IBM Unveils New WebSphere Software Designed To Automatically Adjust Computing Resources

Enables Businesses to Help Streamline Costs, Improve Customer Service

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Somers, NY - 24 Jun 2004: -- IBM today unveiled new WebSphere software that is designed to automatically optimizes the performance of companies' software and hardware, on demand, particularly during unexpected spikes in usage or changing market conditions.

Customer candidates for the new software -- called WebSphere Extended Deployment -- include firms with substantial computing resources that need to settle large and unpredictable quantities of stock trades with extraordinary efficiency and reliability; retailers that need to keep pace with sudden jumps in demand during sales; online auction houses that need to handle bids for an unexpectedly popular offering; or Webcasters of news and sporting events.

WebSphere Extended Deployment, which runs on IBM's market-leading WebSphere Application Server infrastructure software, more efficiently utilizes, balances and shares the workload among many applications and application servers, that process huge volumes of customer transactions daily. WebSphere Extended Deployment helps allow IT resources to adjust on-the-fly to the demands of critical business applications. Business can not only keep pace, but may also enjoy boosts in their network performance and transaction processing speed.

WebSphere Extended Deployment makes more efficient use of the computing infrastructure in response to changing customer demands -- much faster and more accurately than with human intervention. In concert with IBM Tivoli Intelligent Orchestrator (available separately), the new software monitors the efficiency of the network, constantly re-balancing and farming out unexpected workloads to underutilized hardware and software. Network managers have the option to manually confirm suggested optimizations before they take place.

It also partitions, or efficiently divides, large jobs over many processors, databases, application software and application servers. For example, Extended Deployment may assign specific application servers for specific tasks, reducing bottlenecks and enabling jobs to be completed faster and more cost effectively. While the system helps provide virtually constant up-time, applications can also rapidly recover from isolated failures.

Significantly, it can also prioritize the workload based on its relative importance and business value, so that an important transaction gets processed before one that is less time-sensitive or has less impact on revenue. It provides a dashboard that keeps the administrator current on the system's performance, and provides intuitive features that are designed to simplify and improve the management of sophisticated system configurations.

Unlike some older, competing performance-enhancing products, WebSphere Extended Deployment can be directly combined with, and managed in the same way as, the application server. This can help reduce costs and increase ease of use by accelerating deployment and enabling businesses to re-use existing skills.

WebSphere Extended Deployment was produced by an IBM technology incubation effort in which IBM Research collaborated directly with the IBM WebSphere product and development team.

WebSphere Extended Deployment is also part of a comprehensive effort by IBM to imbue its products with "autonomic" technologies which enable products to automatically configure, heal, optimize or protect themselves. Currently, more than 415 features in 50 IBM products have such computing capabilities. They span the IBM product and services portfolio.

IBM Business Partners see tremendous potential with WebSphere Extended Deployment. Says John Jenkins, General Manager, Perficient ATS Division: "Perficient has been working with large-scale WebSphere customers for several years. The enhanced capabilities provided in WebSphere Extended Deployment, such as increasing quality of service, increasing on demand capacity, and significantly easing the management of complex implementations, are significant strides towards providing a solid enterprise solution for IBM customers. Perficient looks forward to helping customers move to this state-of-the-art platform."

Beginning today, select IBM customers worldwide will begin testing a beta version of WebSphere Extended Deployment, which is currently planned for general availability later this year.

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Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source