Being able to 'try before you buy' isn't usually possible on such important business infrastructure.
Being able to 'try before you buy' isn't usually possible on such important business infrastructure. IBM

Simulator a boon for Business IT

SOMETIMES the best way to demonstrate the benefits of new technology is through more technology, like a cool online simulator. The kind of tool that lets people punch in information and receive instant feedback on possible alternatives. Add dynamically-built bar graphs and reports, and you've got something special.

That's exactly what IBM has done with its new Smarter Computing Workload Simulator. The online tool is designed to give busy chief information officers a fast and easy way to view areas of potential savings and efficiency through the lens of IBM Smarter Computing systems and technologies.

IBM introduced its Smarter Computing approach to information technology earlier this year as a way for organizations to realize greater efficiencies, improved reliability, and better performance, and all at lower costs.

The strategy centers around three fundamental aspects:

  • leveraging analytics to exploit vast amounts of data for business goals;
  • utilizing optimized systems that are designed for specific tasks;
  • and managing as much of the IT as possible with cloud-computing technologies.

"Smarter Computing is an approach to IT, but it's based on the wide breadth of advanced systems and software that IBM offers and continues to develop," said John Collins, vice president marketing, strategic systems initiatives, in IBM Systems and Technology group.

"The simulator zeros in on one aspect of the approach - optimized systems - to give CIOs a quick, approximation of how much they could be saving by consolidating their infrastructure with IBM systems."

The simulator starts by asking the visitor to select either IBM Power Systems or IBM System z to compare to their own IT infrastructure. It then asks for the type of industry they're in, the type of workload to be compared, and the number and types of systems to compare - including those based on Intel Itanium, Intel x86, and/or Sun SPARC.

As the systems are identified, graphical images of servers begin to populate a simulated data center floor. When the visitor finishes and hits the "Next" button, an alternative data center floor immediately pops up and populates with IBM systems and a breakdown of estimated costs and savings.

Visitors can drill down for charts and analysis on operating and strategic costs of their infrastructures, and the potential costs and savings of the IBM alternative. For even greater analysis, visitors can click on the IBM System Consolidation and Evaluation Tool at the end of the simulation that provides a more comprehensive and detailed comparison.

"The simulator is designed to be that foot-in-the-door for people who may have heard about IBM Smarter Computing, but were wondering how to make it work for them," Collins said. "This tool makes it more of a reality for people."

IBM will expand the tool, which went live in mid-October, to include support for System x in the first half of 2012.

Give the simulator a go on the IBM website.

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