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IBM Extends PureSystems, Mobile Focus

LAS VEGAS--With 8,500 customers and partners in attendance, IBM kicked off this week's Impact conference with a number of PureSystems announcements, as well as a major escalation in its mobility capabilities. The annual event, which focuses on service-oriented architecture (SOA) and WebSphere software for SOA, showcased new offerings to make it easier to create the "patterns of expertise"software capability that debuted a couple of weeks ago with the PureSystems family of expert integrated systems. The company also unveiled Mobile Foundation, software and services targeted at enterprise mobile environments, based on its Worklight acquisition.

All of these announcements--more than two dozen--come down to three core focuses, says Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Application and Integration Middleware: expert integrated systems, mobile enterprise and WebSphere platform-based business integration software. "We're breaking down the barriers between the data center and IT," she says.

PureSystems' patterns of expertise are designed to streamline the setup and management of hardware and software resources. IBM announced a Virtual Pattern Kit to enable clients and business partners to convert technology expertise into reusable, downloadable packages of their own that can be embedded directly into the PureSystems machines to automate a wide range of manual and administrative IT tasks.

In addition, the company announced that both clients and partners will be able to access PureSystems through the IBM SmartCloud to create and test their patterns. IBM says this will help organizations radically simplify data center operations, and capitalize on the massive cost savings and efficiency gains PureSystems delivers.

IBM is also introducing several new patterns, including a pattern that gives clients the ability to foster collaboration, expertise location and sharing among their employees, IBM Business Process Manager, and a pattern that drives deployment of IBM Cognos Business Intelligence applications in 20 minutes.

Unveiled on April 11, PureSystems is IBM's response to the converged infrastructure (HP) or unified systems (Cisco) approaches of its peers, adding a new middleware layer that aims to automate both infrastructure and applications. PureSystems offers workflows from IBM and from its third-party partners, and enables IT to define its own workflows. The first two products in the family--PureFlex, which integrates server, storage and networking into one package, and PureApplication, which automates software based on the patterns and processes of IBM’s own work with customers and partners--are expected to ship this quarter in both Intel- and Power-based configurations.

There's also an interesting storage role in the PureSystems rollout, notes analyst David Hill. All in all, managing physical storage resources better yields an economic cost benefit in better (dare we say, optimal) use of storage assets; that ties in nicely to the change of IT economics goal of IBM PureSystems, he says.

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