What’s New in IBM PureApplication System at IBM Impact 2014

Jason McGee, IBM Fellow and PureSystems CTO, and Marc Haberkorn, IBM  PureApplication System Program Director, were eager to unveil the numerous and ground-breaking features that will be shipped with the new version of IBM PureApplication System at IBM Impact.


It’s great to see PureApplication System evolve in such mature, new ways with the announcement of its new version. There will be plenty of time for comments, deep dives and speculations, but for now, let’s cut to the chase: here is what impressed me the most.

Before I tell you everything about the new PureApplication System, let’s call it PureApp v2, a little legal disclaimer that will allow me to continue blogging in the future is necessary.

IBM intends to deliver additional capability in IBM PureApplication System. IBM intends to deliver enhancements to PureApplication System in the areas covered in this blog post. However, the following is just a statement of direction*.

We intend to introduce a new pattern engine:

  • The intended engine will be the same for Virtual Systems and Virtual Application patterns
  • All patterns can have three architectural layers: OS, topology, application
  • The new patterns are componentised: the OS is the base component (and it can be customised and captured), then a software package including automation and metadata can be added. (Supported OS are RHEL, AIX and Windows).
  • Script packages can still be used
  • A new concept of “ordering” is introduced
  • Deployment policies become part of the patterns
  • Patterns versioning has been introduced (Wonderful!)
  • Old Virtual System patterns will still be working, or can alternatively be promoted to the new pattern concept

We plan to make Multi-rack management possible:

  • The concept of domains of PureApp racks is introduced
  • Both at design and deployment time, the user can select in which cloud group (and in which domain) the components of a pattern will get deployed

PureApplication Service for SoftLayer, which allows  users to create a virtual PureApplication rack on cloud, is further enhanced:

  • The intended multi-rack management capability would allow to deploy components of the same pattern on premise (PureApplication System) or off premise (PureApplication Service).

The long waited call home function is planned, alongside with automatic PMR (Problem Management Request)  generation and notification to IBM.

The mini racks are not that small anymore: they will be the same size of enterprise racks (42 units), but with less nodes and less storage (similarly to what we saw in version 1.1).

The enterprise racks double up in memory: 32 GB of RAM per core. However, existing nodes (with 16 GB of RAM per core) are still present in the mini racks, and still supported in the enterprise racks.

All PureApplication racks will run on single phase power.

IBM also intends to support General Parallel File System (GPFS), in three modes:

  1. Built into the each rack.
  2. Used across multiple racks.
  3. Used outside the racks (in the data center)

Compatibility with OpenStack APIs is extended.

Customers will be able to do firmware updates on their own.

Within a pattern, the storage and the virtual machines lifecycle is decoupled (for example: a virtual machine can be stopped and deleted, but storage can be preserved).

Here is the official announcement letter.

All in all, the plan is for PureApp v2 to deliver an impressive set of new features that, in my opinion, represent an exciting new evolution for the PureApplication System.

Each of the new features could also be the subject for a specific blog post. Let me know in the comments, or on twitter (@ClaudioTag), what excites you the most and check out our latest Impact blog below. And, check out the video below to hear Marc Haberkorn talk about this session.

*IBM’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion.
Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision.
The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion.
Performance is based on measurements and projections using standard IBM benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon many factors, including considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve results similar to those stated here.

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Claudio Tagliabue

About Claudio Tagliabue

Claudio Tag is a certified WebSphere technical specialist, focusing on Business Transformation. Through his work with clients as a domain expert for IBM's ground breaking PureApplication System and Business Process Management capabilities, Tag has gained significant insight into today's senior IT stakeholder motivations. He is also the Tech Sales lead for Cloud BPM in UK. Tag’s experience goes outside the WebSphere brand, having worked innovative projects involving Commerce and Collaboration technology. Follow Claudio on Twitter @ClaudioTag.