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IBM Serves Up New Datacenter Architecture

IBM has introduced what it considers a new category of servers, a family of “expert integrated systems” called PureSystems. The company says PureSystems go beyond the various converged infrastructure or unified system approaches of its peers by adding a new middleware layer that aims to automate both infrastructure and applications, offering workflows from IBM itself, from its third-party partners, and offering IT the ability to define its own workflows.

“Given budget constraints, increasing system complexity and the ongoing massive growth in data, that [do-in-yourself] process is becoming harder and harder to justify and sustain,” he says. “In a literal sense, IBM PureSystems offer a middle way that fully supports customer choice and also provides highly innovative and effective help for the customers who want or need it. That flexibility and freedom of choice may be IBM PureSystems' most radical features.”

Companies will be free to continue to run systems as usual with PureSystems, King says. But he doesn’t think that proposition will have many takers.

Montreal-based Alphinat is one ISV partner that’s been working with IBM on optimizing its own rapid application development software for PureSystems. In many ways, PureSystems promises to help customers deliver on the promise of truly rapid application development, says Curtis Page, COO of Alphinat.

“From our standpoint, standing up [customers’] systems in hours rather than days and getting them into production, that’s the core thing,” he states. “This is about giving IT back the ability to do applications and not just maintenance.”

Page says that by including its own Patterns of Expertise with PureSystems, customers will be able to nearly instantly deploy Alphinat’s software on PureSystems, with all integration points automatically addressed.

IBM is taking a very strong 'total systems' view with the new products, presenting the hardware as enterprise-grade, but with an appliance-like ease-of-use message. “You won’t need to think about what needs to be integrated, much less how to integrate it,” says Pratt.

To support that ease of use, the hardware has “multiple redundancies,” he adds. And Patterns of Expertise can be used to ensure application availability in a PureSystems-based datacenter or cloud.

Learn more about Research: IT Pro Ranking: Data Center Networking by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports (free, registration required).

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