IBM might have designed exactly what the (small and medium business) SMB market has been waiting for: A complete, integrated, and almost self-managed data center that fits in only 10U. To think about the possibility of a 10U data center, let’s consider what a customer might need to transform its current data center onto a completely new infrastructure.
First, something needs to be ensured: interoperability. Why? The answer is simple. In almost every data center transformation, there are hardware components that the customer will to keep (at least for a while, maybe weeks, maybe months or even years). These components could be servers, switches, storage devices, or something similar. Something IBM learned several years ago is the need to work with open industry standards. This way, customers can be sure that they can connect the new IBM PureFlex System to its current LAN and SAN infrastructure, no matter what their current main vendor might be.
No matter what type of connection the customer uses, IBM PureFlex System will be able to connect seamlessly. If they still want to use their Gigabit Ethernet and 4Gb Fibre Channel switches, there’s no problem, they won’t be forced to migrate to 10Gb Ethernet or FCoE convergence to enjoy the benefits of IBMs newest technology.
If customers want to keep their current disk storage devices they can. But that’s not all. With IBM PureFlex System, customers may be able to virtualize their current storage, and with the use of solid state drives and Easy Tiering technology, they can greatly improve their current performance. And when the time comes that the customer wants to move all their data to the new infrastructure, no problem—because the data is already virtualized, they can move it without any downtime required!
Every SMB customer owns x86 servers, with IBM PureFlex Systems, customers can use the full potential of the newest Intel E5 processors lineup, supporting up to 135W processors and all 24 DIMMs the architecture provides. This way they can migrate the workloads or even better, they can consolidate and virtualize many older servers into new ones; they can select from the most popular x86 hypervisors like VMware, Hyper-V, or KVM.
Several SMB customers also have various really critical applications that usually run on RISC processors. Well, with IBM PureFlex Systems customers can have Power compute nodes with the same processing capacity of a Power 750 server. This way customers can have their most demanding and critical systems running on Power in the same infrastructure as their x86 workloads. But what might be most important for SMB customers is budget, and by budget I don’t mean the amount of money they have for buying new stuff, but the amount of money they spend maintaining their current infrastructure.
Several studies report that an average customer uses 70 percent of its IT budget maintaining and managing what the customer already owns, and only 30 percent of the budget gets invested in innovation. This is really a waste of money, and it’s time to change that.
With the integrated management that IBM PureFlex Systems provide, SMB clients will surely reduce the necessary efforts to maintain and manage their infrastructure; in fact, they will be able to do that with a few mouse clicks only, making tasks easier — from initial setup, configuration, and tuning, through all the lifecycles of their systems.
So, as I said, IBM PureFlex Systems really are a complete, integrated, and almost self-managed data center that fits in only 10U — and it really seems like the beginning of what IBM calls “the new era of IT.”