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Expert on Board: New Patterns Speed DBA Tasks

IBM provides expertise for DBAs in the form of selectable, executable deployment patterns

This article was co-authored by Bernie Spang.

Deploying, configuring, and optimizing an IT system takes time and expertise. That expertise is costly, and the time is often taken away from more strategic activities such as aligning IT systems to advance business goals.

Of course, there are plenty of articles, white papers and other materials that database administrators can spend hours reading to boost their knowledge, increase their efficiency and help reduce costs. Or they can simply rely on IBM’s new class of expert integrated systems. IBM has introduced the first two of these systems, IBM® PureApplication™ System and IBM PureFlex™ System platforms, which will be followed by others optimized for different workloads.

Setting up a database in record time

The new PureApplication System is good news for DBAs. A versatile, well-designed database system like IBM DB2 gives organizations a number of choices—like setting up the database for a transactional environment or an analytical one. These choices, in turn, affect settings for everything from buffer pool size and paging size to memory overflow and storage. Getting them right takes know-how. The new PureApplication System deploys that know-how with DB2 in the form of selectable “patterns of expertise.”

So, for example, instead of manually setting up DB2 for a transactional system, a DBA can just select the transactional database pattern to set the right combination of OLTP database capabilities. While the first patterns of database expertise introduced by IBM are DB2 based, Informix and other information management patterns are coming that organizations can easily add to the PureApplication System.

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Cutting management time in half

IBM’s patterns of expertise include virtualization capabilities previously proven to reduce the time required to manage infrastructure through optimization of key processes like application deployment. Clients have experienced a 55 percent reduction in operational costs and required management time and 98 percent reduction in unplanned outages with IBM's virtualization capability which is included in the PureApplication System.1 Clients have also seen 20-30x faster application deployments with IBM patterns of expertise.2

The new IBM expert integrated systems are different from blueprints or sets of instructions, because the expertise is codified and fully executable at the DBAs command. That expertise can pay off in:

  • Faster time-to-value—taking out the manual steps and automating delivery
  • Reduced costs and resources—expanding the list of things that administrators do not have to do manually anymore
  • Simpler skills requirements—reducing the amount of in-house expertise an organization needs
  • Lower risk and errors—implemented in a repeatable, optimized fashion that significantly reduces the risk of human error

Ordering infrastructure plug-in ready

Along with the PureApplication System, IBM also offers the PureFlex System, with built-in expertise at sensing and anticipating resource needs to optimize an organization’s infrastructure. The PureFlex System includes factory-integrated and optimized hardware, system management software, and built-in expertise on automation and optimization.

With this system, organizations can order factory-integrated and optimized system infrastructure as a single entity, plug-in ready out of the box. Contrast that with a set of boxes arriving on the loading dock that IT has to spend time putting together, loading with software and configuring.

Tapping into the industry’s collective knowledge

Expert integrated systems are based on the collective knowledge of thousands of deployments, established best practices, innovations, IT industry leadership, and the distilled expertise of business partners and solution providers. This knowledge and experience is captured into the IBM PureSystems™ in a deployable form from the base infrastructure through the application.

Organizations can also save time and effort when it comes to upgrading systems. Typically, upgrading one component requires updating or reconfiguring other elements that may conflict with the new version. But when administrators receive an upgrade from IBM, testing has already been done to ensure all elements of the system still work together.

In addition to deployable patterns of expertise that come already loaded on the system, organizations can acquire more at the IBM PureSystems Centre—an online catalog for accessing a variety of other patterns organizations can purchase, install, and deploy from IBM and solution partners (see figure).

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Online catalog displaying executable expertise available from IBM and partners

Fostering innovation and cost reduction

The new PureSystems are “born” virtualized with the hypervisor included, and built for the cloud. With these capabilities built in, organizations can more rapidly fuel innovation in a way that enables fast, secure and integrated cloud environments if they choose to go in that direction. Systems and application workloads can be consolidated to help reduce the total cost of ownership for IT infrastructure. Workloads can be controlled from a single point of management, and the environment provides dynamic scalability to help meet service level agreements.

IBM SmartCloud foundations can complement PureSystems, helping to accelerate cloud adoption. The SmartCloud technology allows IT staff to rapidly and elastically provision and control resources to deploy and run software and services without the need to manage the underlying resources directly.

Simplifying the administrator experience

The new systems simplify the administrator experience throughout the infrastructure lifecycle. With a single management console, a single point of contact for support and a single set of integrated patches, organizations can reduce administration costs. The system structure itself allows for upgrades without downtime, and the open standards foundation supports an ecosystem of solutions optimized to work with the system.

Many IT organizations find that they spend too much time, money and effort simply “keeping the lights on” with operations and maintenance, preventing them from doing as much as they’d like to help move the business forward. With expert integrated systems, organizations can apply more resources to transforming the business instead. In this way, the new PureSystems help shift the IT model to smarter computing—where IT infrastructure fosters innovation and improves the economics and experience of data management.

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1 Based on 55+ IBM WebSphere Virtual Enterprise Value Assessments, WebSphere Value Assessment Team, January 2008.
2 "Haddon Hill cuts millions off IBM WebSphere deployments," IBM case study of IBM Workload Deployer (formerly IBM WebSphere CloudBurst® Appliance), December 2010.