Virtustream builds a cloud computing platform with a difference


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Virtustream is a full-spectrum cloud provider that delivers enterprise class
cloud solutions to clients worldwide. At the center of Virtustream’s
offering is a secure high-performance cloud platform, xStream, offering
highly available and elastic compute resources with true consumption based
pricing that can be delivered as private, multi-tenant or hybrid
clouds, depending on each client’s requirements. The company’s Cloud
Professional Services team also provides expertise in the areas of cloud
adoption, architecture strategy, migration roadmaps and integration

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Virtustream builds a cloud computing platform with a difference

  1. 1. IBM Systems & Technology Group Computer ServicesSmarter Computing Virtustream builds a cloud computing platform with a difference Based on smarter computing solutions from IBM Virtustream is a full-spectrum cloud provider that delivers enterprise- Overview class cloud solutions to clients worldwide. At the center of Virtustream’s offering is a secure high-performance cloud platform, xStream, offering The need highly available and elastic compute resources with true consumption- Virtustream wanted to offer clients enterprise-class cloud services and based pricing that can be delivered as private, multi-tenant or hybrid provide greater performance than other clouds, depending on each client’s requirements. The company’s Cloud cloud computing providers, offering Professional Services team also provides expertise in the areas of cloud cloud services with application SLAs, adoption, architecture strategy, migration roadmaps and integration consumption-based pricing and compelling cloud economics. services. The solution IBM solutions are at the center Meeting varied customer requirements of Virtustream’s Cloud platform, By providing enterprise-class cloud services, Virtustream helps including IBM® System x® 3650 class clients eliminate the cost, complexity and risk of managing their IT servers running VMware virtualization architecture themselves – while greatly improving service quality and augmented with IBM Systems Director and an extensive suite of IBM Tivoli® flexibility. When selecting a managed cloud provider, companies need software. Virtustream uses this powerful to decide what balance they need between cost, performance, security combination as part of the xStream and elasticity and whether the services offer enterprise-class security, cloud platform that supplies a range of cloud computing services, ranging from assurance and support. private on-premise cloud management for the hyper-security conscious, to its Virtustream recognized that finding just the right balance between multi-tenanted xStream managed cloud these factors would be critical for their enterprise customers. services. Virtustream offers a comprehensive set of cloud solutions – private, virtual private and public. To gain the full benefit from the cloud their clients needed a flexible platform that could be combined together to deliver hybrid clouds. The Virtustream virtual private cloud is core to this ability and to support these exacting requirements, Virtustream needed a highly adaptable and scalable infrastructure that could support a large number of virtual machines (VMs) while offering strong performance. With over 100 clients, the company needed capabilities that could dynamically scale to match customer requirements minute by minute.
  2. 2. IBM Systems & Technology Group Computer ServicesSmarter Computing Evaluating competing offerings As long-time users of IBM technology, Virtustream immediately The benefit considered IBM servers for this environment. Due to the significance Virtustream’s enterprise clients benefit and scale of the project, the company undertook a structured from significant total cost of ownership evaluation process before making a final decision, however. It carefully (TCO) savings by moving from traditional environments to the company’s Cloud benchmarked products from IBM, HP and Dell, as well as a ‘white platform, which is supported by IBM label’ server. It discovered early on that the alternatives were ‘faster in technology, with some saving as much a sprint’ – but that the IBM option was the clear winner when it came as 60 percent. The flexibility of the IBM System x platform enables Virtustream to real-world performance. Dell’s server in particular was 20 percent to run as many as 30-40 virtual machines faster than the IBM System x3650 at running a single VM. However (VMs) on each physical server, and Tivoli Virtustream’s test showed that the Dell machine’s performance software helps to control network traffic so that I/O throughput can be guaranteed decreased when you added more than five VMs. In fact, while the other for mission-critical workloads. options could run a maximum of 16.5 VMs, Virtustream discovered that the System x servers would stretch to as many as 35 – an increase of 112.5 percent. For multi-tenant Cloud solutions scalability is essential, so Virtustream selected the IBM System x3650 platform as the basis for its system. The xStream concept enables Virtustream to offer clients a range of cloud architectures to meet their individual requirements. This broad spectrum of offerings includes private clouds running on the client’s own infrastructure in their datacenter, all the way to virtual private clouds provided by Virtustream. Virtustream clients choose to run its xStream software both on- or off-premise: or in any combination. The choice of architecture must balance requirements for security, elasticity, performance and cost, while delivering the greatest TCO savings from secure