Chris Buckley

Chris is never satisfied with just achieving success, he is constantly looking for the next edge and is always focused on business outcomes, in a commercial context. Having solved perplexing problems within the most complex global environments for nearly two decades.

Since joining us at Virtual Clarity he has developed distributed systems platform strategy, and served as lead architect for global enterprise private cloud.

What you might not expect is that he combined being a part-time racing driver with being the founding co-chair of the Open Data Center Alliance’s infrastructure workgroup (he still races by the way). Chris is guided by a passion for identifying the right problems to solve from a business perspective, feel free to challenge him.

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Power to the cloud

For many enterprises with significant investments in non-x86 platforms, the lack of SPARC, Power, etc. in public cloud is a major barrier to adoption. Even when these organisations have workloads on x86, they still may have been unable to move them to public cloud due to coupling with non-x86 systems.

With this announcement, Power users now have a potential solution – for example, a large application with a mix of Power and x86 components can move to GCP with the x86 parts being replaced in part or whole by cloud native services, and the Power components able to run as-is.

However, before taking the plunge, here are a few things to consider:

  • With the published plans, and unlike other GCP IaaS offerings, you are paying for a pool of capacity, not per VM. While this provides a degree of cost certainty, it also means that it lacks the full ‘pay for what you use’ flexibility of GCP native IaaS. For many, this may not matter, but it does mean that consumers will need to ensure that they maximise usage in order to not waste money.
  • The offering is delivered via VPC peering and shared tenancy. The Power platform is run by IBM in a separate IBM and GCP managed VPC which is then coupled to the customer’s. For many this won’t be an issue, but for the especially security conscious this may create a barrier to entry.
  • While billing is consolidated into the GCP bills, you are contracting with IBM. Is this good or bad? It depends on your relationship with IBM.
  • Finally, we rarely find that full time usage of IaaS instances offers any cost benefit over self hosting for enterprises; potential customers should be clear about how they will derive value from moving their Power workloads to GCP (in the same way they should when moving any workload).

IBM and GCP have opened public cloud to a set of workloads that would otherwise first need to be ported to x86. The capacity pool-based pricing approach, however, means that potential consumers will need to be very clear how they will derive real business value before diving in.

For more information on how we can help your organization successfully move to the cloud, please contact Virtual Clarity at