What is our primary use case?
We are a managed service provider and IBM Cloud is one of the products that we use to provide services for our clients. We have a large number of customers who are in different industries and some of them are moving from a traditional data center to the cloud.
How has it helped my organization?
There are several advantages to migrating to a cloud-based data center. Some of these are that you don't need 24/7 power or power backup units, local staff for maintenance, or to handle your own security.
There is also the important point that servers are available on-demand. For example, I may need 100 servers for a client for a short time, but after which they are no longer needed. This ability to scale up or scale down using the cloud is helpful. By contrast, in an on-premises solution, if you need more power then you have to purchase it.
What is most valuable?
One of the features that I really like about IBM Cloud is the flexibility where you can order your own hardware. Customers do not want to have a full data center but they can order virtual machines, use solutions like VMware vCenter and NSX, and they can design their own network.
This solution is user-friendly and easy to manage.
What needs improvement?
There is not a lot of support for this solution, which is something that needs to be improved.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using IBM Cloud for a few years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
IBM Cloud is stable and our customers haven't had any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This solution is very scalable. IBM took over a company called SoftLayer, which has resources across the globe. They are available in the UK, US, Australia, India, Asia, and everywhere.
How are customer service and technical support?
There is not a lot of support for IBM Cloud. The response from them and the ETA for resolving issues is too slow, and also, the SLA is too expensive. If you want to have premium customer support then you have to pay more.
Obviously, they will still make the best effort according to the SLA. Whatever engineer becomes available will give good support but it is a very slow process.
For example, something that is a priority-one issue for you will not necessarily be of the same urgency for their support. Rather, they will go as per the SLA, which is based on how much you pay for support. If you are a gold partner then you can just pick up the phone, tell them the problem, an engineer will be assigned and they will just start troubleshooting. For most organizations, it doesn't work this way.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have worked with AWS and Azure clouds. IBM Cloud is the cheapest of these three, and I found it to be more flexible in terms of third-party integration.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is straightforward and not very complex. The fact that you can make your own infrastructure is the best part.
What about the implementation team?
Being a network architect, I set up all of these things on my own. There are different vendors who can support you, based on your requirements.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The price of IBM Cloud is very cheap compared to competitors AWS and Azure.
The licensing fees are billed on a monthly basis and some costs vary between cities. For example, data centers in smaller cities will cost less. The savings in operating costs of a remote data center are passed on to the customer.
Premium support is available for an additional cost.
What other advice do I have?
The suitability of this solution depends on your organizational requirements and how you want to function, as well as the policies. One example is that a lot of financial institutions do not want to migrate to the cloud for security reasons. Some organizations prefer one provider over another, such as AWS. There is no hard and fast rule that says you have to use only the IBM Cloud. The option is up to the customer.
Overall, I would stay that IBM Cloud is stable, straightforward, and is a good service. I recommend it. My main complaint is about support, which is tied to pricing.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?