IBM has a long history of being an innovator in business technology systems, and they recently turned their attention to one of the most significant growing problems in modern IT systems: the rapidly-escalating costs of managing and maintaining a network in today’s business world.
It used to be that most of a company’s computer costs were spent on equipment, but today, roughly 70% of the cost of modern IT is tied up in operations and maintenance. Modern business technology systems have become so complex and unwieldy that networking can become a drag on innovation, rather than enabling it.
This is the problem IBM has attempted to address with their new line of PureFlex systems.
IBM PureFlex: Changing Business Technology Systems
The fundamental philosophy behind the IBM PureFlex line is one of simplifying business networking, while maintaining a high level of flexibility and control. This is achieved primarily through two overarching changes to the way their networks are managed:
The PureFlex systems are designed from the ground up to be based around virtualization. Along with the many benefits of virtualization that we’ve discussed previously in this blog, in the case of the PureFlex line, the intent is to leverage virtualization to simplify operations. Rather than having two or three networks on different platforms, such as Unix and Windows, and therefore requiring a dedicated team for each, PureFlex consolidates operations so that a single workstation can oversee and manage the network.
IBM’s PureFlex servers have the most robust “smart” automation features on the market. They can practically administer themselves, automatically overseeing network usage and optimizing resource allocation based on need. Additionally, they’re also eco-conscious, seeking to minimize heat and power use as well. This is combined with an array of intelligent monitoring and alert systems that allow the PureFlex server to alert the sysadmin whenever a potential problem is arising, before it becomes an actual problem.
By combining these two strategies, IBM has produced a line of machines that are more powerful and cost-effective than any other on the market, while simultaneously being far easier to manage. You’ll need fewer IT staff, and less specialized (and costly!) training among that staff.
This all adds up to a radical change to how enterprises can approach business technology systems. They’re turning networking into a commodity which anyone can utilize, and putting high-end solutions within the reach of nearly any enterprise.