Flexibility, interoperability, access to the cloud, Big Data — these are the demands driving IT departments today, as data management needs balloon and the consumerization of IT (hello, iPad!) continues. The challenge for VARs is how to connect these systems simply, cheaply and with minimal maintenance requirements. Say IBM, do you have something for us?

Big Blue’s channel partners can always count on the company’s extensive research and development capabilities to push the limits of IT advancement, and after a $2 billion, four-year investment and acquisitions push, IBM is ready to launch its PureSystems family of expert integrated systems. PureSystems' scale-in design integrates and optimizes all of the critical components required in today’s data center – system networking, storage, compute, management -- and provides for a single-view management system.

Expert integrated systems have three key elements. First, hardware components are standardized so they can be snapped together à la Lego blocks. Then hardware and software are pre-integrated based on expertise about which configurations work best for a given computing task -- something IBM calls “patterns.” Finally, systems are made flexible enough to expand and change systems as needs change.

The idea is that organizations will use these new systems with minimal modifications at first, making it possible to install and use them quickly. Later, they can expand or change things with a minimum of fuss.

To accelerate the use of the cloud, IBM has included a cloud self-service and provisioning interface into PureSystems. For example, an application developer could use the self-service feature to configure a cloud environment application without any help from the IT department. All PureSystems family members are built for the cloud right out of the box.

By handling routine tasks much more efficiently and effectively, time and money are freed up for companies to innovate — trying out new technologies and new business models — and leaves more room in the IT budget for resellers, of course.