Published on 12-Nov-2012
"IBM i is the leader when it comes to technology. It’s really easy to work with this platform. It’s dynamic. It’s flexible. And we love it." - Jimi Inge, lead service architect at Tieto
Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Smarter Computing, Storage Consolidation
As a leading IT service provider in Northern Europe, Tieto delivers highly specialized IT and product engineering capabilities to customers worldwide. Founded in 1968, Tieto has a long history of providing leading-edge solutions and services integration. They currently have about 18,000 employees, 3,000 of whom are located in Sweden. The company is committed to “green” IT, believing that IT should enable customers to make better use of their resources. Tieto supports a preventive approach to environmental challenges and aims to conduct their own business operations just as responsibly.
Tieto needed a strong, flexible “green” platform on which to build cloud infrastructures and provide disaster recovery and backup services, able to scale rapidly in response to an expanding customer base—providing “IT on tap.”
Tieto’s cloud-based iTAP solution leverages IBM® Power® 740 Express® servers, IBM POWER7® processors and VIOS software running on the IBM i 7.1 platform with the IBM System Storage® DS8000® series to allocate hardware to customers as needed—which means much higher utilization throughout the infrastructure. Tieto also leverages the scalability and storage capabilities of the IBM System Storage DS8000.
The IBM solution enables scalability down to one-hundredth of a CPU. It encourages green IT, with service utilization as high as 80 percent and energy costs cut in half. And it provides space savings, with a 75 percent reduction in rack/floor space.
As a leading IT service provider in Northern Europe, Tieto delivers highly specialized IT and product engineering capabilities to customers worldwide. Founded in 1968, Tieto has a long history of providing leading-edge solutions and services integration. They currently have about 18,000 employees, 3,000 of whom are located in Sweden.
The company is committed to “green” IT, believing that IT should enable customers to make better use of their resources. Tieto supports a preventive approach to environmental challenges and aims to conduct their own business operations just as responsibly.
Meeting customer demand for capabilities versus tools
Tieto customers want solutions that enable them to cost-effectively cope with varying capacity demands while reducing their total cost of ownership (TCO). They would rather invest in applications, versus technology. Therefore, the cornerstone of Tieto’s offerings is their iTAP solution, named to mean “IT on tap” as well as “IBM i on tap.” Tieto iTAP enables customers to buy the capabilities they need for their business systems, versus buying the actual tools. And as the name indicates, Tieto has built this flexible, cloud-based platform upon IBM Power and IBM i technologies.
Jimi Inge, lead service architect at Tieto, explains the company’s business model: “We buy hardware, build services and solutions on the hardware, then sell that as an outsourcing service to customers. So Tieto owns the hardware, then we provide Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS]—in the cloud—to the customer, rather than them having it at their own facility.”
Enabling more with less
To boost the capabilities they can offer to customers while significantly reducing maintenance costs, Tieto replaced 12 physical servers with three IBM Power 740 Express servers—built on the foundation of IBM POWER7 processor-based technology. Tieto is currently using approximately 10 partitions per server. The logical partitions use Virtual I/O Server (VIOS) software, which allows them to simplify and virtualize the hardware adapters and devices—which are then sharable across all of the different partitions.
Everything runs on the IBM i 7.1 platform, of which Jimi says, “IBM i is the leader when it comes to technology. It’s really easy to work with this platform. It's dynamic. It's flexible. And we love it.” He adds, "We see great savings in both capacity use and in economy by using the blended operating system for one server. Our POWER7 servers use only four IBM i processors per installation, so we more or less run IBM AIX® and Linux for free on all spare capacity—which enables more even utilization across the servers. It’s really an awesome solution!"
Scaling for the masses
To support their cloud-based IaaS offerings, Tieto needed the ability to scale up and down very fast. Jimi says, “We wanted to scale by one-tenth increments, and now we can do it down to one-hundredth of a CPU. We wanted our solution to be as flexible and redundant as possible, and with VIOS and POWER7 technologies, we get everything we wanted really quickly. We are extremely flexible and dynamic, thanks to these technologies. IBM has met all of our requirements.”
Encouraging green IT
Jimi Inge says that because iTAP is based on a virtualized IBM platform and Tieto shares the hardware among a lot of customers, there is much higher utilization for every customer compared to one customer’s standalone box.
The IBM foundation enables iTAP customers to scale their capacity up or down easily and cost-effectively. Jimi says, “Whether they need to buy extra processors or a whole new system to expand their production, using iTAP is like having their own scalable, standalone system, except it’s much more efficient. With iTAP running on IBM i, we can utilize the service up to 80 percent instead of 20 percent, which is the most that I think a standalone system would be used. And that’s a big thing here in the Nordics—green IT.”
This efficiency has also translated into lower costs for Tieto. In addition to reducing their energy requirements by an estimated 50 percent, Jimi says, “With POWER7 and VIOS, when it comes to storage space in our computer rooms, four racks can now be replaced by one—that’s a 75 percent reduction. It’s amazing.”
Providing end-to-end IaaS
As part of its cloud-based IaaS solution, Tieto offers disaster recovery and backup services based on IBM storage solutions. Jimi says, “We’ve got the full disaster recovery multi-site, multi-Power networking, everything that’s necessary to provide highly available disaster recovery. It’s an additional service that Tieto sells, configures and installs for our customers.”
The company chose the IBM System Storage DS8000 series over another vendor’s offering because, as Jimi says, “The DS8000 offered much, much, much better performance with IBM i. It was a very easy decision.” Plus, combining the DS8000 storage with the POWER7 servers gives the company well-tested updates and unified support services.
Now Tieto customers have their data on dual sites all the time—one physical media site and one virtual media site—which boosts availability by eliminating downtime during backups. Jimi says, “We are mirroring everything all the time, and we are writing the changes to the other site before we’re writing from the production site.”
And it’s fast. Jimi explains, “If the customers want an extra copy or a dual site, we can manage that within minutes. We can clone their whole environment and create a test environment within seconds. We can upgrade that test environment to IBM i 7.1, and test in a completely insulated environment. So that’s a really big benefit. We can do everything so fast and so quickly, and we have no problems with it.”
Expanding into the future
Another advantage of basing their solutions on IBM technologies, Jimi says, is that IBM is continuously evolving to outpace the changing market—especially in the cloud. Jimi says, “IBM is proactive and innovative. We’re doing a lot of things together right now; we are actually working with several different groups to find ways to deliver more efficient and attractive services.”
So far, Tieto has been able to offer their customers lower prices on everything from processor capacity to disks, thanks to the efficiency they’ve gained from the IBM solution. They now provide greater cost transparency—where costs are related to actual usage—while providing those customers with a greater ability to scale their capacity cost effectively and rapidly. The VIOS software also enables them to offer full redundancy in a one-server solution, without increasing internal costs.
Tieto has been more than pleased, and they expect this to continue into the future. “We just wanted to deliver IT on tap, in the cloud, making it easy for customers to buy IT. They should be able to buy extra memory, extra CPU and extra disk instantly—within seconds, not days. IBM makes this possible,” Jimi says. “It's perfect. We love this technology.”
For more information
For more information about Tieto, visit: tieto.com
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Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, New York 10589 Produced in the United States of America November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Power, POWER7, DS8000, and System Storage are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The iTAP solution is not an IBM product or offering. iTAP is sold or licensed, as the case may be, to users under Tieto’s terms and conditions, which are provided with the product or offering. Availability, and any and all warranties, services and support for iTAP are the direct responsibility of, and are provided directly to users by, Tieto. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.