ITJungle published an article today concerning Connectria hosting IBM i in the cloud for under $500/month. I now count three (3) vendors that offer hosting environments at this price point:
Symmetry Corp (my hosting provider)
This is great news because progress is being made. What progress is that? Well, if you host with these guys you don’t have to deal directly with IBM which takes talent (literally) to navigate efficiently their waters of procurement (I’ve done this three times and hope I never need to buy another machine directly from IBM).
What’s more interesting is the companies mentioned in the ITJungle article:
Louis Vuitton, Things Remembered, Paramount Studios, ASD, Purolator, Ecko Unlimited, Gulfstream and Ansell Healthcare. These aren’t small developer shops that were looking for inexpensive hosting as is my case. Instead these companies have a lot of risk-to-savings research onus by moving to cloud. Evidently it made dollars and cents.
What conversations are being had in your IT dept about putting your IBM i in the cloud? I couldn’t say it is for everyone, but it is good to know EXACTLY why it isn’t good for you so you can answer that question in a meeting, but also so you can choose to go cloud once that issue has been removed.
NEUGC and IBM Cloud
While on the subject of cloud… I attended a NEUGC.org conference session given by IBM’er Rob Bestgen and can say without a doubt that IBM is taking cloud seriously - even to the point where they are leading in areas I haven’t even seen on Amazon EC2 or VMWare (i.e. systematic application deployment based on industry specs – more on that later).
In my opinion the reality/acceptance/popularity of “cloud” has the ability to make IBM i as prolific and significant as it was in the late 80’s.
Why? Because it enables third parties like Connectria to more easily provide third party IBM i hosting services that can be setup in automated fashion (see this youtube video for how the IBM Virtual Loaner Program works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXk5t7gYm1c) at a fraction of the cost of acquisition. The last bit is for IBM to address cloud licensing, which I have been told is a high priority within their walls.
The IBM i OS is ready for cloud, but what about everything that sits on top of the OS (i.e. programming languages and programming runtime environments). What, if anything, do we need from RPG to make it even more cloud ready?
By Aaron Bartell