SIXE announces a Strategic Alliance with Canonical / Ubuntu as part of its commitment to free software

Madrid, Spain – May 8, 2024 – SIXEa leader in IT infrastructure solutions for critical environments with more than 15 years of experience, has announced its strategic partnership with Canonicala world leader in the development of open source software based on Ubuntuthe world’s most popular Linux distribution.

SIXE brings extensive experience in implementing and supporting solutions for large customers in Europe and the Americas. Throughout his career, he has worked with leading companies in sectors such as banking, telecommunications, energy, public administration and manufacturing. We are very excited to join Canonical as a strategic partner. We share a passion for open source, an open DNA in code and also in business, putting our customers at the center. This partnership will allow us to offer even more innovative and efficient solutions to our customers in Europe and America.

Proven experience and shared values

SIXE has a highly qualified team, certified in the main free and open source software technologies such as Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE. In addition, the company has agreements with other technology leaders, enabling it to offer comprehensive solutions that include hardware, software, implementation services and advanced technical support.

Commitment to freedom and transparency

Free software is based on the freedom of users to run, modify and distribute the software without restrictions. Canonical stands out for its commitment to licenses such as GPLv3, guaranteeing these fundamental freedoms. In addition, its commitment to accessibility and transparency is reflected in the open development of Ubuntu, whose source code is publicly available for review and modification, fostering collaboration and trust in the developer community.

Long-term support

Canonical differentiates itself by its long-term support with Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support), which offers security and maintenance updates for 5 years, extendable to 10 years for small environments. This provides stability and predictability for business users, which SIXE appreciates. Canonical’s commitment to customer freedom to decide when and how to upgrade without losing access to security patches is one of the many reasons we chose to partner.

Solutions for companies and organizations of all sizes and industries

Canonical has developed novel ways to implement not only Linux environments with Ubuntu, but complete public and private cloud solutions with OpenStack, container platforms with Kubernetes and virtualization environments with KVM, that work in both small and large data centers, across desktops and edge computing environments.

A strategic alliance for an open future

The strategic alliance between SIXE and Canonical will allow us to offer an even wider range of free and open source software solutions, along with enhanced support. With this collaboration, the companies will help their customers leverage the potential of open source software to transform their businesses, bringing value and efficiency.

New IBM Power10 S1012 server for Edge Computing, HA, DR and Small Environments

The most compact Power10 for your remote environment, disaster recovery, edge computing and AI inferencing

IBM has just announced a new IBM Power server model, the S1012. A true BEAUTY that SIXE will soon have in the office, and depending on the noise it makes, maybe even under the table :) It can be obtained in tower or rackmount format, either by joining two servers together, as each one occupies half the width of a conventional rack, as shown in this image, or by leaving a “gap” to fill the entire 2U. It can be configured as you wish. The serviodr comes with 1 socket up to 8 cores and 256GB of RAM and at SIXE we will start offering it from June 2024.

What can we run on the new S1012?

Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Rocky, Alma, RHEL and SUSE, as well as AIX and IBM i, can be installed directly or virtualized with PowerVM. IBM Power S1012 is designed to enhance remote management capabilities for customers looking to expand applications such as AI inference, OpenShift nodes, critical applications under “Edge Computing” architectures, i.e. bringing these servers physically to where they are needed to directly process data without the need to transfer them first, achieving significant cost savings, speed and efficiency. In addition, thanks to the tower format, we can install these servers wherever we want without the need for rack cabinets.

 

Reduce your carbon footprint

With Power10 servers you can do much more with less. Thanks to its 8 threads per physical core, you can consolidate many, many x86 or ARM environments on a single Power, saving power and space in your data centers.

Use cases

It is designed and optimized for distributed computing such as photovoltaic plants, industries, ships, airplanes, vehicles, military environments, spacecraft and many more. It is also ideal for running major workloads in small organizations, for example ERPs or industrial management applications on IBMi and RPG, or as a very low-cost solution for backup environments (Remote Office / Back Office – ROBO). It is also easy to connect directly to cloud services such as IBM® Power® Virtual Server for backup and disaster recovery. In addition for critical databases, with GLVM we can create clusters between sites hundreds of miles apart for Oracle, Informix or DB2 without the need for dedicated fiber connections.

