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Leaping into 2019 with game-changing expertise
Wednesday, 30th January 2019

In 2018, I was interviewed at IP Expo and when I mentioned how long I had been with Blue Chip it was pointed out that as a ‘millennial’ I would be expected to change jobs many times within that period. I’m not sure that at 42 I fit the age of a millennial (Google says 22-37), so I took it as a compliment that I don’t look my age!

What’s the reason I have been at Blue Chip for so long?

In November 2018, LinkedIn was kind enough to remind me I had been with Blue Chip for 22 years. This brought to mind a number of thoughts

  1. That’s a long time
  2. The older you get, the more reminders there are of how old you have got.
  3. What have I seen over that period of time?
  4. What’s coming next?

When I look back at when I first worked on IBM hardware twenty-five years ago, things have changed immeasurably. I cut my teeth on IBM mid-range and mainframe at the tender age of 17. System 36 systems and 3380 disk storage were the mainstay of that era, with many peripheral technologies too numerous to mention.

In June this year, I was transported back over those twenty-five years when we provided some of those systems to the iUG Group’s annual conference. The System 34, 36 and 38 bringing back memories, along with the AS/400, iSeries, IBM i and, of course, the Power AI system. This had proved so popular, I wanted us to go further. After all, we hold so many generations of IBM hardware, it’s something we should be showcasing. Therefore in August last year, we held a photo shoot with all generations of IBM mid-range in place (as depicted in the above photo). Forty years of technology in one place, with the central lead on this shoot being the new IBM Power9 system. To accompany this, we created a graphic for the IBM POWER Systems timeline, showing the rich history behind these great technologies. We didn’t want to just showcase technology, but the expertise that Blue Chip has built up over 30 years.

However, we are not stuck in the past. IBM’s POWER9 system was chosen as the central character for good reason, as it’s pivotal to our future.

Blue Chip is charged with the support of thousands of IBM Power Systems in the UK. We are already helping many clients move over to the newer IBM POWER9, regardless of their current technology.

In 2011. I created the first design and commercial model for our IBM Power IaaS. Over the last seven years this has grown to 65 Power Systems and over 3 million CPW of IBM i processing. We are the largest provider of this service in the UK and probably the world.

Now we’re getting ready to release our latest innovation. Every year, the quantity of customers that want to move to a cloud service increases. Blue Chip is uniquely aligned to do this better than anyone else, because of Blue Chip Cloud.

Our investment in our automation and orchestration of IBM Power allows us to deliver new LPARs to new customers in hours, rather than weeks. These IBM Power Cloud workloads can be combined with Intel x86 based requirements (utilising Linux and Windows), delivered in the same timescales, along with public cloud platforms such as Amazon, Azure, Google and even IBM Cloud.

Live clients gain the ability to copy and replicate complete live environments directly into test, development and UAT very quickly. None of this would be possible without the orchestration layer we have built, to pull the IBM Power together with x86 storage and networking.

All of this is based from our fully-owned and operated Tier III and IV designed data centres, with an industry leading PUE of 1.13 and a carbon offset program that has planted over 88,000 trees, creating a forest for future generations to enjoy.

Back to my earlier question why have I been at Blue Chip for so long?

The truth is, I do not see any other business matching what we can deliver on IBM Power to our clients. No other business owns UK-based data centres of this resiliency, filled with their own staff installing and maintaining the hardware within. No other business has as much skill, investment and capability with this technology. Crucially, they have not been able to combine that with x86 and public cloud.

I have also been fortunate over my career to have spent time in an industry I love, working with people that have supported me and whom I also care deeply about.

Looking forward to 2019, I see Blue Chip continuing to lead the way for IBM Power users and supporting them and their business to grow. This starts with the launch of Blue Chip Insights, our portal which brings you revelations on how our approach to IBM Power systems is creating business growth and changing the market for our customers.

Chris Smith with the IBM Power9 and other Power systems
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This article was written by Chris Smith. Chris is the Sales And Marketing Director at Blue Chip. Chris is an expert in iSeries, pSeries and Power technologies and was a key contributor towards Blue Chip's IaaS offerings for IBM Power and x86/wintel. With over 20 years experience in the industry, Chris specialises in; IBM SAN, iSeries, pSeries & Power hardware - solution sales, HA solutioning, IaaS, RTO & RPO, software licensing, upgrade paths, TCO analysis and new/refurbished comparisons.
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