IBM Advances Cloud Computing with New Software
expanding virtualization, image management and cloud computing capabilities with major technology breakthroughs
March 01, 2011
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At Pulse in Las Vegas, IBM showcased a series of technology breakthroughs in virtualization, image management and cloud computing, including software that can virtualize a data center within minutes to instantly meet business demand.

IBM's new, advanced virtual deployment software -- now available as an open beta program -- enables organizations to build a cloud environment rapidly and manage with greater ease than ever before. The software offers dynamic provisioning and scheduling of server resources, two capabilities at the core of cloud functionality.

While traditional technologies deploy virtual machines slowly, requiring significant hands-on management from IT staff, the IBM software can deploy a single virtual machine in seconds, dozens in a few minutes and hundreds or thousands at the unrivaled speed of under an hour.

In addition to speed, the new IBM software provides a powerful "image management" system to help organizations install, configure and automate the creation of new virtual machines to better meet business demands, while minimizing costs, complexity and the risk associated with IT deployment.

An organization's ability to instantly access computational resources enables quicker response to changing customer demands as well as new business opportunities that require IT resources from a large data center.

For example, a telecommunications operator could leverage a high-performance cloud environment to support rapid development and deployment of fourth-generation applications, reducing time to market from months to weeks; a healthcare provider could leverage the cloud's computational resources to accelerate retrieval and analysis of medical records to provide better service to patients in a more cost-effective manner.

As organizations rely more heavily on the rapid availability of computational resources, the demand for virtual machines increases dramatically. Virtual server images are typically between five to 20 gigabytes in size. Multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having five to twenty thousand virtual machines, and the resulting complexity makes it challenging for IT managers who are tasked with improving service levels. These types of requirements demand an environment that delivers rapid access to IT resources. It is becoming a critical requirement to have an automated, low touch design that supports a much larger number of virtual machines with fewer administrators – reducing costs and risks associated with human error.

IBM also announced three new breakthroughs for managing virtual environments:

Automating IT Resources

IBM has expanded the capabilities of Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.2 to help organizations better manage virtual computing resources easily by automating best practices for data center provisioning activities. New capabilities to this provisioning software include a federated image library, image mobility and application deployment utilizing composite images.

The new software enables clients to rapidly deploy images in order to provide high value applications, while the automated provisioning helps control image sprawl, reduce cost and optimize resources. Leveraging best practices drives greater consistency to help minimize human errors and speed the execution and accuracy of the testing process.

Extending Service Management to Hybrid Cloud Environments

The new IBM technologies provide a centralized management platform for hybrid cloud environments for both on and off premise deployments. IBM's cloud integration strategy enables clients to simplify, centralize and control the secure use of hybrid public and private clouds.

The technology today extends service management capabilities such as governance, monitoring and security across physical and virtualized resources in private and public clouds as well as traditional physical deployments.

Protecting Virtualized Data

The IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments integrates with and extends clients' requirements to meet backup and recovery needs, online database and application protection, disaster recovery, reduction in stored data, space management, archiving and retrieval

In the virtualized environment, this software improves the frequency of backups to reduce the amount of data at risk, and enables faster recovery of data to reduce downtime following a failure. By off-loading backup and restore processes from virtual machines, Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments allows users and applications to remain productive without disruption.

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