Asking questions of your hosting partner
Why do customers host their iSeries with us?
Mike: Initially, the conversation usually begins when a company wants to take another look and re-evaluate their investment in their platform and the long term management of that platform. Some soul searching takes place, questions like, “are we investing in the right areas?”, and, “what can we do to be at maximum efficiency while also building a strong defense?” Addressing questions of this nature set the tone for determining the “what” of long term management, and understanding the “how” when it comes to staffing and management of the architecture moving forward.
Not surprisingly, most of the companies we talk to are ready to cut ties with their tape based backup systems. One of the reasons that SIS stands out is the ability to host and assume management of their platform, back-up, and storage management, while also providing variable capacity as necessary. A lot of times clients are concerned that their infrastructure is not prepared for the worst, and they should be. Natural disasters like storms, flooding, and power outages, or even internal workload impacts can have a devastating effect on infrastructure and can set back production by weeks or months.
Since disaster can strike at any time, and without warning, clients ideally would like to have their IBMi available around the clock. Qualified IBMi technical resources are becoming very difficult to find and hire. With SIS, they can rest easy knowing they are working with certified IBM experts with years of expertise.
How should an organization prepare themselves for a hosted conversation or what questions should they be asking the business before they choose a cloud provider, or a managed service provider?
Mike: Number one, and I can’t stress this enough, do you understand the value of the application to the business? Do you understand all of your current application’s capabilities, what the limitations are, and how to get to the level you need your infrastructure to be?
Now more than ever, clarity is paramount when it comes to running your business from a technology perspective, and choosing a partner who understands where you are and where you need to be is vital. Really it comes down to understanding what additional value a provider can offer your organization.
- Is your data center infrastructure in need of upgrades?
- Is the power supply to your data center predictable?
- Do you have ample run time on your secondary power?
- Do you have resources challenges and need a team that take on additional management duties for both IBMi and VMware?
There are various options out there on the market, but for most businesses, the iSeries workload is still a tier one application. With that being said, ensuring that they are getting a provider that really understands the nuances of IBMi is huge. Managed service or cloud providers should ideally offer versatility. Having a team that understands the requirements of the iSeries really enables maximum leverage for the customer so they won’t need to make the investment on the data center side. It’s also important to ensure that your provider has a firm grasp on optimal design from an architecture standpoint, this will go a long way in preventing redundant networking.
Another thought to consider… Is your provider certified? Who audits those certifications and how often? If you’re in an industry like the healthcare sector, with their corresponding HIPPA certification requirements, then this information is cannot be overlooked.
When searching for a provider, ask how many other iSeries customers they manage and not just host. The key word is manage. See what the provider is made of, ask how they manage capabilities and resources. Ask how many resources they have, and more importantly, how many of them are dedicated resources. Quite often, these organizations will have shared resources that are out in the field running delivery services most of the time, then when they get back to the office and have the time, they respond to service tickets. Do you want a provider who responds to your needs when they can get to it? Or is it more important to find one with a dedicated 24/7 service desk, access to a call-in number, and around-the-clock engineering?
More questions to ask:
- What is the provider’s flexibility when it comes to deploying my platform?
- What is it going to be deployed on?
- What kind of technology? Who takes care of the operating system?
- Who does the PTS?
- What capability or flexibility does the partner have to support other workloads that maybe need to be integrated very tightly with that iSeries?
- Are there database servers that need to be in the front of your iSeries?
- What kind of architecture can we build out that can encompass not just my iSeries workload, but all of the workloads that are required to support my iSeries applications?
We have answered some of your questions, and most likely created more, please reached out to use directly so we can answer all of your questions. To understand what to consider before pursuing an IBMi Cloud Option, contact us @ Contact Us Today