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Archive for the ‘server consolidation’ Category

Big Data, Big Security, Big Boxes

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There’s been some substantial “Big Data” announcements over the past week from Big Blue.

Late last week, on the heels of the public disclosure of security breaches at a number of major media organizations, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, IBM announced its new “IBM Security Intelligence With Big Data” offering, which combines leading security intellignece with big data analytics capabilities for both external cyber security threats and internal risk detection and protection.

You can learn more about that offering here.

IBM is also working to make it easier for organizations to quickly adopt and deploy big data and cloud computing solutions.

Today, the company announced major advances to its PureSystems family of expert integrated systems.

Now, organizations challenged by limited IT skills and resources can quickly comb through massive volumes of data and uncover critical trends that can dramatically impact their business.

The new PureSystems models also help to remove the complexity of developing cloud-based services by making it easier to provision, deploy and manage a secure cloud environment.

Together, these moves by IBM further extend its leadership in big data and next generation computing environments such as cloud computing, while opening up new opportunities within growth markets and with organizations such as managed service providers (MSPs).

Big Data Only Getting Bigger

Across all industries and geographies, organizations of various sizes are being challenged to find simpler and faster ways to analyze massive amounts of data and better meet client needs.

According to IDC, the market for big data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, up from $3.2 billion in 2010.1

At the same time, an IBM study found that almost three-fourths of leaders surveyed indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations — and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. While the demand is high, many organizations do not have the resources or skills to embrace it.

Today’s news includes PureData System for Analytics to capitalize on big data opportunities; a smaller PureApplication System to accelerate cloud deployments for a broader range of organizations; PureApplication System on POWER7+ to ease management of transaction and analytics applications in the cloud; additional options for MSPs across the PureSystems family including flexible financing options and specific MSP Editions to support new services models; and SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure to ease management of virtual desktop solutions.

New Systems Tuned for Big Data

The new IBM PureData System for Analytics, powered by Netezza technology, features 50 percent greater data capacity per rack3 and is able to crunch data 3x faster4, making this system a top performer, while also addressing the challenges of big data.

The IBM PureData System for Analytics is designed to assist organizations with managing more data while maintaining efficiency in the data center – a major concern for clients of all sizes.

With IBM PureData System for Analytics, physicians can analyze patient information faster and retailers can better gain insight into customer behavior. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) relies on PureData System for Analytics to handle an enormous volume of data in its trading systems and identify and investigate trading anomalies faster and easier.

You can learn more about these and other new PureSystems capabilities here.

To aid in the detection of stealthy threats that can hide in the increasing mounds of data, IBM recently announced IBM Security Intelligence with Big Data, combining leading security intelligence with big data analytics capabilities for both external cyber security threats and internal risk detection and prevention. IBM Security Intelligence with Big Data provides a comprehensive approach that allows security analysts to extend their analysis well beyond typical security data and to hunt for malicious cyber activity.

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: IBM’s Steve Mills On Big Data, Smaller IT

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After months of build up and market anticipation, the IBM InterConnect event got kick started here at Royal Sentosa Resorts on Sentosa Island in Singapore, and after a quick introduction by IBM growth markets executive, John Dunderdale, IBM senior vice president Steve Mills hit the stage and outlined the core value proposition behind the event and, more broadly, behind IT circa 2012.

IBM senior vice president Steve Mills explains to the gathered IBM InterConnect 2012 audience in Singapore Tuesday morning the immense opportunity and value that a reconsidered IT investment strategy presents for its customers around the globe.

“We know all of you involved in running businesses are challenged with delivering outcome and results,” said Mills. “We clearly love technology, but the end goal is improving your business and business model.”

Delivering real, discernible business outcomes.  IT as a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

Mills’ talk, entitled “Smarter Planet Solutions increasing Demands of IT,” then went on to explain and support that core thesis for the next 40 minutes, along the way sharing some eye-opening sound bytes and anecdotes.

Mills indicated that the IBM InterConnect event was designed “to give you more insight and more contacts and relationships that you can take advantage of to support your businesses.”

So yes, there would be plenty of best practices and lessons learned to come, but this convocation was also an opportunity to share and network with your peers and colleagues.

