IBM rolls out first Net-based utility service for Linux

IBM has launched an Internet-based service that allows Linux users to access the amount of processing power and other technical...

IBM has launched an Internet-based service that allows Linux users to access the amount of processing power and other technical resources they need on a utility basis.

The new on-demand service, called Linux Virtual Services, directly connects users' Linux-based server applications with IBM hosting centres that can supply them with managed server processing, storage and networked capacity on an on-demand basis.

These "virtual servers" in IBM's hosting centres run on the company's zSeries mainframes and users need only pay for the capacity they require. The servers are administered by IBM's Global Services unit.

IBM officials hope that what attracts users to the new service will be the up front savings of having to buy additional hardware to accommodate the new software infrastructure necessary to run an e-business.

"We think this is good for people looking at having to invest in new hardware, but it is also good for those users that do not have a mainframe now and would have to invest in training their IT personnel to acquire mainframe skills," a company spokesperson said.

The Virtual Services offering is based on an IBM technology that can carve out virtual servers from a zSeries system by partitioning the processing, storage and network capacity for each individual user. By isolating individual demand on the system, the technology can map resources to that demand while at the same time being able to offer the same level of separation among users that a physical server could.

In addition to the savings associated with not having to buy additional hardware, IBM officials say that users can also save by consolidating workloads to a central server, thereby increasing performance and reliability and also cutting down on costs associated with the administration and maintenance of widely dispersed servers.

Under the new service, users can purchase on-demand processing power by the "service unit". A service unit is a measure that equates to the processing power being utilised, a company spokesman said. Because service units are based on a user's anticipated demand, it eliminates the need to over deploy capacity, thereby saving users money on capacity not being used.

IBM also says that Linux Virtual Services can help users increase the speed of operations tied to their core technologies through a rapid service deployment capability. Users will have the ability to deploy additional servers within minutes once the initial service has been activated, a spokesman explained.

Services include a 10% additional processing capacity per virtual server at no charge. This allows users to subscribe to the service based on their capacity requirements while still being able to accommodate unexpected surges in demand. Users also have the right to purchase added capacity for scheduled workload peaks including batch processing operations.

Further information about the new service is available at www.ibm.com/services.

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