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IBM spins the dial on on-demand computing

Oct 07, 20032 mins

* IBM introduces pay-as-you-go computing service

IBM announced a pay-as-you-go service last week where customers can use IBM server, storage and other computing resources and pay only for the processing power and capacity they use.

Called Virtual Server Services, the service will let users obtain computing power from IBM eServer xSeries, pSeries or iSeries systems owned by IBM and located at an IBM data center. The servers will run Windows, Linux, Unix and OS/400. Last July, IBM introduced a similar program for its zSeries mainframe servers.

IBM claims this service will let users efficiently deploy servers, applications and storage without over-spending or investing in resources that will not be used. It will also let customers without IT administrators rely on IBM when trouble occurs.

Customers will contract with IBM for the capacity they feel they need each month. IBM will provide that amount of power and an additional 20%. If a user miscalculates and uses less power than what they think they will need, IBM will only bill them for the capacity used. Conversely, if they use more computing power, they will be billed for the amount they used.

Specifics of the virtual services are being fleshed out. Customers will have a choice of xSeries servers running Linux or Microsoft Windows, using VMWare to produce virtual machine capability. They can also choose OS/400 on iSeries servers. On pSeries, customers can run AIX-based applications.

Through a partnership with Inkra Networks, customers can expand the virtual services they use with Internet connectivity, caching, load balancing, and storage and back-up services. Network capacity management services are also available.

The virtual services will be deployed from IBM’s Service Delivery Center in Boulder, Colo.; IBM Global Services will manage them.

Customers will incur a one-time setup fee, followed by recurring monthly charges for capacity consumed.