IBM on April 7 launched a major push to win over new system integration partners, especially integrators specializing in Oracle databases and Sun Microsystems hardware with the introduction of two new server models including an x86 Unix System and a System z mainframe scale system.
To sweeten its pitch, IBM is planning to spend up to $500 million to help credit credit-worthy Sun Business Partners become resellers of the IBM server and software packages. IBM officials said these initiatives are an effort to stimulate the integrator channel as the world continues to recover from a prolonged economic recession.
However, the company is claiming that more than 100 Sun partners have already expanded or started an IBM reseller business with the help of loans from IBM Global Financing to provide working capital; to bolster their balance sheets; and to reduce the risk of starting up a new reseller line of business. This is a level of assistance that IBM contends isn't available from Oracle-Sun's financing operation.
Furthermore, IBM said the total package of hardware, software and services was designed to make moving data and enterprise applications from the Oracle Database running on Sun Systems to IBM's platforms "fast and low risk." These new systems are also aimed at encouraging enterprises to move their SAP applications to IBM's hardware and database platform.
This latest competitive initiative coincidentally comes barely a week after Oracle announced a new version of the Tuxedo application server along with new "re-hosting" tools that would allow enterprises to migrate their existing IBM DB2 database applications to Oracle databases running on Sun hardware.
The new IBM hardware products include two servers models, which IBM is calling the Smart Analytics Systems. These include the x86-based model 5600, which runs IBM's AIX edition of Unix and is designed for business analytics applications, according to Arvind Krishna, IBM general manager, Information Management, IBM Software Group. This model also can be equipped with optional solid state flash story to speed up data retrieval times, Krishna said.
IBM has configured these new systems as standardized hardware and software packages that resellers and application partners can rapidly deploy to serve a variety of customer needs. IBM contends that these systems are flexible and reliable enough to be deployed in a matter of days rather than after weeks and months of design and planning.
The rapid deployment capability gives customers the ability to migrate existing systems or start up new applications faster with much less cost and risk.
Along with the new hardware, IBM introduced the IBM pureScale Application, which combines the WebSphere Application Server with what it has dubbed the DB2 pureScale database software to support transaction-intensive applications, such as smart utility grids. The package also includes IBM's Cognos data analytics package and the InfoSphere data warehouse.
The Model 9600 is based on IBM's System z mainframe platform and is designed to support advanced query and workload management applications that generate hundreds of millions to billions of transactions and queries per day, Krishna said. The system is optimized to run IBM's DB2 relational database and lets IT managers perform complex query and analysis tasks "right where the data is generated," Krishna said.
These two new systems join the model 7600, which is based on the Power7 processor platform and runs AIX. The model 7600 is designed as a high performance business analytics engine running on top of a data warehouse within the same system.
The model 5600 is currently available while the 9600 will be released by the end of the 2010 second quarter.