ASG picks IBM for cloud infrastructure


Perth-headquartered IT services group ASG has standardised on infrastructure from existing partner IBM as it builds out its cloud computing base.

Early this year, ASG announced it had signed a SAP-related contract with mining company, CITIC Pacific, in a win which ASG flagged as its entrance into the local cloud computing race. Preparing for this move, in 2010, ASG had previously acquired SAP capabilities by adding to its stable Melbourne-based Courtland Business Solutions, and the specialist company, Progress Pacific.

Today, the company revealed it had partnered with IBM, buying a new portfolio of systems and storage infrastructure which, according to a statement issued by IBM, will enable ASG to offer a locally hosted private cloud which will help it deliver managed business applications and services to clients.

“This agreement with IBM is critical to ASG Group’s strategic entry into the Australian cloud computing market, enabling us to offer a unique, flexible solution tailored to the specific needs of our enterprise customers,” said ASG general manager Steve Tull.

ASG will deploy IBM’s POWER7 System, with ASG stating the solution had an advantage because of the virtualised environment provided by IBM hardware partitioning . This solution – IBM promises – will enable ASG’s Enterprise Resource Planning customers to benefit from reduced hardware and thus reduced licensing costs.

Furthermore, IBM will equip both ASG’s Perth and Sydney datacentres with Storage XIV systems, Power 770 systems, IBM back-up solutions and Brocade switching. To ensure stability and security, IBM will also deploy infrastructure for ASG Group’s disaster recovery which links its Perth and Sydney datacentres.

ASG’s Tull said ease of management of the IBM XIV storage portfolio influenced the group’s choice. “IBM has proved it can deliver a purpose-fit solution to support the particular needs of our enterprise customers within our cloud strategy, rather than the pre-packaged environments offered by other vendors,” Tull said. “The ease of management of the IBM XIV and choice of processing architecture of the IBM System x3850 and x3690 and IBM Power 770 systems were key to the agreement.”

Tull added IBM was chosen because it worked to develop a customised solution to suit the needs of ASG’s group. With regard to entering into the cloud computing market, Tull concluded the deal signed with IBM would enable ASG to be more competitive. “For example, the self-management of the XIV storage system offers us enterprise-level performance but not an enterprise-level price,” he said. “This means we can offer our clients competitive prices and don’t need complex pricing tiers.”

IBM Australia client unit executive Nicole O’Connor said cloud computing was a new way to maximise computing resources through a dynamic infrastructure foundation. She said the contract would help ASG to develop its cloud offering. “We have a well established relationship with ASG Group and this agreement is an extension of our commitment to assist the company in expanding its capabilities to provide managed cloud computing services securely to Australian organisations,” she said.

Video credit: ASG/IBM