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New IBM software protects critical business systems from costly disruptions

  • 06 October, 2004 13:59

<p>Sydney, 6 October 2004 - IBM today announced new software designed to help safeguard Internet business applications against outages that can cost companies as much as US$110,000 per minute in lost revenue and productivity. This capability is one of many new advances in the latest version of IBM WebSphere Application Server, the market-leading Internet infrastructure software, that are meant to help companies efficiently build flexible, standards-based IT infrastructures that allow them to respond quickly to new market conditions and opportunities.</p>
<p>Version 6 of WebSphere Application Server is designed to automatically detect problems, from small network glitches to power failures or natural disasters. This can in a matter of seconds save and process Web-based business transactions that could take hours or days to recover under older systems.</p>
<p>WebSphere Application Server Version 6 is the first application server - a layer of standardised ‘middleware’ above the operating system on which other software programs run, to deliver this type of simultaneous detection and recovery capability together. Previously, companies have relied on manual processes or have had to spend time and resources linking disparate, unintegrated software packages to protect and recover data.</p>
<p>The financial impact of IT system downtime per hour varies by industry but losses can quickly exceed millions of dollars per hour. For example, the cost averages $6.5 million per hour in the retail brokerage industry, US$2.6 million in credit card authorisations, US$90,000 in airline reservation centres, US$28,000 in package shipping services, US$27,000 in manufacturing and US$17,000 in banking, according to independent studies (Whitepaper. Premiere Business Resiliency for an On Demand World, Page 4, Contingency Planning Research &amp; Strategic Research Corp, June 2004).</p>
<p>IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 can help protect Internet business applications built on it, from a mortgage processing system to an automaker's supply chain application, with advanced autonomic computing capabilities from IBM. Autonomic computing enables self-managing IT infrastructures with hardware and software that can configure, heal, optimise and protect themselves. By taking care of many of the increasingly complex management requirements of IT systems, autonomic computing allows companies to focus their resources on business matters.</p>
<p>After detecting an outage, IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 automatically redirects data to a different designated ‘fail-over’ server. That server can be within the same data centre, or, in a more serious power failure or disaster, WebSphere Application Server can move the information via the Internet to a completely different location.</p>
<p>Improved protection against extended application downtime is among an array of advances in the new software. More than 87,000 companies, government agencies and other organisations rely on IBM WebSphere Application Server, which holds the worldwide marketshare lead in Java-based application servers and several related categories of infrastructure software, according to major analyst firms.</p>
<p>Other new capabilities include:</p>
<p>To save time and trouble for developers who build applications with WebSphere Application Server, Version 6 includes a new "wizards”-based, drag-and-drop environment that automates the most common and tedious steps of application development and deployment. By eliminating hand coding, developers can reduce the number of programming steps previously needed to build an application by up to 75 percent. These features also allow developers to build and test applications once and deploy them across many disparate systems.</p>
<p>IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 provides customers better scaling so more concurrent users can access an application built on the software. This can help reduce administrative and licensing costs for companies and provides better flexibility to quickly bring additional user resources onboard.</p>
<p>WebSphere Application Server, which has been a leader in advocating support for Web services standards that allow more automated, less hand-coded cross-platform computing, supports these standards in the new version of the application server, including the WS-Security, which authenticates communications between web services, and WS-Transactions, which is designed to assure that Web Services transactions are consistently delivered, and the WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 for development of interoperable Web services supporting the integration of Web services solutions. WebSphere Application Server also supports 30 operating system platforms, the most in the industry.</p>
<p>IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 allows companies to take further advantage of IBM innovation and standards-based technologies to drive down costs, create new opportunities for growth and have the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to business change as part of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy.</p>
<p>SOAs are collections of interconnected business functions, processes and services that can be mixed and matched on the fly, through reusable, industry-standard software components rather than silo-ed, manually-coded ones. This enables business to work faster and more efficiently with the ability to integrate applications and data with customers, partners and suppliers. WebSphere Application Server is designed to more easily integrate with customers existing systems, regardless of the underlying technology, and allows customers to grow from a single Web service to an enterprise wide SOA deployment.</p>
<p>A key architectural component of an SOA is an Enterprise Services Bus (ESB), which provides the connection infrastructure for business transactions to flow from application to application in an SOA. WebSphere Application Server Version 6 dramatically simplifies the task of connecting WebSphere applications to an ESB. The release features new messaging capability that performs up to five times faster and integrates seamlessly with the existing IT infrastructure.</p>
<p>IBM today concurrently announced WebSphere Application Server - Express, targeted to smaller and mid-size companies and sold largely through Independent Software Vendors and other suppliers.</p>
<p>As a result of customer demand, there is now greater consistency in the WebSphere Application Server family from top to bottom, including in the Express version. Such features include support for Java 1.4 across the family, which makes it easier to develop and deploy application using industry standard tools, and support for the latest Web Services standards, making it easier to integrate applications inside the enterprise as well as externally with customers, partners and supplier.</p>
<p>Availability for both WebSphere Application Server Version 6 and WebSphere Application Sever Express Version 6 is expected before the end of the year.</p>
<p>IBM also announced that IBM WebSphere Extended Deployment Version 5.1, designed to automatically optimise the performance of companies' software and hardware, on demand, particularly during unexpected spikes in usage or changing market conditions – is expected to be generally available on 22 October. A beta program for the software had been announced in June.</p>
<p>Also, new versions of the development tools IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer and WebSphere Studio Application Developer are currently planned to be available in the fourth quarter. They will be re-branded as IBM Rational Web Developer for WebSphere Software and Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software. Other new software offerings expected before the end of the year include new WebSphere Portal software and new host access, speech and mobile middleware.</p>
<p>About IBM WebSphere</p>
<p>IBM WebSphere is the market-leading Internet infrastructure software, or middleware, for building, running and integrating business applications across a variety of computing platforms. Built according to clients' desire for innovative, standards-based, highly reliable and scalable software, WebSphere software is used by tens of thousands of companies and other organisations. For more information on IBM's on demand strategy, visit</p>
<p>IBM and WebSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see Java is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems.</p>
<p>All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of others. Statements concerning IBM's future development plans and schedules are made for planning purposes only, and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Reseller prices may vary.</p>

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