I remember the time, growing up and when computers were relatively new, that the boast was about the kind of computers that existed in the office, compared to the relatively simple “computer” at home. In essence, innovation took place on enterprise systems and with time this innovation flowed into “consumer” computers in the home.
Today, the computer technology available to most people in their personal lives appears far more innovative and more useful than any technology available in the workplace. This is because of some basic attributes distinguish personal computing technology today from enterprise technology; personal devices are integrated and easy to use, and offer the flexibility for a variety of tasks, while enterprise IT is very complicated, cobbled together by specialists at high cost, and is relatively inflexible.
The recent spate of “integrated” offerings from traditional IT vendors is in some ways a “catch up” with the much more vibrant evolution of computing in the consumer world. The introduction by IBM, the company responsible for so much of the innovation in computing over decades, of a new category of systems called Expert Integrated Systems, is the beginning of a new era in computing that will alter the way enterprises buy, use and maintain computing technology assets. The system not only combines the various components that work well together in the system but also provides a powerful management paradigm and is modular “IT unit” that scales simply and to a very large extent.
We are moving from the time in which enterprises bought best of breed components and attempted to build their own IT infrastructure to an era in which they expect solutions that come integrated by design, include the best of breed practices for deployment and use gained from many decades of putting together enterprise IT, and which provide a simplified experience all the way from purchase through use and maintenance.
Most importantly, this new era of computing promises customers the ability to devote less time and resources to assembling and maintaining IT infrastructure, and more to running their businesses and delivering the best products and services to their customers.
Let us welcome this new era in which customers can use IT as a tool to run their businesses better.
Building Large Clouds Made Easy
Cloud Computing is a term that has been so overloaded so as to have no clear meaning any more. Yet, building IT clouds and making these available in the same way we use electricity is changing the place of IT infrastructure and, what businesses will be able to achieve by using computing as a service.
Let us briefly consider what the hardware units, that will make up the large cloud infrastructures of tomorrow, will look like.
Cloud Computing at a very simple level promises users a simplified experience of accessing and using computing, without requiring one to understand the parts of the solution, how it has been put together or in fact how it works. In effect, what is needed are easy to use devices that come ready to work, allowing the user to concentrate on getting work done rather than learning to use the resource. Cloud Computing also implies a responsive end user experience that is unchanged even as the need scales up and down.
Imagine a system that comes integrated as a single solution, combining the various components in a way that work well together at peak performance at all times, is easy to use and which scales automatically to provide a seamless end user experience. It is this concept that has driven the creation of a category of Expert Integrated Systems such as IBM PureSystems. These systems provide a highly flexible system, seamlessly combining the wide range of technologies available in the industry today, and provide a modular “cloud computing infrastructure block” that scales simply by addition of identical units.
As customers move to consuming computing as a utility, rather than building their own “power stations”, the “computing utility providers” will build capacity simply by building Cloud Computing infrastructure made up of large number of modules of this sort. IBM PureSystems offers these modules today to facilitate the construction of their large cloud services for the coming world.