IBM Expands Outsourcing Offering

IBM this week expanded a hosted offering to include Windows and other platforms.

IBM started offering remotely delivered virtual server capacity in July 2002 on eServer zSeries mainframes running Linux. On Tuesday, IBM announced the Virtual Server Service, which allows customers to choose Windows, Linux, AIX Unix or OS/400 operating systems running on IBM's xSeries, pSeries or iSeries eServers.

The platform choice increases the number and types of applications that IBM Global Services can support at the Boulder, Colo., facility.

While IBM provides high performance computing clusters on a per-use basis at a different facility, the new service is intended more for commercial customers than the scientific customers who rent IBM's HPCC capacity.

Customers face a one-time setup fee and then monthly charges that vary by usage. For the xSeries (Intel-based) servers, IBM will use VMWare to implement customers' virtual machines. IBM executives say that the company's zSeries customers have experienced cost savings through outsourcing in the range of 15-30 percent.

The Virtual Server Service will swing into action in December. IBM plans to begin signing up customers this month. Thousands of servers are in place at the Boulder facility, and executives say IBM can quickly bring more online if needed.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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