On 11 April, 2012 IBM is launching Expert Integrated Systems. If you can trust the announcements, these will be "a new breed of systems with integrated expertise."
Well, I don't have any inside knowledge on the announcement, but I have to say I'm pretty curious and more than just a bit excited. The new systems promise:
- built-in expertise
- integration by design; and
- a simplified overall experience to change the economics of IT
The Expert Integrated Systems are "optimized for immediate deployment." Now, however much you love AIX (and you know how much I do), would you say that AIX on a Power System - with all the virtualisation features, make them optimized for immediate deployment?
"Integrated by Design"
All the hardware and software components are integrated with each other, tuned in the lab and built in the factory into a single ready-to-go system.
Freeing IT ... from Time Consuming Maintenance Tasks
Expert Integrated Systems are aimed at "freeing IT to participate in true business innovation, not just time consuming maintenance tasks." The systems are designed to "get you up and running in hours, cutting months off deployment times for new projects." Wow! That's hard to dismiss.
I doubt that means that IBM is going to sunset Power Systems or AIX (or IBM i). On the contrary. After all, AIX is here to stay and you might well ask Is IBM Taking Over the Unix World? Hard to see that this major new announcement from IBM will supersede or even bypass Power.
I've read the IT Jungle post which speculates on what all of this is going to mean for us techies, and especially for business. The writer of that post has extracted a valuable quote:
"We're all interacting with customers every day, and they are telling us that one of their concerns about information technology is the amount of labor it utilizes," explains Steve Mills, general manager of Systems and Software Group at IBM, in this YouTube video preview of the announcement. "It takes a lot of people, to understand it, configure systems, set them up, manage them, maintain them, the cost of changing them, and so on. So they always say to us: 'There's got to be a better way.'"
If the people behind Expert Integrated Systems are going to dramatically cut down the time it takes us to configure, deploy, maintain and manage all the kit we look after, I say more power to them.
Once again, from the promo:
Imagine the flexibility of a general purpose system with:
- the elasticity of cloud and
- the simplicity of an appliance tuned to the workload.
There's that Cloud word that keeps popping up. Obviously, this technology is going to be cloud-friendly and be easier to maintain than what we're accustomed to.
Should we old-school techies be nervous?
If you think that's going to put you or me out of a job, it's time to take off your dinosaur disguise and look at this as a great chance to have budget allocated to more systems which will serve the business, hopefully ease our own budget constraints and give us more time for other stuff.
Let me explain.
As you've see many times on AIX Down Under, I've got a preference for using the command line interface (CLI) instead of the GUI or SMIT. But I don't just do it to be tough or to show I know how to script or use the command line. I just use whatever works better and faster for the task. There's no point telling a client of mine I can write a script which will take 9 hours to upgrade his system when I could use an inbuilt tool which will do it in a quarter of the time. He doesn't care too much about the details. He just wants to know what the business benefit is, and how much it's going to hurt (in time, money and business impact) if I take option A over option B. I also like to let him know clearly what the cost might be of doing nothing.
If the Expert integrated systems are going to make things work faster, more smoothly, then that can only be good news for me. It frees up some time so we can tailor the systems for business needs. It eases the burden of downtime (something businesses understand very well, because downtime is dollar time).
Sign up and spread your wings
I know of some AIX guys who are a little nervous about this announcement. I'm not one of them. I'm excited, and I know a few AIX people who are registered for the virtual broadcast of the Launch Event on 11 April. Some of them will be up with the sparrows for it. You can register for the event via the link on the Expert integrated systems web page.
Once the new systems are ready for deployment, I'm looking forward to being part of it all.