Technical detailsAccess the redbook that IBM has prepared with all the details of these systems.

Price

The S1012 offers the lowest entry price of all Power servers and up to 3 times the performance of an equivalent x86 system. If you are an IBM i customer you can license a single core and use the rest for other workloads on AIX or Linux. If you want to know more, call us!

 

Updated our docker, podman and kubernetes course

At SIXE, we are committed to excellence in technical training, and that is why we are pleased to announce the update of our Docker, Podman and Kubernetes course. This update includes an update to make the exercises work with the latest versions of each of these products, as well as new and more fun exercises based on Ubuntu (Canonical) nodes instead of Red Hat.

Course news:

  1. Compatibility: The course now covers the latest versions of Kubernetes (1.29) but also Docker and Podman. Ensuring that students learn with the most current and relevant tools on the market.
  2. Practices with microk8s: We have introduced specific practices with microk8s, the Kubernetes system developed by Ubuntu. This allows students to experiment with a lightweight and efficient version of Kubernetes in their own environments.
  3. Cloud environment with Scaleway: Thanks to our new partnership with Scaleway, students will have the opportunity to work in a cloud environment. This provides invaluable hands-on experience for those who want to learn how to manage and deploy applications in the cloud.

At SIXE, we understand that the technology sector is constantly evolving. Therefore, our priority is to provide our students with the most relevant skills and knowledge. This update is just one example of our ongoing commitment to educational excellence because all of our courses are delivered directly and without intermediaries.

Who is the target audience for this course?

This course is ideal for developers, system engineers and system administrators who wish to improve their skills and knowledge in containers and orchestration. It is also perfect for those looking to keep up with the latest trends in container technologies from the ground up.

How to register?

Registrations are now open and more information can be obtained through our contact form or by writing us through the chat on our website.

Comparing hypervisors: LXD, IBM PowerVM, Proxmox and Red Hat OpenShift as alternatives to VMWare ESXi

Virtualization is a vital tool in the IT world, enabling companies to optimize their hardware resources and improve the efficiency and management of their systems. VMware ESXi has been an undisputed leader in this space, but with its purchase by Broadcom and the very important changes in pricing, and above all, the elimination of its free version, thousands of customers are evaluating the existing alternatives.

Here is our small contribution, as IBM PowerVM experts but also enthusiasts of the other KVM-based options. All of them (except VMWare) work in our labs and depending on the projects we choose one or the other for our customers. If you would like us to discuss it in detail
please contact us without obligation.

While it is difficult to provide a comprehensive comparison with all ESXi features, as they vary between versions and specific combinations with other VMware tools, the following table provides a summary of what we consider to be the most important ESXi features and how they are supported in LXD, PowerVM, Proxmox and Red Hat OpenShift. We hope you find it useful.

Feature LXD VMware ESXi PowerVM Proxmox Red Hat OpenShift (OCP)*
Type of software Open source. Owner Proprietary (IBM specific) Open source (KVM and container-based) Proprietary (based on Kubernetes and containers)
It is based on KVM. Just as OCP supports containers and also VMs. VMkernel Based on IBM technology inherited from Mainframe environments, with advanced processor micro-partitioning technologies and HW isolation of VMs. KVM and LXC KVM (for virtual machines *if installed in bare-metal mode and not on top of other hypervisors) and Kubernetes for containers
Web UI Yes Yes, but limited. vSphere is required for many functionalities. Yes HMC (equivalent to vSphere) or PowerVC (based on OpenStack) Yes Yes
Clustering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (through Kubernetes)
High Availability Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (with advanced Kubernetes features)
VM live migration Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes (via Kubernetes and OpenShift Virtualization)
Shared storage Ceph vSAN Supports various file systems and storage Ceph, ZFS and others GlusterFS, Ceph and others
Networking Bridge, OVN NSX Compatible with almost all network technologies Bridge, VLAN, VXLAN and others SDN, OVN and others
Snapshots Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backup Yes Yes Yes (with IBM and third-party management tools) Yes Yes
Free trial N/A (unlimited free use) 30 days Not applicable (included free with IBM hardware) N/A (unlimited free use) Free trial available
Cost Free of charge, with enterprise support available per physical host Full functionality requires a paid license. Included with IBM Power hardware Free of charge, with enterprise support by subscription Core-based underwriting; varies by environment.
Number of yarns Limited to 2 threads per core (x86) Limited to 2 threads per core (x86) Up to 1,920 threads (Power10 E1080) Limited to 2 threads per core (x86) Limited to 2 threads per core (x86)
Type of hypervisor Level 1 (over KVM) Level 1 Level 0 (separate VMs at firmware level with CPU mapping) Level 1 (KVM) and Level 2 (LXC) Level 2 (on RHEL)
Technology maturity (years) > 10 years > 20 years > 30 years (coming from Z environments / LPARs) > 10 years > 10 years
Maximum RAM capacity per VM Up to 2TB Up to 2 TB Up to 32 TB Up to 2TB Up to 2TB

