IBM is offering a 90-day free trial for users to experiment with its new "patterns" predefined workload definitions.
One of the interesting things about the IBM booth at COMMON this spring was the collection of PureSystems hardware displayed on tables where people could pick it up, examine it, and ask questions about each individual element. This is unusual for IBM. However, the company realized that the systems were so different from what people were familiar with that they needed to have a car-show type experience in order to feel as though they understood the inner workings. Now people can go a step further.
The company is encouraging people to discover the flexibility of its new integrated systems and learn what the word "patterns" means in the context of PureSystems by accessing a 90-day cloud-based trial through IBM SmartCloud Application Services. During the trial, users can quickly develop and test applications in a cloud environment or, if they prefer, run everything on their local system by downloading the IBM Virtual Pattern Kit for Developers.
They're calling PureSystems a "family of solutions" that uses pre-configured "workload patterns" that define sets of system resources, scripts, monitoring characteristics, and management behaviors. When you use one of these patterns to deploy an application, for instance, the system automatically provisions and configures resources and sets up behaviors that relieve the system administrator from much of the burden of monitoring the application and tuning the system accordingly.
IBM has divided PureSystems into two basic categories: PureApplication System and PureFlex System. There also are a number of subcategories, but PureApplication is basically an integrated hardware and software appliance. It has been designed to simplify the development, provisioning, and management of applications—especially ones that may need to scale—as well as databases and other workloads. So when you think of PureApplication System, think of running 100 applications at once and getting a little help along the way in order to stay on top of them all.
PureFlex System is the whole enchilada—computing, storage, networking, virtualization, and management, with everything wrapped up in the same tortilla. Here, your patterns will automatically balance, manage, and optimize the various elements of your system so you have less to do when deploying and managing an application workload and fewer startup issues and manual errors.
A PureFlex System has three types of patterns: infrastructure, platform, and application patterns. Among the currently available patterns are ones to help simplify application migration, business intelligence, system maintenance, Web application deployment, OLTP database and data mart deployments, and system setup and installation.
A PureApplication System supports two types of workloads: virtual application patterns and virtual system patterns. The former does most of the oversight work for you; the latter gives you more control but at the cost of having to do things like define patterns yourself using the Pure Application System Pattern Editor.
When you sign up for the 90-day cloud-based trial, you are encouraged to develop, test, and deploy applications to the cloud without having to rely on on-premise resources. You will learn to use patterns to help automate a number of the tasks you would otherwise have to perform manually. You will first answer about 65 questions integrated into a series of wizards to get the cloud portal and services provisioned. You will then have access to the Application Workload Services patterns (Web application, transactional database, and data mart patterns) and the Collaborative Lifecycle Management, software instances (Websphere Application Server, DB2 Enterprise 9.7, and Rational Application Developer), five virtual machines, and 30GB of storage.
If you choose instead to download the Virtual Pattern Kit for Developers, you will have access to Web Application Pattern 2.0, IBM Transactional Database Pattern 1.1, IBM Data Mart Pattern 1.1, the Plug-in Development Kit, the IBM Image Construction and Composition Tool, and the base operating system image, which is Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
In order to try the new PureSystems way of deploying applications by using patterns for 90 days at no obligation, click here. Allow about 30 to 45 minutes to get everything set up with your user ID, password, and URLs established. Once you're set, however, you'll be flying in the cloud.