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IBM Unveils On-Demand Add-On For WebSphere

IBM on Thursday unveiled an add-on to its WebSphere application server that allows companies to shift information technology resources across business software based on demand.

The WebSphere Extended Deployment enables corporate customers to make more efficient use of their IT infrastructure, such as hardware and software servers and databases. Users can dedicate servers to business applications running on WebSphere, and then shift processing power dynamically as needed.

IBM is targeting firms that process large volumes of daily transactions, and also have to deal with unpredictable spikes in demand, officials said. Such scenarios would apply to investment firms handling stock trades, retailers experiencing sudden jumps in demand during sales, and online auction houses handling bids for an unexpectedly popular item.

WebSphere Extended Deployment includes a policy engine to shift computing power automatically, or send an alarm to IT administrators, who could make the changes manually. To bring in systems outside the WebSphere environment, the new product can work in conjunction with IBM's Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator, which is capable of managing a broader set of IT resources.

Providing a narrower option for on-demand computing makes sense for companies that have a tight budgets or may not have a need for the larger Tivoli system.

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