How to get out of Oracle ULA and save up to 60% by migrating to IBM Power

Exiting an Oracle Unlimited License Agreement (ULA) contract and migrating to IBM Power systems can be a complex process, but executed well, it can offer significant savings and long-term benefits. In this article, we will explore how to make this transition effectively and without penalties, based on real examples.

Understanding Oracle ULA

First, it is essential to understand what an Oracle ULA entails. It’s a contract that Oracle bought from a third-party company and continues to scare and delight in equal parts. Allows unlimited use of certain Oracle software products for a specified period of time, usually between 3 and 5 years. At the end of the ULA contract, the company must declare the use of these products and this becomes their “certification” for future license audits. There is a famous saying that it is better to know the bad than to know the good. And another that the devil is in the details. In the case of Oracle, no two ULAs are the same. They are all based on the same premise “when Oracle believes it can get money from its customer”. But beyond that, there are rules of the game that, once understood, allow us to help our clients.

Steps to Exit the Oracle ULA

  1. Initial audit: Prior to the completion of the ULA, we conduct an internal audit to fully understand your current usage of Oracle products. This includes identifying which products are essential and which can be replaced or discarded.
  2. Future needs analysis: We evaluate the future needs of your company in terms of software and databases. This step is crucial to determine whether the transition to IBM Power is feasible and what the potential savings are.
  3. Third-party licensing contract review: Since Oracle contracts can be complex, it is advisable to work with specialized Oracle licensing consultants. They can help you understand the implications of your ULA and how to get out of it without incurring penalties.
  4. We negotiate with Oracle: We help you negotiate a new agreement that best suits your current and future needs.
  5. Migration planning: Develop a detailed plan to migrate from Oracle to IBM Power.

Migration to IBM Power

Migrating to IBM Power involves moving Oracle database and application workloads to an IBM environment. This may include the use of IBM Db2, which is known for its high performance and security.

  1. Compatibility assessment: We ensure that your current applications are compatible with IBM Power. Oracle is Oracle in all its current and future versions, but there can always be an application that requires some modification to change architecture (we do it every day and without problems).
  2. Design of the new environment: Based on the previous audit, we design a new secure, simple, powerful and stable environment adapted to your needs and budget.
  3. IBM Power Implementation: We help you acquire and deploy IBM Power. We configure the necessary databases and applications.
  4. Data Migration: We move data from Oracle to IBM Power, ensuring that data integrity is maintained during the process.
  5. Performance, HA and DR testing: Perform extensive testing to ensure that all applications and databases function correctly in the new environment.
  6. Training and technical support: We train your team in the use of the new platform and if you need it, you can use our preventive maintenance and technical support services to help them.

More things to like about Oracle in Power

We have official and supported Ansible playbooks to automate all deployments and day 2 operations:

Lots of documentation:

 

And at SIXE, as an official IBM training provider, we ensure that your technical teams master the platform within weeks. As technicians ourselves, we guarantee that they will be very grateful for the change.

 

 

How much budget can I save by migrating Oracle to IBM Power?

In terms of costs, migrating from Oracle to IBM Power can result in significant savings, although these vary from customer to customer. Real-world examples have shown savings of 20% to 60% in total cost of ownership (TCO) by migrating from Oracle to alternative solutions such as IBM. These savings come from lower licensing costs, reduced need for high-performance hardware due to the efficiency of IBM Power, and lower maintenance and support costs.

