As part of an effort to accelerate adoption of a recently unveiled family of pre-integrated IBM PureSystems platforms that can be optimized to support different types of application workloads, IBM today announced it is making available a new tool that will allow solution providers and their customers to optimize the performance of custom application workloads running on IBM PureSystems.
Based on x86 and Power Series processors, IBM PureSystems have been designed to optimize the performance of specific classes of application workloads that have been defined by IBM. Those patterns are based on common workloads such as business intelligence application or social networking requirements. At the IBM Impact conference today, IBM announced that is now letting partners and customers have access to the Visual Pattern Kit that the company uses to create those patterns.
Thus far IBM says it has 150 solutions that have been developed for IBM PureSystems platforms by 125 independent software vendors. According to Paul Brunet, IBM vice president of WebSphere, BPM, SOA, PureSystems and mobile, the PureSystems platforms are obviously not as open as IBM’s existing xSeries and Power Series servers. But because they are more tightly integrated, the cost of deploying and managing the IBM PureSystems platforms is substantially less.
That obviously has some significant implications for IBM business partners in that it sharply reduces the need for technical integration services. But Richard Ptak, managing partner for Ptak, Noel & Associates, a market research and IT consulting firm, says that’s a good thing because it allows solution providers to concentrate on higher margin application deployment and integration opportunities. It also allows solution provider, says Ptak, to more easily capture that institutional knowledge.
Phil Schaadt, CTO for the Haddon Hill Group, a systems integrator and IBM business partner agrees, adding that as a rule most solution providers would prefer to focus on adding value higher up the stack if for no other reason is that it’s difficult to find people that can integrate systems all the way from bare metal up to the application level.
Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive for IBM Software, says that the IBM PureSystems platforms are the logical outgrowth of the investments that IBM has been making in autonomic computing for the past 10 years. IT automation, says Mills, has now reached the point where most hardware functions can be defined in software, which is turning IT operations people into “infrastructure developers.”
The end goal is to allow systems to scale much higher without requiring additional investments in IT labor, which IBM says contributes heavily to a total cost of computing scenarios where as much as 70 percent of customer spending has nothing to do with the actual technology itself.
To facilitate adoption of the PureSystems platform IBM is also making available a development environment for free for 90 days on its SmartCloud cloud computing platform. Applications developed using the environment can then be deployed on the IBM PureSystem platforms.
IBM has also designed the PureSystems platforms to fit inside the zEnterprise Blade Center Extension (zBX) platform that IBM developed to better integrate x86 and Power Series servers with IBM mainframe. But as yet the PureSystems platforms have not been integrated with the Unified Resource Manager (URM) software that IBM developed to unify systems management across the zEnteprise platform.
The IBM PureSystems family, which consists of the IBM PureFlex System and the IBM PureApplication System, are scheduled to begin shipping this quarter and IBM reports that 50 customers are already actively engaged in the beta test program.