Information Technology: A Transformative Tool Of The Past 60 Years

Then Mills began to provide a big picture backdrop of IT, explaining that “technology is the transformative tool of the last 60 years, and no tool has ever done so much for humans as IT.”

But, Mills warned, we humans “sometimes get out ahead of ourselves,” and we become enraptured with the tools instead of focusing on what we can do with those tools.

The core questions, Mills went on to explain, that IT and business executives everywhere should be asking themselves is, “How do I use IT effectively, and at a price my business can afford, and in a way I can measure those discernible outcomes?”

Anything else, my own thought bubble indicated, is nothing more than snake oil off the back of a covered wagon!

Mills then went on to explain the specifics behind the IT challenge.  More servers, more users, more scenarios…more everything except, perhaps, more money and people!

Moving Away From Mundane Administration And Towards Increased Business Value And Innovation

And therein lies the core of the issue.  So much technology requires management and administration and focus by humans.  And yet, oftentimes we’re not even making full use of the IT we have.

By way of example: There are an estimated 32.6 million servers worldwide, but 85 percent of them are often idle, and 15 percent run 24/7 without being actively used.

They’re also energy hogs — data centers alone have doubled the energy use in the past five years, and most expect an 18 percent increase moving forward in data center energy costs.

And all the numbers trend upwards, Mills noted: Between 2000 and 2010, servers grew 6X and storage 69X, so if what’s past is prologue…

But it’s not even just that, all the growth we’ve witnessed in IT hardware and software. All of this has a cumulative effect — it’s not simply the money you spent in the current year, but in ALL the investments you’ve made over an extended period of time.

IBM senior vice president Steve Mills explained to the IBM InterConnect audience in Singapore earlier today the opportunity for organizations around the globe to break through the IT budget and resource barrier and realize new business insights and outcomes through an increased focus on innovation.

Though IT has been a big labor saver on the one hand, it’s also been a very expensive proposition in that it requires new skills and labor to manage. And that was another core point of Mill’s argument, that that labor cost has grown to a size to where we need to bring the overhead down while striving to increase the value IT delivers.

An Explosion Of Big Data…And Big Insights!

Mills went on to note there’s also been an explosion of data and information.  Google alone processes 24 petabytes of data in a single day, the New York Stock Exchange 1 terabyte of trading data in a single session.

What if…you could apply intelligent analysis to all that information, with an eye towards being more predictive…what if…you could be just 20 minutes ahead of your time…then what could you do???

Finding patterns in data that a single mind could never see, but with the right computing capacity…

So, both burden and opportunity, and this IT overload presents a management challenge — businesses want to be able to do more with what data they have, but they’re uncertain if they’re really getting to what the analysis could actually bring them.

Now, to the actual economics: IT operating costs were expected to have grown from $100 billion in 1996 to an estimated $217 billion in 2012, a trend NOT going in the right direction.

But as Mills explained, “The more servers you have the more servers you have to feed.”  Yet that spend on mundane tasks like server administration means you have to rob Innovation Peter to pay Administrivia Paul.

All that sprawl, Mills detailed, means costs to manage growth of inventory consumes the IT budget, and in turn, only 1 in 5 organizations are able to allocate more than half their IT budgets to drive innovation.

As it is, 23 percent of new IT projects deploy late, and 55 percent experience application downtime for major infrastructure upgrades once deployed. Top causes of project delays include troubleshooting and tuning production environments (45%), and integration, configuration and testing of applications (41%).

To add insult to injury, security incidents add an additional layer of complexity and frustration here: The average cost per data breach in 2011 was $3 million, figured in terms of lost customer loyalty.

These, Mills concluded, are the challenges that lay before you, the global IT audience.

Through the remainder of the event, and via several announcements emerging this week in Singapore, Mills suggested IBM would aspire to play a key role in helping clients address the velocity of change in business and IT, and help them redouble their efforts to garner those desired business outcomes.

Chatting To Connect

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I’ve been watching this whole Apple “Mapgate” discussion from the sidelines with some bemusement.