But Oracle licenses for Power are more expensive!

True, but we have customers where we can do with 25 Power10 cores the same as with 100 in an Exadata, but IBM Power is not restricted to Oracle (although there are more than 80,000 installations worldwide). You can deploy OpenShift, SAP HANA or any other workload running on SUSE, Red Hat, AIX and IBMi. In reality, the most common use case is the consolidation of all Exadata and most x86 servers into one Power10 in each data center. Running everything on a hypervisor that is at another level, where instead of “mapping cpus” as KVM or VMWare does, the capacity of each one is shared in real time, gaining in overall system utilization as well as performance. Exadatas have been a great marketing achievement, but they are neither cheaper, nor do they deliver better performance or provide the security of IBM Power.

Conclusion

Exiting an Oracle ULA contract and migrating to IBM Power is perfectly feasible. By doing this correctly, not only can penalties be avoided but also considerable cost savings can be achieved, while improving the efficiency and technological adaptability of the company. It is essential to have the support of licensing experts and conduct a thorough analysis to ensure a successful transition.

We do not expect to have convinced you, but perhaps we could talk without obligation, discuss any questions and, if you find it interesting, perform a feasibility analysis free of charge . In the worst case, you renew the ULA as is. Just kidding (or not) :)

Looking for an alternative to Oracle on Solaris? Try AIX (or Linux) on IBM Power!

At SIXE we love Solaris, and have worked with many SPARC machines for many years. Unfortunately, its life cycle is coming to an end, but not that of its Oracle databases (nor its not at all cheap per-processor licenses). What are the alternatives? This is what we thinkbased on our experience. As a systems integrator, we specialize in mission-critical environments. We work hard to design them, configure them and keep them secure and available 24x7x365. Our natural choice is IBM Power with AIX (for Oracle, DB2 or Informix) and Linux for new workloads with open source databases. Within proprietary environments, Oracle 19c and 21c databases form a large part of our customers’ installed base. Legacy SAP environments and a wide variety of applications depend on them.

Why choose IBM Power for Oracle?

We are going to give you five reasons to try, if not to convince you, at least to make you want to talk to us and discuss it in more detail. Those of you who know us know that we are generally better engineers than sales people. For those who don’t, you will soon find out why. Here we go!

1. It is a better long-term investment

As long term as SPARC machines have been with so many customers. When you have a Power20 you will be able to prove us right. It is a robust, secure, high-performance architecture with full support for UNIX (AIX) and Linux environments. In fact, before Oracle bought Sun, the Power-AIX-Oracle combination was even in TV commercials. Much of IBM’s UNIX server technology was designed for large Oracle, DB2 and Informix databases. Oracle marketing says their bet is Exadatas based on OracleLinux , but more than 80,000 customers worldwide use Power. There must be a reason.

2. If you want, you can keep or switch to UNIX (and this is not a joke).

Although we love Linux, containers, free software and all this world, we think that there is no more stable environment for a critical database (other than HOST / IBM Z) and secure than AIX. It is a modern UNIX, flexible, compatible with hundreds of free software packages and extremely easy to use. If you come from Solaris, you’ll see that they are first cousins and at SIXE we give you the Training you need, or a L2 and L3 support for the entire infrastructure throughout the lifecycle of the machines so that you only have to worry about the database or your applications. Many are surprised that we execute Oracle Linux to AIX migration projects, but it’s all advantages for customers and their system administrators. AIX is a UNIX will remain with us, just like FreeBSD or MacOS for many reasons. Even so, if for whatever reason you prefer Red Hat or SUSE, they also work perfectly well, although Oracle only supports them on its Z systems (LinuxOne). But the other Oracle alternatives like PostgreSQL / EnterpriseDB, MongoDB or MariaDB work great and have full support for all Linux distributions running on Power (ppc64le). Also free ones such as Alma, Rocky Linux and OpenSUSE.

You are going to save many, many thousands or hundreds of thousands of Euros.

