IBM is rolling out a new program based on grid computing technology that will give independent software vendors (ISVs) greater access to its hardware for development and testing of their applications.
The Virtual Innovation Center for Hardware, a program that will be part of IBM's $US500 million Small and Medium Business Advantage initiative, will use the grid capabilities of IBM's Virtualisation Engine, Tivoli and WebSphere software to give ISVs remote access to IBM's hardware.
Participating ISVs can be testing their software remotely on IBM's pSeries Unix servers in a matter of hours, and they will be able to test applications for up to 14 days at a time.
Developers who use the program would no longer need to go through the arduous process of applying for and receiving IBM's hardware, vice-president of marketing and strategy for IBM's ISV and developer relations, Scott Hebner, said.
He hoped that the Virtual Innovation Center would let four times as many ISVs participate.
Right now, IBM providef pSeries hardware to hundreds of ISVs, Hebner said.
With the new program, IBM hoped this number would increase to thousands, he said.
"We can provide all this capacity to ISVs without investing as much money as we would have had to otherwise," he said.
Based on a series of standards used by academic institutions to distribute computing tasks over a large number of geographically diverse systems, grid computing is now being heavily promoted by vendors such as IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems, who are all building some level of grid support into their software.
IBM declined to say how many servers it would use in the Virtual Innovation Center, but it did say that it planned to expand the center to include other types of IBM servers and software in the future.