IBM has boosted its On Demand computing initiative with a handful of virtualisation and grid-enabling technologies designed to streamline the infrastructure of corporate IT shops and make it easier to manage.
Officials believed the new offerings addressed the three requirements for a true On Demand environment which include integration, automation, and virtualisation. More importantly, the latest products allow corporate administrators to "map" these capabilities appropriately onto their shifting business processes and management needs day to day.
Among the new offerings is IBM's TotalStorage virtualisation family of products to help administrators take some of the complexity and management of data in a network. Virtualisation technology supplies a single and consolidated view to all critical resources on a network regardless of where the data resides. The new products will make it cheaper for users to house important customer and financial information.
The TotalStorage Virtualization products comprise the SAN Volume Controller, SAN Integration Server, the SAN file system known as Storage Tank, and integrated device management technology based on the Bluefin specification.
Available from July, the SAN Volume Controller gives IBM its own storage virtualisation technologies. IBM has a reseller relationship with Datacor to provide virtualisation capabilities.
IBM also rolled out a WebSphere product incorporating grid computing technologies, along with its Open Infrastructure Offering (OIO), which lets users acquire either all or just part of their infrastructure needs for one price billed monthly.
Building on its previously announced "pay-as-you-grow" strategy, IBM rolled out its Standby Capacity On Demand service aimed at blade servers and storage systems. This allows corporate users to buy a server or storage system for significantly less than the total cost and also turn on additional capacity over a six-month period, company officials explained.
Lastly, IBM announced Web Server Provisioning, what company officials called one of a new class of automation offerings that can make use of more advanced technologies being developed under IBM's autonomic computing plan. Users can either switch or add another server to increase capacity immediately as a way to streamline their overall operations or optimise resources not being fully used.