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IBM's Workload Simulator Begins IT Discussion

By Barry Levine
January 5, 2012 12:04PM

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A user of the IBM Smarter Computing Workload Simulator can drill down into charts and analyses for greater detail about operating and strategic costs, and about potential savings, available through the use of IBM's solutions. A more comprehensive comparison is then offered through an IBM System Consolidation and Evaluation Tool.

If you're trying to show how your data center solution can work more efficiently, why not use a simulator? IBM is doing just that, with an online Smarter Computing Workload Simulator that shows how the company can save money for its IT customers.

The user answers some questions in the Simulator app about the current IT setup, and, as IBM noted in a statement, the results show "potential cost savings from consolidating your current distributed infrastructure to a smarter computing solution based on IBM Power Systems or IBM zEnterprise."

Three Strategies

The user is first asked to select either IBM Power Systems or IBM System z, in order to perform a comparison to the user's existing IT infrastructure. The app then asks for the type of industry, the type of workload, and the number and types of systems to compare, including Intel Itanium, Intel x86, or Sun SPARC.

As each system is designated, they are visualized in a graphical representation in a virtual data center. When completed, a comparative data center is populated with IBM technology and a comparison of costs.

The user can drill down into charts and analyses for greater detail about operating and strategic costs, and about potential savings, available through the use of IBM's solutions. A more comprehensive comparison is then offered through an IBM System Consolidation and Evaluation Tool.

The Simulator is part of IBM's Smarter Computing initiative for information technology, launched earlier this year and centered on three strategies.

The three key strategies are Big Data, which leverages analytics, optimized systems "tuned to the task," and management through cloud-based technologies. Smarter Computing aims for the intersection of all three.

Not Just About 'Boxes'

Leveraging data in this approach includes obtaining business intelligence through the analysis of data that includes sources beyond the traditional ones. Matching systems to workload characteristics, the company said, can mean a reduction in cost by up to 55 percent because of greater performance. And the use of cloud-based solutions, in IBM's view, "is an opportunity to reinvent IT."

John Collins, vice president marketing in strategic systems initiatives for the IBM Systems and Technology group, told NewsFactor that the Simulator, which launched this fall, is designed to give a broad, quick comparison for IT managers in order to initiate a discussion about issues such as doubling capacity, holding spending flat, expanding virtualization, and modifying workloads.

"It's not just about the costs of the boxes," he said, noting that management, energy and floor space costs, among others, also figure into the dialog about how best to meet the various goals. After a manager has used the Simulator to begin the thought process, IBM specialists can work with the potential customer to specify solutions.

The Smarter Computing Workload Simulator is available at:

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