IBM (NYSE:IBM) has announced a major step forward in a new, simpler era of computing with the introduction of a new category of "expert integrated systems" that some say represents as big a move for the company as when IBM introduced the mainframe 50 years ago.
Ambuj Goyal, general manager of development in IBM's Systems and Technology Group, told eWEEK the new family of systems is the first with built-in expertise based on IBM's decades of experience running IT operations for tens of thousands of clients in 170 countries.
IBM's expert integrated systems family -- PureSystems -- is the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over four years, an unprecedented move by IBM to integrate all IT elements, both physical and virtual. The acquisitions included Platform Computing, Blade Network technologies and others.
The new systems family offers IBM customers a clean break from today's enterprise computing model, where multiple and disparate systems require significant resources to set up and maintain. The PureSystems PureFlex integrates server, storage and networking resources into one highly automated and secure, simple-to-manage machine. The PureSystems PureApplication makes use of the first repeatable software patterns and industry-specific processes from IBM, drawn from decades of IBM's expert work with clients and business partners.
"From an IBM perspective, in my lifetime, I have not seen so much of IBM all behind one thing with software, hardware and services; it s like 50 years ago when we announced the mainframe," Goyal said. "In many ways it is as big as that, but designed for a different world."
For over a century IBM has introduced new technology to meet business challenges. The prime challenge facing companies worldwide is the need to spend 70 percent or more of their IT budgets on simple operations and maintenance, leaving little to invest in innovation. Two-thirds of corporate IT projects are delivered over budget and behind schedule, according to a recent study by IBM and IDC, which also found that only one in five corporate IT departments are able to devote time and money to new innovation.
The time, effort, and skills needed to architect, procure and deploy the infrastructure needed for a typical Web application, for example, can take six months or more at present. With PureSystems that same task can be completed in less than 10 days, IBM said. The reasons are: built-in operational expertise; deep integration of servers, storage and networking for improved IT management; alignment of software, applications, middleware and hardware; and built-in support for cloud computing.
"IBM's PureFlex System incorporates the expertise from thousands of client engagements and represents an important advance in the evolution of computing," said Rod Adkins, senior vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group, in a statement. "This is the type of engineering that can remove much of the complexity that organizations face in adopting information technology. PureFlex will help clients to free up time and money to focus on innovation that many businesses cannot address due to ever rising costs and staffing needs in the traditional data center."
IBM integrated all of the critical pieces required in today s data center -- networking, storage, compute, management and more. The result is a system that is intuitive to set up and far less expensive to maintain. For example, PureSystems can go from its single shipping crate to being up and running in one-third the time of today s technology.
This type of deep integration enables PureSystems to automatically scale systems such as compute resources, networking and storage virtually instantly. Each PureSystems chassis can be split into thousands of virtual machines -- up to twice the density of previous systems -- resulting in 43 percent energy savings. PureSystems automated and highly virtualized storage layer can be provisioned 98 percent faster and provide a 45 percent savings in budget costs. IBM PureSystems can be managed from a single console.