Can one build an IBM PureSystems solution by steps? In other words, are there upgrade paths between the members of the PureSystems family?
In our personal and professional lives, when working on a project we want to find a set of technical capabilities or features, a commercial model for acquiring these capabilities and a means of getting ongoing support. And we expect the result to be more than the sum of these three aspects. We expect some sort of unique experience!
Building a bicycle
Take building a mountain bike, for example. My dream is to enjoy fantastic rides with a new mountain bike that’s equipped with the latest technology.
By selecting a pre-assembled mountain bike from my preferred vendor catalog, I can get a set of capabilities (gears, caliper brakes or disc brakes, carbon or aluminum frame, rear shock, fork and so on) in a single commercial transaction (buying the mountain bike). And there is a single number to call in case of problems (my favorite store).
But if I don’t have enough money, and if I already have a mountain bike that’s a few years old, can I just buy a new frame and put on it the brakes, fork and cassette from my existing bike? Sure.
Over time, could I build a mountain bike identical to the one in the catalog by acquiring the capabilities step by step? Sure, but in this case I wouldn’t enjoy all the features right away during my rides. I’d still have these old caliper brakes making noise, not to mention the old saddle. And if I had a problem, I don’t have a single phone number to call for service and support. I am a bit more on my own.
On the other hand, the rims of my old bike are still pretty new, and they were a big investment for me last year—an investment I’d like to protect. It wouldn’t be very rational to keep them hanging in the garage and buy a whole new bike.
So, when working on a project, we may have to compromise on:
- The technical scope of the project and the technical capabilities to include in that scope. Budget is key here.
- The commercial model to acquire these capabilities: all, pre-assembled, in one transaction or step by step, depending on budget and past investments.
- The support model: Do I want one single number to call for support?
How this applies to the PureSystems family
We can apply this same thinking to the IBM PureSystems solutions. With the PureSystems family:
- Clients can acquire pieces independently (Flex chassis, V7000 storage, top-of-rack switches, an infrastructure as a service [IaaS] portal, Flex System Manager and so on)
- Or they can acquire a complete, pre-integrated solution
One important question clients have is: What is the upgrade path between these different models? Can I start by acquiring a few pieces and over time get to a PureFlex System and even PureApplication System with no compromise on user experience?
To answer this question we have to go back to the three aspects we considered for the mountain bike:
- The technical aspect: the set of capabilities
- The commercial aspect: one transaction or several, spread over time
- The support model: one number to call in case of problems
On the technical side, it is possible to acquire PureSystems capabilities step by step and over time to reach capabilities equivalent to PureFlex System, and even close to PureApplication System, with the capacity to manage virtual system patterns (application topologies).
So there is a technical upgrade path from buying only pieces of an IBM PureSystems solution to eventually getting a PureFlex System-equivalent set of capabilities. This allows you to protect your recent investments while acquiring new capabilities in line with a strategic vision—one day getting the set of capabilities you are looking for to improve your IT infrastructure and user experience.
Interestingly, you can also get a single point of contact for support. IBM Services can offer support for IBM and non-IBM equipment through its Technical Support Services (TSS) organization. So even if you have a heterogeneous puzzle, it is possible to enjoy having a single support number to call!
A staged approach makes particular sense for small and medium-size companies who can now think about the most sophisticated IT capabilities and acquire them at their own pace.
In part 2 we’ll look at a scenario to illustrate such a progression. Please stay tuned.
Innovative companies continue to look for ways to deliver business value by accelerating time to market, improving application performance, and reducing the staff time needed for many routine ongoing management and support activities. Learn how you can do that and more in this Integrated Systems Analyst Paper from the IDC.