IBM has for many years migrated to Power the micro-partitioning technologies of processors from Mainframe environments. This means that you can allocate the portions of processors you need with extreme flexibility and reliability. For example you can buy 10 Oracle licenses and run 20 virtual machines on a 24-core physical machine. You do not have to license the entire machine. In addition, each IBM Power core performs approximately 3 to 4 times as well as an equivalent generation x86 core. Oracle’s Exadatas are (in our opinion) more expensive, less reliable and less secure.

4. You radically reduce the attack surface.

We have many customers who have been attacked with ransomware (and worse). No Power system upgraded, maintained and with our PowerSC-based cybersecurity solution has been affected. And we’re going to state the obvious, but most malicious code is not compiled for Power environments :P Just as your money is safer in a Z / s390 environment, your database will probably live more peacefully in ppc64. And don’t worry, we are heading towards a multi-architecture world, where there will be more and more freedom to choose whether you want ARM, x86, ppc64le or RISC-V. Or don’t you know anyone with a MAC?

5. It is very well documented, works by default and you can automate it.

There are hundreds of guides for architecture, deployment, administration, problem determination and general day 2 operations. Also in the case of AIX, the default kernel setting is optimized for large databases such as Oracle. In addition, the Power architecture has no bottlenecks between processor and memory, with very good performance on SMT-4 and SMT-8. You can also automate most administration tasks with Ansible. There is
updated collections
developed by IBM and Red Hat.

Services for Oracle on AIX / Power by SIXE


SIXE offers specialized Oracle services in IBM Power
providing a smooth and efficient transition, with full support and resource optimization, ensuring a successful migration and operation, taking into account the needs of availability, performance and security. We can help you with:

In conclusion: migrating Oracle from SPARC / Solaris to IBM Power with AIX (or Linux) is not only a smart decision in terms of performance and support, but also an investment and strategic decision. Contact us!

Migrate to SAP HANA, 2027 is here. Tips and recommendations.

What does IBM Power10 for SAP HANA bring us?

Imagine a world where SAP HANA and IBM Power10 come together, like Batman and Robin in the world of technology. IBM Power is not just a server; it’s like a superhero of efficiency and security. What if I told you that running SAP HANA on IBM Power10 is like trading a bicycle for a rocket? It’s often true and we can prove it with performance metrics!

Why choose IBM Power10 for SAP HANA?

Well, here comes the dilemma. Some say that switching to IBM Power10 is like trying to teach your grandfather how to use TikTok. But did you know that SAP HANA runs best on IBM Power10, especially with operating systems like SUSE and Red Hat Linux? It’s as if these operating systems were designed with Power10 in mind. The reason? Superior performance, unmatched security and energy efficiency that would make traditional x86-based servers blush.

Frequently Asked Questions about SAP HANA and IBM Power10

Is it Difficult to Migrate to IBM Power10 for SAP HANA?

Migrating to SAP HANA on IBM Power10 is easier than you think, and the benefits are enormous. Imagine better performance, greater safety and energy savings. SAP, Red Hat and SUSE all have the same packages for Power (ppc64le) as x86. Your system administrators and SAP environment administrators will not notice any difference. The HW is different, but only for the better. Well configured by our specialists, it does not fail, does not give performance problems and is very secure. Oh, and the administration is graphical and simple.

What are the Benefits of Using SUSE and Red Hat Linux on IBM Power10?

Here’s the secret sauce! Both SUSE and Red Hat Linux fit IBM Power10 like a glove. These operating systems take advantage of Power10’s unique capabilities, because they have been running on Power for many, many years. In fact, it is the only architecture supported for deploying multiple productive and non-productive environments on the same systems.

Conclusion: The winning combination for SAP HANA is IBM Power10.

In short, migrating to SAP HANA on IBM Power10 on your favorite Linux distribution is a natural choice. With SUSE and Red Hat Linux, this platform becomes an oasis of performance and reliability. And well, everything that is not migrated to HANA can continue to run for many years smoothly and securely on AIX. Don’t get left behind and join the IBM Power10 and SAP HANA revolution!

End of support for IBM Power 8, V7000, V5000, AIX 7.1 and IBM 7.1 What do we do?

