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by Sarah Cenedella • @SarahatWIS

IBM PureSystems: Changing the economics of IT

Published April 26, 2012



Organizations concerned with keeping pace with the speed of their business, or seeking ways to reduce manual effort in IT management, have a new option from Big Blue: IBM PureSystems. These intelligent systems, announced on April 11, 2012, promise rapid deployment times and a simplified management experience, allowing companies to lower operational expense and make greater investments in IT innovations for competitive advantage.

“As we are entering this next era of computing…we have noticed that we are in a state in technology where so much of our clients’ budgets are going toward maintaining the status quo and the infrastructure they have built over years and years, and frankly are not able to invest in strategic projects that are actually helping to catapult their business forward,” says Nancy Pearson, Vice President of Expert Integrated Systems Marketing at IBM. “The catalyst for bringing this new family of expert integrated systems to market is…we fundamentally need to change the economics of IT and the experience our customers have with our technology.”

A key attribute of these new systems is built-in patterns of expertise. These are workload patterns, learned from decades of IBM client and partner engagements, which deliver proven best practices for complex tasks.

“These systems have built-in expertise to address complex business and operational tasks automatically, are integrated by design to tune systems for optimal performance and efficiency, and offer a simplified experience from design to purchase to maintenance,” says Pearson.

Patterns of expertise in the new systems fall into three areas:

  • Infrastructure patterns bridge the base system infrastructure elements like servers, storage, network, virtualization and management
  • Platform patterns bring into play the middleware in addition to the system infrastructure
  • Application patterns bring in expertise at the business application level

“This is about simplifying every aspect of the client experience…without asking [customers] to sacrifice flexibility and choice,” explains Pearson. “We do that by providing a means of building in expertise from IBM, from our partners, or the clients’ own library of best practices. This is what enables them to change the experience and economics of IT. And this is what makes this very different from other approaches in the market today.”

Many patterns are built into the system directly out of the box. More are available at the IBM PureSystems Centre—an online catalog with solutions from more than 100 leading providers—where customers can easily access, download, and rapidly deploy patterns of expertise.

This simplified experience will lead to improved IT economics and resource usage, freeing IT to focus more energy on business innovation.

Key differentiators set PureSystems apart
PureSystems boast a whole new level of efficiency, thus improving productivity and enabling customers to shift dollars and resources elsewhere in the business.

“The pre-integrated solutions are easier to deploy and, because they are using open standards, they integrate into your existing environment much easier,” claims Pearson. “They provide control—lowering risk and costs with automated provisioning and seamless scalability with security and resiliency. And the expertise and best practices enable you to intelligently tune and manage environments and leverage cloud while ensuring mission-critical reliability.”

Watch this six-minute demo of PureSystems and their capabilities

So what makes these systems so different from what is on the market today? According to IBM, PureSystems deliver differentiated value through three key attributes:

  • Built-in expertise: The collective knowledge of decades of IBM’s client engagements, data center optimizations, established best practices, and the distilled expertise of business partners and solution providers are captured and automated as deployable “patterns of expertise” from the base system infrastructure through the application.
  • Integration by design: A complete infrastructure of hardware and software components—including integrated security features—with a variety of architectural choices to fit application workloads. This includes a single management console for simplifying management across the entire environment.
  • Simplified experience: Customers simply order, unpack, plug in, and manage a single system, with a single interface, with a single support contact, rather than procuring, configuring, integrating, tuning, scaling, and managing individual system components.

“This simplified experience will lead to improved IT economics and resource usage, freeing IT to focus more energy on business innovation,” says Pearson.

Watch this short animation detailing the IT and business need for PureSystems

These systems offer improved time-to-value in other aspects as well. Ordering a single pre-integrated, optimized offering will cut months off typical procurement times. These systems offer up to 66% reduction in management setup time. Self-service provisioning for new development, test, or application production environments accomplishes in minutes tasks that previously took days.

Two flavors of PureSystems
In the announcement of PureSystems, IBM unveiled two systems:

  • IBM PureFlex System is designed to sense and anticipate resource needs to optimize the infrastructure. It is factory-integrated and tuned, with single-integrated management throughout, and is designed with security in mind. According to IBM, the IBM PureFlex System delivers:
    • Two times the number of applications per square foot than traditional systems
    • 72% lower system costs over three years than traditional systems
    • 53% lower management cost over three years than traditional systems
  • IBM PureApplication System further integrates middleware capabilities and optimally deploys and runs applications for rapid time-to-value. It uses patterns of expertise to optimize workloads ranging from ERP and business intelligence to transactional Web and business process management. According to IBM, the IBM PureApplication System delivers:
    • Patterns to support 80% of workloads, with tooling to help customers capture the rest
    • 20-30 times faster deployment than traditional systems
    • The ability to get up and running in as little as four hours

Pearson reports that setting up the IBM PureApplication System is as easy as plugging in eight cables—four power cables at the bottom of the chassis and four network cables in the switch at the top of the rack—then powering it on.

“Expert-integrated systems truly represent a significant shift in computing value. They provide agility by not only helping you to deliver new offerings and services faster, but also by enabling you to have the elasticity you need to handle today’s market variability—whether or not you choose to implement cloud,” explains Pearson.

Software-related advantages
While customers may quickly see the hardware advantages of the PureSystems, due to the use of patterns of expertise and full-fledged integration, there are also software and middleware advantages.

“The patterns of expertise taken from decades of client and partner engagements are captured, tested and refined in the development lab and fully built-in to the system. This isn’t just a blueprint or set of instructions to help you—the expertise is built and executable already,” explains Pearson.

IBM’s experience in helping clients design, build, and deploy new web applications with WebSphere is captured a web application deployment pattern. Customers also no longer need to understand the interdependencies and connections between the databases, application servers, management, security, and the rest of the middleware.

“Before, deploying an application involved up to 18 different complex steps, but you now have just one. You choose the type of Web application you need from our preset configuration options,” says Pearson. “You use your data and application code, and everything else is handled for you in the background. What does that mean for you? You can increase the speed to deploy an application by 20 to 30 times.”

What about my existing infrastructure?
All of the existing IBM product lines—including zEnterprise, Power Systems, System x, BladeCenter, and Storage—remain unchanged.

“The nice thing about this product family is that it integrates with your existing heterogeneous environment. It’s not just an island, like some other systems in the marketplace today, that operate only unto itself,” says Pearson. “The real difference… what I described to you is fully integrated hardware, software, services, and storage. Today, the customers are the integrators. They have to buy all those pieces, put them together, create an environment where those systems and components…work together and that takes a tremendous amount of time—weeks and months—versus getting a fully integrated system that is tuned and for [your] specific workload. [With the new systems], the client is not the integrator; [IBM is] the integrator.”

IBM declined to answer questions about licensing of PureSystems. For pricing and licensing information contact your IBM sales representative.



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