Hoping to leverage its experience in helping corporate users run their datacenters, IBM Global Services has rolled out a new set of services intended to help users sketch out a blueprint for streamlining their IT operations and increasing return on investment.
The company's Infrastructure Management Assessment Services, described as a "personal trainer" program for datacentres, makes datacentre specialists available to users who can help them craft a customised "fitness" plan using tools from IBM's Project Symphony portfolio.
One of the goals of the program is to help users reclaim investment monies from IT operations, to increase utilisation, and to automate a range of different functions that users now do manually.
"Users typically run their infrastructure on a silo basis," vice-president of e-Business On Demand Strategy at IBM Global Services, Dev Mukherjee, said.
"They will build a marketing system form the server on up, and then build a manufacturing system from the server up and so on. As one of the largest outsourcers and hosters around we have a lot of processes, tools, and best practices we can bring to bear to help them integrate their environments."
Specifically, IBM will focus on five areas of the datacentre including security, operations, change management, software management, and services management. Once IBM makes its initial assessment of a datacentre, it works with users to create a "fitness plan" that tends to those areas that are most out of shape.
"What we are trying to do is help users by doing an evaluation of where they really are," Mukherjee said. "And where most users really are is dealing with a mix of hardware and software platforms and datacenters. The initial workshop and the more detailed services underneath give them a concrete plan for a heterogeneous environment that they can execute themselves or ask us to help them with."
To help users' IT operations be more efficient, the services part of the program helps them define what their technical and business requirements are.
This in turn enables them to more intelligently deploy and use their servers, storage, and networks.
It can also help them decide on how to standardise their overall computing environments and so prepare to integrate more state-of-the-art technologies including automated provisioning and autonomic computing, Mukherjee said.
"I think we can help them transform their infrastructure to be more efficient, but also to enable them to do new things too," he said. "This is something that users have been asking for since we launched On Demand last October."