The challenge of end-of-support and end-of-life products

With the announcement of the end of support for IBM Power 8, V7000, V5000, AIX 7.1, and IBM i 7.1, many companies face uncertainty about how to maintain their critical operations. This scenario presents a significant challenge in terms of IT infrastructure, software lifecycle management and, above all, budget.

SIXE’s comprehensive solution

At SIXE Ingeniería, with our extensive experience in IBM systems, we offer customized solutions to overcome these challenges, starting with a free, no-obligation audit of your current systems. Spoiler: we are not always going to try to sell you or recommend a new machine or system.

Obsolescence? Yes and no!

The fact that servers end their life cycle after 10 years does not mean that they stop working, nor that we necessarily need to buy new ones. With good preventive maintenance and adequate contingency policies (backup systems, spare parts, high availability) the life cycle can be extended for a few more years, always aligned with the licensing, availability and performance needs that we audit at the beginning of each project.

Design and migration to new systems (Power10, Flash System, etc.)

Sooner or later, at once or in several phases, it will be time to migrate (Power8 to Power10, V7000 to FS7300, etc). Migration to new environments while maintaining full compatibility with our customers’ applications, databases and processes is a key project. SIXE Ingeniería will assist and accompany you in this process, ensuring a seamless transition with maximum efficiency. In the process, we will help you save a lot of money on licenses and put in place a new infrastructure that will last 5 or 10 years more. Always avoiding the most common mistakes in hardware upgrades.

Consolidation of existing systems

With the new generations of IBM servers and enclosures, we will reduce the footprint in the data center by requiring fewer systems, less power and less space to do the same things. We will help you to consolidate the environments and achieve a smooth utilization of more than 80% performance. Something that in the case of servers
we always achieve with Power10

Lifecycle Extension: IBM technical support and preventive maintenance

Regardless of the life cycle of the machines and their software, SIXE Ingeniería provides technical support and preventive maintenance, thus prolonging the useful life of the systems and ensuring their optimal operation. We believe in the right to repair, but we prefer that good preventive maintenance avoids having to do so.

License Compliance: IBM License Audits

A crucial aspect is license compliance. SIXE Ingeniería offers the following serviceslicense audits IBM, ensuring that companies comply with all legal requirements and avoid risks associated with manufacturer audits.

Conclusion

The end of support for IBM Power 8, V7000, V5000, AIX 7.1 and IBM i 7.1 does not have to be a path to obsolescence. With SIXE Ingeniería’s expertise and services, our clients can surf these changes with confidence and ensure a solid and sustainable technological future. All this with a predictable and contained cost 3, 5, 7 or 10 years ahead.

New redbook! Red Hat Ansible for AIX, IBM i and Linux on IBM Power

Today we are in luck, IBM has just published the draft of the reedbook that we have been waiting for months. In it we will see how the integration of Ansible in IBM Power environments has opened a new world of possibilities for the automated administration of this type of systems, thanks to the growing support from Red Hat: not only for the different Linux distributions, but also for AIX, IBM i, HMC consoles and VIOS servers, fundamental components of the IBM Power platform.

Ansible, the leading-edge automation technology, has found fertile ground in the robust and powerful IBM Power systems. With its sophisticated architecture and support for a variety of operating systems, IBM Power is positioned as an ideal choice for companies seeking exceptional performance and reliable security. Incorporating Ansible into this environment not only improves operational efficiency but also opens up new avenues for application and infrastructure management as code.

The heart of the Ansible revolution in IBM Power lies in its ability to efficiently orchestrate and automate complex tasks. From application deployment to patch management and security configuration, Ansible simplifies traditionally time-consuming processes. Its declarative language, based on YAML and Jinja2, allows users to describe their infrastructures in simple terms, making automation accessible even to those with no programming experience (and perhaps no desire or need to learn).

In addition, Ansible facilitates automated application deployment on Power servers, deftly handling everything from Node.js deployments to multi-tier application orchestration such as OpenShift or OpenStack. This versatility makes it an indispensable tool for day-to-day operations in Linux, AIX and IBM i environments, covering critical aspects such as storage, security, and configuration settings.

A draft of this redbook is available at https://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/pdfs/sg248551.pdf.

SiXe Ingeniería
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