We’ve been digging into many different aspects of IBM PureSystems on this blog – covering everything from chassis design to building custom plug-ins to host your unique requirements. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the details. I find when that happens it is best to take a step back and start with the basics.
One of the basic ideas that is key to understanding IBM PureSystems is the notion of patterns.
Fortunately for us, “pattern” is not a word that was picked up and twisted or overloaded to mean something very different than its common use. A pattern as used in IBM PureSystems is exactly what most of us expect a pattern to be.
Here is my home-grown, rudimentary definition of a pattern:
- A design that can be repeated
- A model from which others can be created
- Something that represents things the way they should be so it can be imitated
I believe that aligns with what most people think of as a pattern. However, it is that last point that I think really gets to the heart of patterns in IBM PureSystems. In this case, patterns are the ideal – the ways things should be as defined by the people who best understand the subject matter. It is for this reason that you’ll often hear the phrase patterns of expertise. We add the “of expertise” tag to clarify one key aspect of patterns in IBM PureSystems – they are patterns that are built by the experts. This is also why we refer to this new category of systems as expert integrated systems. Expertise is key and fundamental for IBM PureSystems – and especially true of patterns.
That’s the general meaning of patterns of expertise in IBM PureSystems. A more specific definition for IBM PureApplication System would be this:
A pattern is a collection of elements that describes a complete software solution, potentially involving multiple interconnected systems, as a single entity. All of the knowledge to create, configure, and support every aspect of the solution is included in the pattern. Once created, these patterns can be easily shared and reused by others who don’t have (and now don’t need) the same level of expertise.
Once again, expertise is key.
Some of our own resident experts contributed to a patterns of expertise video series recently. I find that it is always helpful to get your news from as close to the source as possible. We’ve all played the whisper game to see how the message changes as it is retold, so whenever possible you should go straight to the source. The people in these videos are just that – some of the key architects and leaders who shaped the concept of patterns in IBM PureApplication System.
This series of videos does a great job capturing the motivation behind the introduction of patterns of expertise in IBM PureApplication System. The videos are high-level and therefore a good place to start. You’ll find a very helpful overview of patterns followed by vignettes of some of the most popular patterns to be released:
Of these patterns, the Web Application Pattern is included and pre-entitled in IBM PureApplication System; the other patterns are just a few clicks away and will be available from the IBM PureSystem Centre to help you more easily include these in your environment. As you browse the IBM PureSystem Centre you will see many more patterns from IBM and IBM Business Partners with the number growing daily — all certified and ready to run on your IBM PureSystem solution.
When you get the big picture, it is probably time to start digging deeper again to learn how your organization can benefit from patterns of expertise. I would suggest you look at these resources:
Getting a little deeper – overviews of patterns:
Deeper still – various types of patterns and how they work:
- DeveloperWorks article: Discover PureApplication System patterns of expertise
- DeveloperWorks article: Manage the topology with virtual system patterns
- DeveloperWorks article: Manage application services with virtual application patterns
- DeveloperWorks article: Design a virtual system pattern
- Blog Post: Looking behind the curtain: How virtual applications really work