‘Consumerization of IT’ typically evokes images of a multi-platform device stampede and the retreat of employees away from company collaboration to some worktime Facebook engagement. But this phrase encompasses much more than the BYOD phenomenon or the introduction of consumer style apps to the workplace: it stands for the growing and productive use of consumer technologies in enterprise environments, and also for new consumption models that are aimed at simplifying the complexity of IT. A much more pervasive concept that has begun to shape enterprise technology at its core, this dual purpose ‘consumerization of IT’ was very much on display at IBM’s Impact 2012 conference in Las Vegas last week, as each product/service announcement highlighted a new approach to accessing IT resources at all levels of the stack in more rapid, easy-to-deploy consumable bites.
A good example of this may be found in PureSystems, a new expert enterprise system that was launched by IBM mid April
which served as the Impact 2012 leading light. PureSystems (also the star of the accompanying video), which contains the all the hardware elements of a traditional data centre (Flex System chassis for hosting Power and Intel compute nodes, a V 7000 storage system, 10 gigabit Ethernet networking in racks and 40 gigabit to the data centre) as well as the middleware and software, arrives at the customer site as a fully integrated, preconfigured box with racks and chassis in place. Chief architect of the system, Jason McGee
, claimed that a PureSystems customer can be up and running in less than four hours – as opposed to the weeks or months it can take in a traditional IT deployment. Shipped from the factory in configurations that are optimized for customer workloads, PureSystems functions essentially as ‘plug and play’ – in fact, it requires only eight cable hook ups: four power cables and four network cables at the top of the box – with redundancy built into all of the components, automated systems monitoring and failover, shrink and growth of compute resources depending on application requirements and a single management console to dramatically reduce deployment time and operational complexity.