How IBM Intends to Kill IT Chaos in 2009

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-19 Print this article Print

In an exclusive interview, IBM CIO Mark Hennessy explains that IBM's Global Services division has as its top priority for 2009 the integration of enterprises' legacy software and hardware with new, virtualized equipment. We also can expect to see more automation of IT processes in hardware, software and networking.

IBM would love to come into your data center and eradicate all forms of IT chaos.

All IT managers face IT chaos at one time or another. Even if you are one of the lucky ones relatively free from it at this time, then you can expect it to show up eventually. If IT chaos can be done away with, IT managers around the globe will be falling to their knees in thanksgiving; naturally, that means profit for IBM and all the other vendors that can solve these issues.

This chaos, as defined here, is usually the result of software, hardware and networking equipment acquired piecemeal, and subpar practices built up in an infrastructure over a number of years. Thanks to different eras and vendors, varying licenses, and changing standards and best practices, much of what goes into a data center simply doesn't work together very harmoniously.

IBM says it will be all about integrating and simplifying complicated IT resources and components in 2009, so everything works together to ultimately help enterprises to profit. IBM certainly has always been about that; however, thanks to the skyrocketing use of virtualization software in 2008, we can expect the next 12 months to bring more complicated IT problems to solve than ever before.

The main issue that IT managers fear, more than any other, is loss of control of virtual machines. Once virtualization gets instituted in a system-and it's being instituted every day somewhere in the world-then control of where these nonphysical servers are and how and what they are doing becomes nearly a full-time job for someone.

Also on the rise are hosted subscription-type services, thanks to the weak macroeconomy. These also must be accounted for and controlled at all times.

It's not easy to monitor all these things on a 24/7 basis, because with servers up and down (and in and out), security patches and software upgrades frequently dogging administrators, and compliance measures causing constant pressure, there's never a dull moment in the data center.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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