IBM will roll out application provisioning software - acquired in its May acquisition of Think Dynamics - at the end of the month.
The software, which will be called Tivoli Intelligent Orchestration, will add and remove servers for applications automatically depending on how heavily they are being used.
Intelligent Orchestration will be the first part of an evolving portfolio - codenamed Symphony - of product and service offerings that IBM's systems, software and Global Services groups plan to offer customers as a way to more effectively use datacentre resources.
IBM is the first major company to come to market with this kind of ability to provision server resources on the fly, said Forrester Research analyst Richard Fichera.
"This is a really important piece of capability for anybody attempting to do virtualised datacentres," he said. "If IBM can truly do what they're claiming, this raises the bar for other players."
Using the Intelligent Orchestration software, administrators would, for example, be able to add a web server automatically every time a company's website began using 80% of the available resources. A low-end threshold could be set as well, to free up that web server for another application if resource requirements ever dropped.
IBM added the Intelligent Orchestration software to the 16 clusters of pSeries servers it is using to run the US Open tennis tournament's website this week in IBM datacentres.
The Intelligent Orchestration software is just the first part of the broader Symphony suite of software and services that IBM will begin unveiling in September.
Initially, IBM will offer a package of software and services for websites, but it will expand these offerings so that many other types of applications can be dynamically provisioned as well.
"We're working on the standard high-volume applications like customer relationship management and supply chain applications," said Dev Mukherjee, IBM vice-president of strategy and marketing for eBusiness on Demand.
This process will probably take years, said Forrester's Fichera. "They need to package it, prove it works in more and different applications, and then start working through the list of applications that people have trouble managing."
Robert McMillian writes for IDG News Service