IBM crafts 'fitness plan' for datacentres

IBM Global Services on rolled out its latest range of services, intended to help users sketch out a blueprint for streamlining...

IBM Global Services on rolled out its latest range of services, intended to help users sketch out a blueprint for streamlining their IT operations and increasing return on investment.

The company's Infrastructure Management Assessment Services, described as a "personal trainer" programme for datacentres, makes datacentre specialists available to users who can help them craft a customised "fitness" plan using tools from IBM's Project Symphony portfolio.

One of the goals of the programme is to help users reclaim investment monies from IT operations, to increase utilisation, and to automate a range of different functions that users do manually.

"Users typically run their infrastructure on a silo basis. They will build a marketing system from the server on up, and then build a manufacturing system from the server up and so on. As one of the largest outsourcers and hosters around, we have a lot of  processes, tools, and best practices we can bring to bear to help them integrate their environments," said Dev Mukherjee, vice president of e-Business On Demand Strategy at IBM Global Services.

Specifically, IBM will focus on five areas of the datacentre including security, operations, change management, software management, and services management. Once IBM makes its initial assessment of a datacentre, it works with users to create a "fitness plan" that tends to those areas that are most out of shape.

"What we are trying to do is help users by doing an evaluation of where they really are. And where most users really are is dealing with a mix of hardware and software platforms and datacentres. The initial workshop and the more detailed services underneath give them a concrete plan for a heterogeneous environment that they can execute themselves or ask us to help them with," Mukherjee said.

To help users' IT operations become more efficient, the services part of the programme helps them define their technical and business requirements. This in turn enables them to deploy and use their servers, storage, and networks more intelligently.

It can also help them decide on how to standardise their overall computing environments and so prepare to integrate more state-of-the-art technologies, including automated provisioning and autonomic computing.

"I think we can help them transform their infrastructure to be more efficient, but also to enable them to do new things too. This is something that users have been asking for since we launched On Demand last October," Mukherjee said.

Ed Scannell writes for InfoWorld

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