IBM unveils PureSystems converged infrastructure offering

IBM has announced PureSystems, a converged infrastructure offering that integrates and optimizes all of its data center components — system networking, storage, compute and management through a single-view management system. The first two models of the PureSystems family start shipping to customers this quarter.”This is a once in a decade type of breakthrough innovation from IBM, that we think will fundamentally reshape the economics of enterprise IT,” said Mike Riegel vice president of global ISVs, IBM, who said IBM has spent four years and over $2 billion developing this.

Riegel said that with 70-80% of IT budgets going to maintaining status quo, IT needs a different model to simplify IT, like Apple has done for the iPhone.

“Enterprise IT has never had everything work seamlessly,” Riegel said. “This will enable customers to take advantage of IBMs expertise in simplified systems. The systems we will unveil will compress six months setup into two weeks. It’s a whole new level of integration by design, a complete cloud-ready system designed to be integrated from the start.”

Riegel said that converged infrastructure and the improved efficiencies it offers is clearly the wave of the future for the enterprise, and even the mid-market.

“The degree of integration we are building in is unmatched in the industry,” he said. “You just can’t get this kind of efficiency by mixing and matching things from multiple vendors. Customers don’t want best of breed pieces. That’s yesterday s strategy. What they want now is business performance. They want to be able to innovate and do it quickly. They want to be able to deploy from the catalogue in less than two weeks.”

PureSystems introduces a new concept in system design that IBM calls a “Scale-In” system, that integrates the server, storage, and networking into a highly automated, simple-to-manage machine. Scale-in design provides for increased density, so that PureSystems can handle twice as many applications as today’s technology, doubling the computing power per square foot of data center space.

“It can offer a 300% performance increase, with 50% lower management costs,” Riegel said. “It can run thousands of virtual machines on a single system, which far exceeds the density of anyone else in the industry. The savings will free up budget dollars to let clients do the innovation they need to be successful.”

For the first time, IBM is also embedding unmatched technology and industry expertise through first-of-a-kind software that allows the systems to automatically handle basic, time-consuming tasks such as configuration, upgrades, and application requirements.

“These self optimizing patterns achieve a much higher degree of control, and lower cost,” Riegel said.

And out of the box, all PureSystems family members are built for the cloud, enabling corporations to instantly create private, self-service cloud offerings that can scale up and down automatically.

“Because they are designed for the cloud, clients who deploy apps on these systems will be able to seamlessly move them between on-premise and cloud,” Riegel said.

Partners are a key part of IBM’s PureSystems’ strategy. They start with over 600 different partners pre-trained on it — including 125 ISVs, and over 500 VARS and SIs.

“The 125 ISVs are the leading ISVs in the industry, and they have seen the breakthroughs with this,” Riegel said. “The 10,000 applications that work with IBM software now will work with this as well, right out of the box, but the biggest advantage will be with these ones who have optimized for it.”

Riegel said they expect a second wave of ISVs to join them as well, and that they aspire to become the premier B2B enterprise catalog of applications.

VARs and SIs are also critical to many members of the PureSystems family.

“We are launching a family, and some pieces of the family will be more of a fit for a complex, more direct sale, but the family will have areas where the partner will be an absolute must,” said Laura Voglino, vice president of IBM Routes Transformation and Indirect Channel. “30% of our deals are direct, and around 70% are channel, and that’s what we expect here. We are betting heavily on the channel and are putting our resources behind that.”

IBM has invested significantly in the channel for this launch, Voglino said.

“We have been working for a long time enabling partners ahead of the launch, with road shows planned for the whole year dedicated to the partners,” she said. “We have done a lot of investment, a lot of work in enablement for the channel, in tools, in access.”

Voglino said they are also targeting MSPs with this, both ones who provide infrastructure to customers and manage the service, as well as those who just provide services, but would benefit from having this as their back end.

“These systems simplify the management of the infrastructure, and lets them reply efficiently,” she said. “Their infrastructure needs to be able to scale up very fast. This will reduce their costs significantly, and reduce the management of their back end. They are an absolute target.”

Avnet Technology Solutions’ IBM Solutions Group thinks PureSystems will be a game-changer for their IBM partners.

“I think this is going to be huge,” said Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, IBM Solutions Group. “IBM has been able to create this innovation and utilize the totality of the entire IBM corporation to do that — with hardware, software and services — in a new footprint that allows partners to provide their customers with a unique proposition that is easy to install and integrate.

“They have knocked down the siloes, and brought a product to market that makes sense,” Cuen added. “The whole notion of simplicity and making it easier for partners and customers is going to be a huge value proposition, and the intelligence behind it and the management of it is really leading edge. This is going to create lift in the market for IBM, for distribution, for the VARs — and the clients will get a product that will recapture costs.”

Cuen said PureSystems has Avnet VARs extremely excited.

“This will create a huge opportunity for VARs,” he said. “They have a reason to call customers, with a product with capabilities that will be very beneficial in terms of both cost and ease of use. It provides new skillsets that will enable the VAR to be an even more valuable consultant. It’s highly exciting for the partners I have talked to today. They are saying this is exactly what we need.”

PureSystems systems are targeted at the enterprise, with pricing starting at $100,000. But Riegel says they can fit into the mid-market as well.

“For the mid-sized customer who wants to make this the centerpiece of their IT, this will be the perfect solution for them, if they need to run ERP and CRM systems,” he said. “They are designed to be incredibly scalable.

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