“IBM i as a Service” provided by Abacus Solutions

The managed services provider takes a unique spin on the popular “Pizza as a Service” analogy


Recently, newer versions of the popular “Pizza as a Service” analogy have popped up in the tech blogosphere, adding to the number of “aaS” represented with different aspects corresponding to the making and eating of pizza. The comparisons resonated with Abacus, prompting us to ask ourselves the question, “How does this apply to a managed service provider with a focus on the IBM i platform?” We decided to put our own spin on the idea, calling it “IBM i as a Service.”


What is “Pizza as a Service?”

Original Pizza as a Service infographic
The original Pizza as a Service infographic. Source: Episerver Blog

Originally conceived in a LinkedIn post by Albert Barron, a software architect at IBM, the Pizza as a Service infographic explained the various “…as a service” models using different examples of having pizza. It starts with an on premise system where you’re “making the pizza” at home and are responsible for everything that goes into that. As you employ increasingly comprehensive service models your responsibilities decrease, and the vendor handles more aspects of your pizza. Newer versions of Pizza as a Service have since appeared online expanding on the idea and drawing comparisons between the elements of making and eating a pizza to specific aspects of cloud-based services such as configuration and hardware.

Updated infographic for Pizza as a Service analogy
An updated version of the Pizza as a Service infographic that includes even more “aaS” like Containers and Functions. Source: ERP Software Blog

If your company still maintains an AS/400 for all its business operations, you might be used to having to “make your own pizza.” But maybe it’s getting a bit tiresome to keep making it yourself and you’re considering a different kind of pizza going forward. At Abacus, we believe the solution isn’t to find a different pizza. Instead, we’ll make your pizza for you for as long as you need it. After all, with the IBM i and POWER Support Roadmap that IBM has recently announced we know the system is not going anywhere anytime soon.


What is IBM i as a Service?

IBM i as a Service infographic by Abacus Solutions
Abacus Solutions’ spin on the Pizza as a Service infographic. We call it “IBM i as a Service.”

So, how does a company like Abacus offer IBM i as a Service and where does the pizza metaphor fit into all of this? Our spin on the idea of Pizza as a Service correlates the various aspects of the pizza to services that are needed when running an AS/400-based infrastructure. It also replaces Cloud and Hybrid solutions for some of the “aaS” columns to show the difference between the two options Abacus offers. For customers that are hesitant about moving away from on premise, our graphic distinguishes between Traditional and MSP-provided solutions, where Abacus provides support for part of their infrastructure.

In Abacus’ version of Pizza as a Service, customers can decide what they’re willing to do and what they want Abacus to do for them. Just like in the original analogy, as the customer considers our service tiers from left to right, they are responsible for less of their infrastructure. Certain parts of the infrastructure, like Backups, Hardware, and Data Center, are completely managed by Abacus. Other aspects such as Network Connectivity and Disaster Recovery, still require input and management from both the customer and Abacus. This is what we call “IBM i as a Service.”

These days, companies don’t have to do all the costly work of maintaining their AS/400 environment on premise. Providers are offering Service Level Agreements for services like response time, uptime, backup recoverability, recovery time objective, recovery point objective, and more. Ultimately, the two most important questions a company must answer when choosing a provider are:

1. What is the best utilization of your IT team’s limited bandwidth?

2. Which provider is the most qualified to give you the best service level?

Abacus argues the right partner provides a better SLA, or dining experience, than you can provide yourself. Who wouldn’t want to have their pizza delivered instead of having to make it themselves? With the engineering team at Abacus taking over various day-to-day operations your IT team is free to concentrate on revenue generating business applications instead.


Why choose Abacus Solutions for IBM i?

Abacus Solutions has been in the enterprise IT space since 2000, starting out as a global IBM iSeries AS/400 and RS/6000 brokerage house. As the IT industry increasingly became 24/7/365 oriented, we adapted to become an industry unique Platform as a Service solution provider. With the Abacus Enterprise i Cloud, our flagship solution offering, Abacus provides comprehensive cloud services, including disaster recovery and high availability. Customers don’t have to transition their business operations away from the IBM i platform, because they can just move their AS/400 to our specialized cloud. Abacus has the experience to implement all the cloud options for your AS/400.