by Scott Kantner, October 15th, 2012 in PureSystems
In my account of our PureFlex installation experience, I lamented about the lack of Smart Cloud Entry:
Without SCE, the PureFlex is essentially equivalent to a highly-integrated IBM hardware stack controlled by IBM Systems Director, and a potentially very capable one at that. However, there is big difference between what IBM is messaging versus what is being delivered today, and it boils down to this: the promise to remove the complexity has yet to be fulfilled.
Earlier this month, IBM Lab Services returned to assuage my disappointment, and it was refreshing to see evidence that Big Blue can still execute despite the ponderous spin and fog of it’s marketing engine. While still clearly a work-in-progress, SCE is no longer vaporware. In a welcome departure from Systems Director, the interface design and user experience demonstrate that much careful thought and consideration were given to process and workflow, albeit with a bent toward enterprise shops vs. service providers. Let’s take a brief look.
As advertised, SCE is geared toward simplifying the process of managing infrastructure resources. The Welcome screen makes that intent plain with a clean, simple interface:
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by Scott Kantner, August 10th, 2012 in PureSystems
Yesterday marked the end of a 3-day visit from IBM Lab Services to get our PureFlex system up and running. Thanks to Kerry Anders and his team for a tremendous job, both as technicians during the trials and tribulations of the configuration process, and as teachers getting us up to speed on a product that is very wide, very deep, and currently very rough around the edges.
Lab Services and our team, Day 1
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by Scott Kantner, July 5th, 2012 in PureSystems
“Your rack is here.”
That’s all the email said. With little fanfare, our PureFlex system had rolled into the loading dock and made it’s way into our receiving area, along with a cardboard box full of power cables heavy enough to power a small town.
Rather than abandon it there for the 4th of July holiday, I rolled it into the data center, collected the serial numbers for the IBM Serial Number Police, and left it to adjust peacefully to its new home.
This morning I took a closer look at it so you could begin to gage what all the hubbub is about.
Starting with the picture at right, you can see the system comes in a basic 42U rack with a snazzy blue bezel. The “PureFlex” bling on the lower left needed some extra TLC to get it to stay attached to the rack door, but beyond that, fit and finish were very good. Both front and rear doors are “open grill” style and will allow good air flow.
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by Scott Kantner, June 28th, 2012 in Cloud Computing, PureSystems
If you frequent the IBM space even just a little bit, chances are good that you’ve recently seen or heard something about “PureSystems.” Chances are even better that you’ve got no clear idea what IBM is talking about because sadly, IBM is leading with the marketing-speak and lagging with the details needed to understand what they’re offering.
Nevertheless, PureSystems is a potentially compelling offering from IBM that IT decision-makers do need to fully understand. And, since a PureFlex system is currently on a truck headed toward DSS, I thought it would be helpful to share with you what we do know so far and what we’re expecting. Actually, all we really have for certain at this point are expectations.
Clearing the Brush
The first thing we need to do is to clear away the marketing briars and thistles hiding the details. As you research Pure, you will encounter the phrases “Expert Integrated Systems” and “Patterns of Expertise” to the exclusion of much anything else you can sink your teeth into. It is very likely that these phrases will have to be sanctified before too long. What IBM is trying to say is that:
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Great ideas in technology don’t change, though they do change forms.
I started my corporate IT career near the end of the Golden Age for mainframes – just prior to PC’s taking off in corporateworld. SNA networks were de rigueur in enterprise shops and 10Base2 Ethernet and Token Ring were considering leading edge tech. (If you had a deep understanding of everything in that last sentence before following any of the links, contact me – I’d like to buy you lunch). Read more »
by Scott Kantner, May 11th, 2012 in Apps, CTO, Hosting, Software
Some times clarity appears when you least expect it. Just this past week it revealed itself again as I was being asked how I thought particular business application systems should be hosted. In each case the choices were:
- DIY – The traditional Do-It-Yourself option of using your own hardware and support staff. Everything is in-house and 100% under your control at all times. You are impervious to fires in tunnels and squirrels electrocuting themselves. You bear 100% of the cost of the hardware and the technical staff needed to support the whole affair. Read more »