Many enterprises today build out server systems is by first buying hardware and then figuring out how to get software properly configured to run on it. It's a model that IBM is now aiming to change with the debut of its PureSystems approach.
The IBM PureSystems architecture integrates server, storage and networking components to enable application deployment. The PureSystems approach leverages virtualization and then a technology for deploying applications that IBM is referring to as software 'Patterns' to deploy specific classes of enterprise applications. IBM is initially providing their PureSystems in two primary bundles, one for infrastructure called PureFlex and the other for application deployment called PureApplication.
"The Pure Application System provides the ability to run your web applications, Java and database in one system that is all wired and pre-configured," Paul Brunet is Director of SOA Product Marketing at IBM told InternetNews.com.
Brunet explained that PureFlex is the infrastructure while the PureApplication system is the middleware on the infrastructure.
The middleware and application component is further extensible by way of IBM's 'Pattern' approach for installing software for workloads. IBM has an enterprise application store called the Pure Center which has a collection of software patterns that PureSystems users can acquire and install.
"A pattern used to be a collection of assets like test scripts and architectures which was then left to an enterprise to figure how best to use," Brunet said. "What we've now done with PureSystems is we're making a pattern completely deployable."
As such, an enterprise just needs to download a pattern and then it is deployed onto a system. Brunet explained that the pattern is more than just simply installing a database for example, it's also about looking at the configuration based on the workload. The pattern also includes the security, governance and other required elements for a deployment.
PureSystems environment is one where multiple pattern images can be deployed onto the same physical hardware.
"Based upon policies that you set, the system will dynamically allocate resources to the patterns," Brunet said. "So the system is both virtualized and highly elastic."
The idea of building an engineered system that includes both server, storage and networking hardware as well as pre-configured software is not a new one. Cisco has been pushing the idea of convergence with its UCS server hardware for three years. Oracle has been building Java and database appliances with the Exadata and Exalogic platforms and HP has its AppSystem approach as well.
Brunet doesn't see the PureSystem as being in the same category as the appliances coming from IBM's server competitors. The ability to build out patterns with pre-configured expertise is a key differentiator, according to Brunet.
"Others are getting there and thinking about it," Brunet said. "But when you take a look at all the elements that IBM can bring to bear and the fact that we're not competing with a lot our partners it really allows us to extend this idea."