IBM Beefs Up On Demand Offerings

IBM Thursday announced a set of software offerings to bolster the company's e-business on-demand strategy.

IBM Corp. Thursday announced a set of software offerings to bolster the companys e-business on-demand strategy.

Much of the new functionality will revolve around IBMs WebSphere application server, including the expansion of an agreement with Akamai Technologies Inc., Cambridge, Mass., to accelerate the "on demand" nature of IBMs offering by speeding up response time to business opportunities and providing fast access to Web applications from global locations.

The new solution with Akamai, called Akamai EdgeComputing Powered by WebSphere, will enable customers to tap into the grid-like resources of the Internet to meet the unpredictable demands of an on demand environment on a "pay-as-you-go" basis, said Bob Sutor, director of WebSphere Infrastructure software at IBM.

The virtual capacity enabled by the relationship with Akamai will support on demand e-business by giving users access to the Akamai network of more than 15,000 edge servers . Meanwhile, enhancements to WebSphere and its supporting tools will help users more easily build, deploy and run applications in an on demand environment, Sutor said.

"Virtualization is the idea of making sure the resources I need are there even though I havent put all that stuff into place," he added.

Bobby Blumofe, vice president of technology strategy at Akamai, said, "All the capacity planning needs and concerns go away. So you can just worry about coding the application and then push a button and move it out to the edge of our network." The solution, he added, "helps our customers meet unpredictable demand."

Akamai has deployed WebSphere throughout its global network, said Annie Boyer, director of product management for edge computing services at Akamai. "So users can consume WebSphere on demand anywhere in the world." This benefits the performance, scalability and scale of Web applications, she said.

Akamai EdgeComputing Powered by WebSphere is available on a trial basis now and will become broadly available later this year through IBM Global Services, the company said.