IBM pushes out PureSystems integrated appliances

IBM has ploughed $2bn into developing the PureSystems family of integrated hardware and software, which see it mimic a datacentre strategy already adopted by rivals, though it is aiming for a broader stable of applications
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

IBM has introduced the PureSystems family of datacentre infrastructure products, which aim to simplify the management, automation and running of enterprise applications on a range of virtualisation technologies.

The IT multinational has spent $2bn (£1.26bn) in research and development and acquisitions over the past four years to bring out the hardware and software appliances, it said on Wednesday.

"By tightening the connections between hardware and software... PureSystems is designed to help clients to free up time and money to focus on innovation that many businesses cannot address due to ever rising costs and staffing needs in the traditional datacentre," Steve Mills, head of IBM's software and systems division, said in a statement. "With its new scale-in design and built-in expertise, PureSystems represents an important advance in the evolution of computing."

Each PureSystems package combines servers, storage, networking and virtualisation technologies into a single appliance, with additional services from IBM. The PureSystems are initially available in two variants — PureFlex System, for self-service private clouds, and PureApplication System, for web and database applications.

The systems support the Hyper-V, KVM, Power-V and ESX hypervisors from Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and VMware, respectively, and are based on either Intel or IBM Power processors.

A major software component comes in the form of 'patterns of expertise', which are pre-rolled scripts for automating the deployment, configuration and upgrading of applications onto the appliances. IBM has partnered with more than 125 independent software vendors, such as VMware, SugarCRM, Infor and Juniper Networks, to offer applications that already have patterns available.

IBM said the systems have all the components needed "to stand up a private cloud system in minutes". They come with cloud self-service and provisioning technologies.

The products perform a similar task to alternatives from competitors such as Oracle, via its 'Exa' series of integrated hardware and software appliances, or HP, via its virtualisation-specific VirtualSystem family. Oracle's products are built to support Oracle applications, while HP's appliances support single hypervisor technologies.

The PureSystems will start shipping to customers within the current quarter, according to IBM. Prices were not disclosed.

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