In what is traditionally a quiet period between major holidays, IBM Global Services last week announced a whopper of an outsourcing contract with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. valued at more than $5 billion.
The seven-year contract is "the largest computer services deal in the financial services sector ever," declared Eric Ray, vice president of financial markets for IGS, in Somers, N.Y.
The deal calls for IGS to take over a range of IT functions, including data center operations, help desk support and the day-to-day operation of J.P. Morgans distributed computing resources as well as voice and data networks. Some $1 billion of the $5 billion will be spent on network-managed services.
The outsourcing pact is unique in a number of respects. IGS will use two facilities interconnected with dark fiber to provide instantaneous backup and recovery services in the event of a disaster. Such "pods," as IGS calls them, are located on the East Coast and in the United Kingdom.
The deal also calls for IGS to create a distributed computing infrastructure that draws on IBM and non-IBM (largely Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.) systems that can be virtualized to provide an internal, pay-as-you-go utility.
That capability will draw on IBMs Blue Typhoon initiative, now called UMI (Utility Management Infrastructure). UMI is software that ties together different types of servers and storage systems without the need to develop new applications for each system.
UMI will allow IGS and J.P. Morgan to create a virtual pool of computing resources that can be accessed and deployed as necessary.