In a wide-ranging launch, IBM has announced a range of new products and services that are intended to help customers build more flexible infrastructures.
One of the products launched on Monday was the IBM ProtecTier de-duplication appliance, aimed at helping reduce the needless duplication of files and the consequent waste of storage space. ProtecTier had already been available as software but, according to IBM, this is the first time it has been available as an appliance incorporating systems and storage.
Another announcement was a smaller version of the existing XIV storage system, at a price of $502,000 (£337,000). The cut-down XIV has a minimum storage capacity that is 65 percent smaller than the original version, which offered between 27TB and 72TB of storage capacity.
IBM also provided full-disk encryption on System Storage DS8000 for the first time, along with a new datawarehouse facility for the System z mainframe, called InfoSphere Warehouse. InfoSphere for System z will now support third-party business-intelligence applications, such as Cognos 8 BI.
The announcements were part of IBM's 'Smarter Planet' initiative, which the company introduced in 2008. According to IBM, the programme is aimed at bringing "automation, integration and efficiencies to the digital and physical worlds".
"This is about optimising business and cultural life," said Steve Bowden, chief technology officer at IBM's systems and technology group. "It is about how you can take the real benefit of using IT from advanced computer systems to air conditioning and power."
According to Bowden, the benefits can be best understood through real-world examples such as virtualisation. "People have mostly used virtualisation in x86 environments," he told ZDNet UK. "But you will only really understand the benefits when you use it in bigger and better systems as well."