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IBM expands virtual resources for partners

IBM has announced virtual resources to help its business partners accelerate the building and deployment of on-demand business applications tailored to customer requirements across all vertical industries.

The new virtual resources offer IBM's business partners an online knowledge and enablement portal giving them access to real-time technical resources, according to IBM. 

The technical resources are based on grid and IBM Virtualization Engine technologies through the Virtual Innovation Center for Hardware. The centre allows business partners to access a virtual pool of IBM resources - including the entire eServer and TotalStorage family of products - at any time over the internet. 

"We're not only working to get these independent software vendors the first-class support they need to enable the technologies, but also to provide them with financial support for co-marketing and greater access and leverage to our worldwide sales network," said IBM vice-president Scott Hebner. "Together, we're more effectively able to partner within each country, within each industry, to drive mutual business." 

Highlights of the new online technical resources include how-to guides with step-by-step instructions on how to develop, enable and implement applications based on IBM technology. Adam Tumas, programme manager of the Virtual Innovation Center for Hardware, said the guides were tailored to the technical requirements of each hardware platform and took business partners through the application planning, porting, developing and testing stages. 

A new sizing tool kit will help users identify hardware requirements. Tumas said the toolkit included an interactive, web-based questionnaire that allowed users to determine the best system configuration for their applications, based on their specific workload. 

"For example, users fill out a questionnaire that details specific information, such as the size of their organisation and level of application usage. As a result, the sizing tool produces a tailored assessment of the system requirements based on the presented criteria." 

The web-based tool can be hosted by IBM, the business partner or both, and supports IBM eServer xSeries, iSeries, pSeries and Linux on Power.

The company's Virtual Loaner Program has also been expanded to support Aix, Linux and Power5. 

"The Virtual Loaner Program provides free on-demand access to IBM e-server hardware, virtually over the web, through a secure VPN connection," Tumas said. "It brings the equipment to them via the internet." 

Business partners can access the Virtual Innovation Center online at http://ibm.com/isv.

Linda Rosencrance writes for Computerworld


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