IBM Cloud Migration

Moving to IBM’s Cloud

Many companies are developing “Cloud First” strategies. A cloud first strategy is an organizational commitment to evaluate cloud-based solutions before considering other alternatives. Unlike a cloud-only strategy, it doesn’t eliminate other solutions, allowing for greater flexibility. Cloud first doesn’t mean “cloud only” or a single Cloud platform. Hybrid Cloud is increasingly the preferred solution for many. Some portion may be kept on-premise and other portions of the environment may be deployed to multiple cloud hosting services.

IBM Cloud Overview

IBM has a large and diverse portfolio of products and services.  These offerings fall into the categories of cloud computing, cognitive computing, commerce, data and analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), IT infrastructure, mobile, and security. IBM Cloud includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offered through public, private, and hybrid cloud delivery models.

IBM’s software hosted in a cloud environment:

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of moving to the cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • IBM’s BYOSL License policy for public clouds (License Portability)
  • IBM Cloud Paks


  • Can be quick and easy to create a new server
  • No need to worry about hardware upgrades
  • Can be less expensive than on-premise solutions


  • It can be more expensive to maintain than on-premise solutions
  • The process of migrating workloads to the cloud can drain significant time, energy and resources
  • Telecommunication costs can be higher
  • IBM is well-known for its security and products. However, security is a collaborative effort between IBM and their customer.
  • May not meet regulatory compliance standards

Overall, there are many good reasons to leverage a Cloud solution, but it is important to see it as just another consideration along the path of implementing a new solution for your organization.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid-Cloud has become the most common reality for organizations. Most organizations of a medium-to-large size will have some IT solutions that must remain on-premise due to functionality or business constraints.


  • Hybrid solutions allow you to maintain a higher level of flexibility to choose the best environment and solution which most effectively addresses specific business problems
  • If you have a base of on-premise licenses then you can apply them against the Cloud, or use them to support an on-premise solution.
  • The hybrid can be a combination of on-premise and different types of cloud such as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), or even Anything as a Service (XaaS).


  • Hybrid solutions require you to interact with and maintain multiple environments.
  • You may also find it more difficult to integrate any on-premise with Cloud due to potential latency challenges, as it is vital organizations evaluate the additional network bandwidth requirements that such solutions would likely need

Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is an application solution that is provided at a subscription price and is entirely Cloud based. It involves all aspects of the solution, including both hardware and software. Startups or small organizations are better positioned to support an all Cloud-based set of IT solutions, since they have no legacy applications, and can more easily shift from any they actively have in place.


  • Generally provides a complete offering that addresses a particular business need. Example: Salesforce
  • These usually offer a good level of basic customizations to modify the solution so that it best fits the need for your organization
  • IBM is creative and flexible with offering ‘try before you buy’ deals such as Bridge to Cloud or ELA terms to migrate to Eligible IBM Cloud Services.


  • If the on-premise installation is on an older version, it may require an upgrade to the current version prior to a SaaS migration.  An example would be if you were on Cognos Analytics v10 and wished to migrate to IBM Analytics SaaS.
  • Some customizations made to an on-premise solution may not work in the same way in a SaaS version.

Bring Your Own Software License (BYOSL)

IBM allows deployment of regularly licensed software on eligible public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provided by IBM or another third party that IBM includes in their current IBM Eligible Public Cloud BYOSL policy (currently located at https://www.ibm.com/software/passportadvantage/eligible_public_cloud_BYOSL_policy.html ) This allows you to use the licenses you already own for on-premise use under the IPAA and IPLA agreements.


  • The greatest advantage of using your PPA software licenses is in their portability
  • This can be very useful should a company need to cut costs dramatically


  • License purchases are an upfront cost, rather than a monthly or annual cost of subscriptions.

IBM Cloud Paks

IBM Cloud Paks offer licensing flexibility while also providing management, security, and governance. Cloud Paks are containerized software solutions optimized for productivity and performance, built on an integration layer that includes IBM middleware and common services for development and management.   These can be run wherever RedHat OpenShift can run–physical server, virtual servers, public cloud, and private cloud.

At the time this web page was updated, IBM offered six different Cloud Paks:

  • IBM Cloud Pak for Applications
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Data
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Integration
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Automation
  • IBM Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management

Cloud Pak licensing isn’t as complex as other metrics from IBM, but it will take some tracking and calculations beyond what ILMT can provide.

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