IBM Expands On-Demand Server Services

Big Blue is giving customers access to x-, i- and pSeries eServers' processing, storage, caching and networking capacity without having to spend the money to buy the systems themselves-and only paying for what they use.

IBM is growing its on-demand server services beyond Linux on its mainframe systems to include its entire line of eServers.

The move will give enterprises access to their choice of x-, i- and pSeries systems hosted by IBM in its Service Delivery Center in Boulder, Colo. Customers will have access to server processing, storage, caching and networking capacity without having to spend the money to buy the systems themselves, said Mike Riegel, manager of IBMs e-business Hosting Services.

Instead, they will be able to remotely access that capacity via hosted systems, and pay only for the power they use, Riegel said. Customers can ramp up or dial down the amount of processing power or memory they need.

He said customers tell IBM ahead of time how much capacity they will need each month, and IBM will guarantee up to 20 percent more. However, whether they use more or less than the estimated amount, they pay for only what they use.

"It gives them the up and down capability to give enterprises the flexibility they need," Riegel said. "Its a real cost-saver, and thats what customers need."

Riegel, in Raleigh, N.C., estimated that businesses can save 15 percent to 30 percent on their IT costs by using IBMs Virtual Server Service. The service gives users the same choice for virtual systems as they have when buying the physical servers.


In one pilot program, a company saved 16 percent in its infrastructure costs by moving from an in-house to IBMs traditional hosting service—where businesses are assigned specific hardware hosted by IBM—and another 39 percent in its move to the vendors Virtual Server Service, he said.

IBMs xSeries systems are based on Intel Corp. technology and support both Linux and Microsoft Corp.s Windows operating systems. The iSeries, powered by Silicon-on-insulator and Power chips, supports both OS/400 and Linux, and the Unix-based pSeries, with Power processors, runs AIX and Linux.

The initiative follows one made by the Armonk, N.Y., company in July 2002, when it began offering similar services for Linux users on hosted zSeries mainframe systems.

It also is a continuation of IBMs efforts to bring mainframe capabilities to its other systems, in this case offering services connected to its mainframe users to all eServer customers, Riegel said.

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