multi-tenant clouds. The company takes potential clients through a cloud strategy and design process to optimize the design of their cloud solutions. Smarter Computing: The IT Infrastructure of a Smarter Planet Virtustream has gained an ultra-reliable, pure x86-based cloud-ready platform supporting multiple virtualized environments. Benchmarking against competing solutions from HP and Dell showed that the IBM System x3650 could host more than twice the average number of virtual machines compared to the other vendors – ideal for supporting the company’s multi-tenanted xStream offering. The company delivers cloud computing services to clients through a variety of models, supported by the highly flexible IBM System x hardware and Virtustream’s xStream management platform. The IBM Tivoli solution is a crucial component of the Virtustream platform, providing a range of Integrated Service Management capabilities, helping ensure compliance and adherence to service level agreements (SLAs). The company has an in-depth view of resources at any time and can use these insights to offer clients true consumption-based pricing. Moreover, sophisticated virtual network traffic-shaping technologies enable Virtustream to provide guaranteed I/O throughput on specific mission-critical workloads. These capabilities combine with the Virtustream xStream platform to enable enterprise-class cloud services.
  3. 3. IBM Systems & Technology Group Computer ServicesSmarter Computing Easy infrastructure management with IBM Tivoli Virtustream also uses a suite of IBM software within the xStream Solution Components platform to enhance functionality, including IBM Tivoli Monitoring Hardware and IBM Change and Configuration Management Database. The • IBM® System x® 3650 IBM Tivoli toolset includes a number of connectors to non-IBM Software infrastructure components, the Tivoli software is also highly cross- • IBM Tivoli® Monitoring compatible, enabling Virtustream to link to clients’ environments • IBM Tivoli Change and Configuration and deploy comprehensive monitoring. In combination the xStream Management Database • IBM Systems Director platform and the IBM toolset, Virtustream can analyze aggregate • SAP ERP workloads to ensure that it provisions the most appropriate resources. • VMware It can also perform extremely granular analysis of resource usage, enabling variable consumption-based pricing. IBM’s equipment is enhanced with sophisticated virtual network traffic control capabilities which make it possible for the company to guarantee I/O throughput for specific workloads, making the solution suitable for mission-critical applications and databases. Virtustream was only the seventh company to be certified by SAP to run the SAP ERP application in the cloud, a direct consequence of the provable security and performance levels of the infrastructure. Virtustream’s largest client – Domino Sugar, the world’s biggest sugar refiner – migrated 170 applications, including all of its SAP operations, over a 16-week period onto the xStream platform. Virtustream claims that the resulting environment is the largest hosted SAP solution in the world. Enjoying the benefits By selecting cloud-ready IBM technology to support its cloud platform, Virtustream has gained the rock-solid reliability and performance to ensure it consistently meets enterprise clients’ service level agreements (SLAs). On the basis of its own tests, Virtustream discovered that the IBM System x had the capacity to scale up to 112.5 percent more virtual machines than the competing offerings the company benchmarked. This showed Virtustream that the IBM platform is ideal for running multiple VMs for multiple-tenancy cloud environments. The IBM solution provides a number of key differentiators for Virtustream – enabling it to offer true consumption-based pricing and guaranteed I/O throughput for mission-critical workloads, helping drive up client satisfaction. A study of the company’s clients has shown significant total cost of ownership (TCO) savings from using the xStream platform – some up to 60 percent – in moving from traditional IT environments to the Virtustream Cloud offering. Moreover, the IBM reputation for performance and availability complements Virtustream’s focus on differentiating itself from the competition by offering and meeting enterprise-class SLAs to clients.
  4. 4. For more informationTo learn more about smarter computing from IBM and how we canhelp you integrate, automate, protect and transform your IT, contactyour IBM sales representative or IBM business partner, or© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012IBM United Kingdom LimitedPO Box 41North HarbourPortsmouthHampshirePO6 3AUProduced in the United KingdomMay 2012IBM, the IBM logo,, System x and Tivoli are trademarks of InternationalBusiness Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Acurrent list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright andtrademark information” at: in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not implythat IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Anyreference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that onlyIBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product,program or service may be used instead.All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM productsand the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performancecharacteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations andconditions.IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts.In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previouslyinstalled. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply.This publication is for general guidance only.Photographs may show design models. Please Recycle XSC03123-GBEN-00