Unisys VP: Forward-thinking NZ customers driving towards hybrid cloud

“I've visited four customers so far and two have already deployed. The other two are working toward deployment. There's been a really exciting reaction."

Major New Zealand Unisys customers are "very excited” about the advances in the latest Forward platform, which has expanded automation and virtualisation capabilities, says Steve Thompson, vice president ClearPath Forward Engineering, Unisys.

As a regular visitor to New Zealand as part of his international travels, Thompson focuses on Kiwi innovation and customer needs, and is currently planning a roadmap for the next three years.

Unisys last month announced the third generation of Forward which the company says makes it easier and less expensive for organisations to provision mission-critical and tactical application workloads across hybrid environments comprising private and public clouds, as well as conventional data centres.

“I've visited four customers so far and two have already deployed,” he says. “The other two are working toward deployment. There's been a really exciting reaction.

“The real focus is on application innovation and supplying more services. There's a tremendous amount of increased capacity. It's about leveraging that capacity across the globe.”

Thompson says he has been trying to get customers to talk more about application development and less about infrastructure; “It's about a customer-driven development focus,” he adds.

The new version of Forward integrates the Unisys Choreographer cloud management system, which automates provisioning and the management of workloads.

Choreographer provides a self-service portal giving users access to a service catalogue tailored to their specific job requirements.

Thompson says Forward now supports VMware application workloads within the Forward fabric computing architecture, describing Forward as a “premier engine” for the hybrid cloud environment.

Responsible for the decision to move from the Unisys-developed processor to x86, which has become an architectural layer in the stack, five years ago Thompson positioned ClearPath to run other vendors' operating systems.

At present, he heads a worldwide engineering team of around 2,000 staff.

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