IBM has unveiled a new line of integrated systems with the ability to automatically handle everyday tasks such as configuration and updates, reducing time to get applications up and running while reducing management overheads to free IT staff to pursue other objectives.
The firm described its PureSystems family as one of the most significant announcements of the last 20 years, and said it is the result of $2bn research and development spend over many years.
As well as enabling customers to deploy new applications within minutes, the new systems can also be used to deliver a private cloud computing environment within a short space of time, the firm said.
Due to ship this quarter, each of the PureSystems family consists of a cabinet pre-integrated with compute, storage and networking hardware, along with all the necessary software to get up and running, including the built-in expertise to self-manage.
A bonus for IT departments is that IBM is offering a single support hotline for the entire system, whether an issue is with the hardware or software, while there is also just a single procurement process for the entire system.
"You can order just one box with one pin number, and it has on it all you need to get an out-of-box experience straight away with the software, the middleware, the hardware, storage, the network fabric," said Graham Spittle, chief technology officer for IBM in Europe.
There is also just a single management console, according to IBM, although they can also integrate with IBM's Tivoli platform for customers that have standardised on that for management.
However, the key part of the PureSystems line is the integrated expertise designed to automate many basic, time-consuming tasks.
Similar in concept to the Expert Systems popular among artificial intelligence researchers in the 1980s, this is designed around the application by software of knowledge gleaned from human experts.
In the case of IBM's new systems, this takes the form of pre-loaded knowledge base expertise patterns suited to specific applications, such as webserving and databases, although customers can create their own, IBM said.
An online catalogue of patterns called PureCentre is also being made available for customers to access.
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