IBM Readying Power Systems, PureSystems For Cloud Push
October 7, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It’s the fall, and more importantly, it is the beginning of the fourth quarter. And historically, that usually means that IBM is gearing up to make some announcements. As it turns out, this is precisely the case, and Big Blue is getting ready to make a slew of systems announcements–at least judging by the lineup for top executives that are hosting a webcast scheduled for this week.
The webcast, which you can register for here, will be hosted on the morning of October 8 and is meant to also be timed to an event that CEO Ginni Rometty and some of the top server captains at the company are hosting in Singapore on October 9. As has been the case for years, this set of announcements is all under the Smarter Computing marketing umbrella, and we can infer what is going to be announced based on who is doing the talking.
Tom Rosamilia, who is senior vice president in charge of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, will be hosting the event. Rosamilia, who has run IBM’s System z and Power Systems businesses as well as the WebSphere business within Software Group, was put in charge of the part of IBM that makes chips, servers, switching, storage, and systems software back in May. A few months later, Doug Balog was named the general manager of the Power Systems business, and Andrew Sotiropoulos was named general manager of PureFlex Systems. Both of these executives will also be speaking, so we know there are announcements coming from their product lines. Ambuj Goyal, a long-time Software Group executive who spearheaded the development of the PureSystems line, is now general manager of the Systems Storage and Networking division and he will be speaking at the event as well, so there is a storage component, too.
The main theme of this event–and one that is near and dear to my heart–is simple: IT infrastructure matters.
After hearing executives, many of whom are not from the hardware part of the IT sector, tell me year after year that the feeds and speeds and slots and watts don’t really matter anymore–something that absolutely sets my teeth on edge–it is refreshing to see IBM actually come out and say hardware and systems software do matter. I have always believed this, of course, as do you.
The word on the street is that this particular set of announcements will focus on building clouds, both public and private and the combination of the two, which is commonly called hybrid cloud. No matter what platform IBM is peddling–IBM i, AIX, and Linux on Power Systems and these as well as Windows and Linux on Xeon on its PureFlex machines, IBM is interested in mixing and matching operating systems and applications within virtualized and converged infrastructure in your data center with bursting out to clouds.
Here’s a YouTube teaser for the announcements:
We also already know that IBM i 7.1 TR7 is part of the announcements, which we report about in this edition of The Four Hundred. And IBM made a statement of direction about offering reduced hardware pricing for larger Power Systems machines running Linux, in the same style as the Integrated Facility for Linux on its System z mainframes, and as we report elsewhere in this issue, Balog hinted that this was right around the corner. It is very likely that this Power Systems IFL offering will be part of this week’s announcement blitz, but he did not confirm the timing when we spoke with him.
I would not be surprised to see a bunch of pricing actions to help move Power-based gear in the fourth quarter. In fact, I will be surprised if there are not any formal deals this week. Whatever IBM does, rest assured that we will be analyzing it.