Number five in our list of top blogs of 2012 comes from Maoxin Guo, it is part two of his three part series on the competitive advantages of IBM PureFlex System. This post was originally published on the Expert Integrated Systems blog on April 30, 2012.
In my previous blog post, Part 1: Integration by design, I discussed the competitive advantage of IBM PureFlex System, focusing on integration. In this blog post, I talk about the choice and flexibility that IBM PureFlex Systemprovides and that no other vendor can even come close to matching.
IBM PureFlex System is built on an open architecture that provides choice and that is deeply integrated. IBM PureFlex System was designed for choice of:
- Server architectures:
IBM PureFlex System supports IBM POWER7 or Intel x86, or both processors within the same systems. IBM PureFlex System not only supports the latest Intel x86 technology, but also the IBM Power platform, which is the market leader in UNIX environments.
- Operating systems
IBM PureFlex System supports AIX, IBM i, Microsoft Windows, and Linux from Red Hat. The choice of operating systems enables clients to better manage a sprawling IT environment by consolidating disparate systems onto IBM PureFlex System. Whether an organization has Sun servers with the UNIX operating system, or HP and Dell servers with Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems, it can consolidate the workloads from many resource-consuming servers onto a single, efficient IBM PureFlex System. Because it can easily fit into an existing environment, IBM PureFlex System can supplement an infrastructure or slowly replace systems as they are retired.
IBM PureFlex System supports PowerVM, KVM, VMware, or Microsoft HyperV
All the popular hypervisors are supported and managed by a single virtualization management interface, which is part of IBM Flex System Manager.
IBM PureFlex System extends the IBM Storwize v7000 capabilities, providing maximum performance and flexibility, integrated management, and ease of use. It provides a full spectrum of servers and storage options: internal chassis storage, external storage, integrated rack with internal and external storage, and separate server and storage racks.
IBM Storwize V7000 integrated into IBM PureFlex System virtualizes third-party storage with non-disruptive migration of the current storage infrastructure, providing a choice of storage vendors also.
- Independent software vendor (ISV) applications
Several ISV applications that provide solutions for a variety of industries have been certified and optimized as “ready for IBM PureSystems.” A solution catalog includes prepackaged, preconfigured applications that can be immediately deployed within IBM PureFlex System. Administrators can download a variety of virtual applications, in just minutes, as they are needed. The number of applications and ISVs in the ecosystem is growing fast. The solution catalog includes not only industry leading applications but also a broad portfolio with many other options. The choice of applications enables customers to rapidly provision new capabilities and functionalities with a very short time-to-value (TTV).
When you consider “integrated systems” from other vendors, ask yourself and the vendors several important questions:
- Would this “integrated system” lock me into a single server architecture that will limit my options to consolidate and optimize workloads? Only IBM provides choice of server platforms and operating systems.
- Can I afford to take the risk of supporting only one or two hypervisors in this “integrated system” infrastructure? Only the IBM solution supports all popular hypervisors, including open source and enabling you to make the best choices based on application requirements, functionality, and price.
- And how about “integrated systems” that include NO integrated storage and only provide one or two storage vendor options? You should also ask about the vendor’s storage virtualization and management capabilities.
- What choice of applications will I need to provision new business capabilities quickly? Are the applications optimized for the “integrated system” platform? Most vendors will tell you that they support SAP and perhaps one or two other industry-leading applications, and so does everybody…but, is that enough?
Some vendors admit they misjudged the market. In their attempt to create a prepackaged, pretested, integrated, and simple offering, they created a very inflexible offering that met the requirements of only very few clients. Now the vendors are trying to add flexibility, which is not easy to do when dealing with components from three separate vendors in the alliance.
IBM PureFlex System was designed with choice and flexibility from the bottom up. I hope this blog post gave you just a glimpse at the choice and flexibility that IBM PureFlex System provides.