In our three-part series on AIX’s role in the tech world today, we’ve covered how AIX is still a pillar in the enterprise, and where organizations often struggle with providing complete test coverage across AIX dependencies. Today we conclude our series with the announcement of the first and only cloud solution that enables IT to rapidly migrate, develop, and deploy AIX workloads running on Power Systems with Linux, Windows, and Solaris workloads running on x86 architecture in blended, self-service environments.
What drove Skytap to add this functionality?
As we pointed out, AIX is still so prevalent in enterprises today, with many planning on maintaining, or even increasing their investment in AIX.A number of our customers have asked for the ability to virtualize their AIX workloads alongside x86, as there simply was nobody else who could provide this functionality. Organizations run AIX today because of the high levels of performance, and reliability the OS provides to business-critical applications, but for non-production environments, you don’t need that same level of availability, nor the cost associated with running AIX.
While some vendors offer the provisioning of a single AIX instance in anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes, it’s important to note that these are just that, a single instance from a limited choice of canned configurations. In Skytap Cloud, environments can be fully customized to your exact CPU, memory, and storage specifications and can be easily networked to your existing x86 VMs in powerful, blended environments that can be templatized, cloned and provisioned in a self-service manner in only minutes.
What constraints does this eliminate?
Many enterprises have a fairly large AIX footprint in their on-premises data centers, and those applications running AIX are not standalone or on an island—there is a suite of applications surrounding them. The challenge organizations face is when they go to try to do end-to-end testing on those cursory applications, AIX tends to become a bottleneck in that process. Being able to lift and shift a full application stack of various workloads into Skytap allows teams to do self-service creation of environments, and expedite the dev/test process not only on the AIX side but on those dependent apps as well.
In just minutes, end-users can provision their own AIX environment from IT-managed templates, which enables teams to develop and deploy blended workloads faster.
How does Skytap Cloud reduce risk?
The ability to virtualize AIX workloads, on-demand, in a self-service manner has truly never existed, so immediately, test teams, in particular, will be able to greatly reduce the time that was previously spent not testing. Generally, what happens when limited to on-premises environments is a test team might have one AIX instance that’s given to them, and it’s their responsibility to maintain that instance and refresh it with test data and keep it clean. Or, worse, it may be multiple teams sharing that environment, so then you’re dealing with environment contention, resulting in wait-time that’s costly to productivity, morale, and ultimately, software quality.
This often leads to teams being forced to take shortcuts on changes they make on peripheral applications rather than doing a full test pass, or teams spend time investigating non-existent bugs because they’re using “dirty” test data that wasn’t fully reset.
Skytap Cloud provides the fastest provisioning of self-service AIX environments in the market today. Skytap’s proprietary cloning technology enables end-users to templatize, clone, and provision their own environments in minutes, while IT maintains access controls and governs usage.
Changing the way we view AIX
Until today, by being unable to be copied, cloned, or easily spun up or shut down, AIX virtual machines have been viewed as very static entities. IT departments have long looked for ways to get the most out of their AIX investments, and without having to refactor or re-architect them for the cloud. By offering real AIX in a real cloud manner—not just cloud hosting—Skytap is enabling teams to reach levels of agility that were never before possible.
To learn more about how Skytap Cloud provides new levels of agility, innovation, test coverage, and ROI around applications running AIX, stop by booth #331 at IBM InterConnect 2017, and register now for our upcoming webinar, “The AIX Cloud Journey” on Wednesday, March 8th!