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Three Degrees of PureSystems

IBM PureSystems offers three options of integrated computing power

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In April 2012, IBM introduced the IBM PureSystems* computing platform. The new computing offering is a family of three distinct business systems: PureFlex* System, PureApplication* System and the newest member, PureData* System. IBM refers to them as expert integrated systems.

For many readers, the word “integrated” is more than familiar. If you’ve been in the IT game long enough, integrated business computing is redundant. Prior to distributed computing, systems were integrated—just ask your peers who’ve tinkered with IBM mainframes. Processors, disk, software and database were part of the package.

If you’re an IBM i customer, “integrated” is one of the key words IBM has used to differentiate your computing platform from the competition. After all, the “i” in IBM i stands for integrated.

The IBM PureSystems computing platform takes integration to the next level and directly challenges the offerings currently touted by its competitors. The family is focused on aggregating, optimizing and managing a portion of—or even a majority of—an organization’s business computing platforms and corresponding hardware, software and networking requirements.

“The PureSystems family, at its core, is focused on integrating the necessary hardware and software together,” says Pete McCaffrey, marketing director, PureSystems Category Market Management, IBM Software Group. “On top of that, we layer in automation, management and industry best practices. As opposed to other integrated systems on the market, we are able to take what has recently been a long application lifecycle and significantly reduce it, while also reducing cost and risk along the way.”

Defining Moment

The idea of consolidating disparate servers onto a single platform is a straightforward concept for IT professionals. When it comes to PureSystems, many customers want a clearer understanding of the product lines beneath the umbrella so they can better determine which option best addresses the IT challenges their organizations face.

Definitions for the three IBM PureSystems product lines are as follows:

1. PureFlex

The IBM PureFlex System integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization capabilities under a single, unified management console into a single hardware chassis.

IBM says these systems are ideally suited for customers interested in a system that delivers the simplicity of an integrated solution but who also want flexibility over selecting and configuring middleware and the runtime environment.

The two PureFlex System configurations are:

  • IBM PureFlex System Express: Designed for small and midsized businesses, it is the most affordable entry point for PureFlex System.
  • IBM PureFlex System Enterprise: Optimized for transactional and database systems, it has built-in redundancy for highly reliable and resilient operation to support your most critical workloads.

2. PureApplication

The IBM PureApplication System is available for both x86 and POWER* platforms. The PureApplication System’s optimized configurations are designed to provide pre-integrated and optimized solutions for emerging markets and midsized or large enterprises. Like its PureFlex sibling, the PureApplication System integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization capabilities under one management console and packs the stack into a single hardware chassis.

All configurations can be maintained and updated through a single console. It is highly scalable and designed for enterprise applications. It is a workload-aware, flexible platform designed to ease customer deployment, customization, security and lifecycle management.

With the IBM PureApplication System, IBM has provided pre-integrated application and middleware patterns, which can speed the development and delivery of new services. These patterns are designed to assist customers in eliminating manual steps (and risk) when deploying applications, including mobile, social and commerce. PureApplication System accelerates the time to value for new applications and simplifies the ongoing management of those applications once deployed.

Doug Rock is publisher of IBM Systems Magazine. Doug can be reached at

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