, easy-to-navigate manner. The availability of a downloadable 30-day freetrial using the virtual appliance is also creating more marketing and lead generationopportunities for Radware.BloombaseBloombase, a China-based provider of information security software and servicessolutions, partnered with IBM to create a virtual appliance for its Spitfire StoreSafeEnterprise Storage Security Server, which protects corporate and userpersistence/storage data from confidential information disclosure and unauthorizedtampering via use of strong encryption and patented watermarking technologies.The companys goal was to enable customers StoreSafe Virtual Appliance forto more easily manage the software and to IBM PureSystemsrespond to customer interest in alternative titledelivery models. The firm felt that a virtual  Simplify initial deployments for data-at-restappliance based on the IBM PureFlex System securitywould simplify initial deployments and reduceimplementation complexities while improving  Accelerate deployment time from days to as little as 30 minutesapplication stability and performance.  Avoid customer configuration errorsTraditionally, Bloombase would spend days ata customer site working through integration  Reduce overall support and maintenanceand configuration challenges that were unique complexity and costto the customers environment. The firmreports that hardware compatibility problems and software configuration errors werefrequent and time consuming. As a result, senior technical staffs for both Bloombaseand the customer were often required to troubleshoot the situation and complete theinstallation. Now the virtual appliance can be deployed and configured in as little as 30minutes instead of days.©2012 IDC #236380 9
  • By deploying the solution as a virtual appliance, Bloombase is able to ensure that initialimplementations are consistent and stable. Customer configuration errors are beingsignificantly reduced because preset defaults and a wizard-based configuration tool canbe provided and optimized for the IBM PureFlex System environment. Ongoing supportand maintenance costs are also lower because the platform remains stable andpredictable, allowing for more consistent and automated updates and patches.Overall, Bloombase believes that use of the virtual appliance model is helping itreduce deployment costs, improve application performance and stability, and improveits customers overall total cost of ownership.Bloombase said that the level of support and collaboration it has received from IBMhas exceeded that which it has received from other major infrastructure providers.The PureSystems Centre process was well defined, and IBM supplied extensivetechnical support and testing resources via the local IBM Innovation Center. Theentire process took less than two months.FUTURE OUTLOOKAs enterprise IT organizations make more extensive use of virtualization, privatecloud, and public cloud resources, software purchase decisions will be heavilyimpacted by concerns about time to value, ease of implementation, efficiency ofsupport, and overall application performance. Enterprise IT organizations continue tofeel head count and budget pressure and will insist on solutions that minimize internaldemands on their top technical staff.For ISVs, virtual appliances optimized for converged systems are likely to become animportant delivery option for customers that want a simplified deployment and supportexperience. IDC expects that many ISVs will find that they need to support a range ofdelivery models over time because customers will have different preferences fortraditional packaged software, virtual appliances, and SaaS-based servicesdepending on the application and the customers existing environment. For ISVs thatare just beginning to evaluate SaaS-based delivery of their applications, virtualappliances can provide the basis of a scalable, hosted delivery option using publiccloud resources to enter the market rapidly.Many ISVs expect that customers will increasingly demand a range of pricing andlicensing options to match the growth in the variety of deployment and supportchoices. They also expect that increasing the range of delivery options will create newopportunities to reach out to nontraditional customers, engage new types of channelpartners, and launch innovative go-to-market strategies. ISVs should look forinfrastructure partners that can help them adapt pricing and packaging strategieswhile gaining access to new channels and customers.10 #236380 ©2012 IDC
  • ChallengesThe introduction of virtual appliances can be disruptive to both the ISV and itscustomers. IT employees who are skilled in supporting complex integrations andsoftware customization may resist the introduction of a more standardized, remotelysupported product. Enterprise IT organizations may also resist the introduction of newinfrastructure platforms to support virtual appliances if the infrastructure vendorsequipment has not yet been validated in the datacenter environment.ISVs will need to develop strategies for understanding the organizational requirementsas well as the functional requirements of their customers in order to offer customers themost appropriate delivery and support option. ISVs will also need to enable channelpartners and programs in order to make sure their partners can effectively target specificoptions to specific types of customers. Over time, ISVs must develop detailed frameworksto help customers and channel partners evaluate the time to value, performance, andlife-cycle operations costs associated with each available delivery option.CONCLUSIONISVs that proactively explore new delivery options including virtual appliancesoptimized for converged systems will be well positioned to extend their marketpresence while reducing development, deployment, and support costs. The benefitsof developing a virtual appliance option will impact ISVs in a number of ways beyondthe immediate benefits of reducing deployment costs and enabling more stable andpredictable application performance and support.Lessons learned about how to simplify, standardize, and automate application codeand deployment processes will also carry over to traditional packaged versions of thesoftware and can enable more efficient and scalable SaaS-based cloud deliveryoptions. To stay competitive in todays rapidly evolving software industry, ISVs needto offer a range of delivery options that match cost, performance, and time to valuewith customers individual priorities.Copyright NoticeExternal Publication of IDC Information and Data — Any IDC information that is to beused in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior writtenapproval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of theproposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right todeny approval of external usage for any reason.Copyright 2012 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden.©2012 IDC #236380 11