IBM takes aim at Cisco, Oracle with new integrated systems

By Sooraj Shah
11 Apr 2012 View Comments
IBM PureSystems shown off by senior vice president for systems and technology group at IBM Rod Adkins

IBM is taking aim at rivals, such as Oracle, by introducing integrated systems that it says will reduce the time and money spent by its customers.

Research from IBM suggests that companies spend 70 per cent or more of their IT budgets on simple operations and maintenance, leaving businesses little scope to invest in innovation.

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The company's PureSystems line, announced today, is designed to tackle this problem and is the result of a $2bn investment programme in research, development and acquisitions – such as that of network devices manufacturer DataPower in 2005.

IBM said that the new systems were different to many of its competitors including Cisco's UCS system and VBlock, a bundled set of hardware and software from VMware, Cisco and EMC.

"We are different because we are offering integration of the server, storage and networking," said CEO of IBM UK and Ireland, Stephen Leonard. "If you compare us with VBlock, for example, VBlock has to be set up separately all the way from the storage to the virtualisation. With PureSystems it is all integrated and is not proprietary. It can run an Oracle system, for example."

Aside from the promise of integration, IBM said that another key advance in the product line was its "patterns of expertise", where users can build regular operational patterns into the systems.

These can aid in automating time-consuming tasks, such as configuring, deploying and upgrading applications. Users can write their own patterns, but they can also be selected from a catalogue of offerings from 125 independent software vendors, said IBM.

IBM said that PureSystems is cloud-ready.

The first two models of the PureSystems line – PureFlex System and PureApplication System – start shipping this quarter and prices are to be released later today.

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