If you’d have told me a few weeks ago the emerging chatter about the iPhone 5 would come down to a map app’s dysfunction, I would have laughed, but such is the state of our technology polity.

On the one hand, the debate may seem filled with frivolity. On the other hand, it speaks to the seriousness with which users take their smartphones and their apps, particularly when it involves one that could be the very thing that comes between they and their next cup of java at Starbucks…assuming they can still find one!

Whether or not Apple will relent and offer a Google Maps app in the Apple App Store, says a story by Reuters and citing Google chairman Eric Schmidt, will be a decision made by Apple.

Me, I’m still trudging along just fine with my LG “dumb phone,” although I am keeping an open eye towards the looming iPad Mini.

I love my original iPad, but I think it needs one of those “Clean My PC” solutions reoriented for original iPads. It’s become more and more lethargic in terms of performance, and sometimes, when I’m in an application the thing will just reset and take me back to the home screen.  Not quite the equivalent of a Microsoft Windows “General Protection Fault” or blue screen of death, but coming close.

Speaking of finding my way, I wanted to remind folks that the IBM InterConnect event is only a short couple of weeks away in Singapore, October 9-11 at the Royal Sentosa Resort.

My airplane tickets have been bought, my hotel booked — now if I could just figure out a way to place myself in a state of somnolence as I board the plane for the longggg journey eastward.

If you’d like to learn more about the InterConnect event, IBM is hosting a Twitter Chat this Thursday, September 27, from 9-10 EST.

If you’ve never attended a Twitter Chat, now’s your chance. Our own social business guru, Sandy Carter, will be moderating the chat, fielding questions and relating details of the coming InterConnect event.

The hashtag for the chat is #IBMInterConnect, so simply log in to your TweetDeck or other Twitter app of choice, enter that hashtag, and be prepared for the discussion this Thursday evening.

If you don’t have a Twitter app, you can also log in to the following URL to follow the action:

http://tweetchat.com/room/ibminterconnect

A little background: IBM InterConnect 2012 is a new and unique event to provide you with opportunities to meet and collaborate with business and IT leaders in your region.

The IBM InterConnect conference will explore topics and key business imperatives, including unleashing innovations, managing the velocity of change and reinventing relationships and uncovering new markets.

IBM’s Scott Hebner and John Dunderdale provide some background on InterConnect in the video below:

Addressing The IT Labor Challenge

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Back in April, I blogged here about the new IBM PureSystems line of servers that have been in the works for some years and backed by $2 billion in investment by IBM.

Here we are a few short months later, and we’re seeing some substantial uptake of this new line, including in growth markets.

Just a few updates:

  • Over 700 IBM Business Partners have now adopted IBM PureSystems, and 1,300 of those have completed training on the new lines
  • 160+ solutions and “patterns” of expertise have been developed both by IBM and our partners across 20 industries
  • New financing options now all for organizations to defer the first payment for IBM PureSystems for 30 days

Organizations around the world are increasingly looking for ways to reduce IT complexity and overcome the growing worldwide skills shortage. Today, approximately three-quarters of global employers cite a lack of experience, skills or knowledge as the primary reason for the difficulty filling IT positions.

Egads!

Because of this, organizations are searching for new ways of computing that don’t require the additional commitment of significant resources or employee training to set up and maintain.

And voila, IBM PureSystems.

PureSystems meets this demand by providing patterns of expertise –- a new technology model that builds on the experience of thousands of IBM clients and radically streamlines the set-up and management of hardware and software resources.

Global Clients Embrace IBM PureSystems  

Since launching in April, clients around the world are using IBM PureSystems to reduce IT cost and complexity. For example:

  • BPTP, a leading Indian real estate company, selected IBM PureSystems to streamline its IT infrastructure to improve the overall home buying experience for its customers. Established in 2003, BPTP has experienced rapid growth over the last decade. Sustaining and building upon this growth required BPTP to find a better computing and storage solution. To meet these challenges, it selected IBM PureSystems for all of its processing and storage requirements.
  • PCCW, a leading information technology outsourcing company based in Hong Kong, has selected IBM PureSystems as the foundation for its new Enterprise Solutions Superstore — an online environment for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). As a result, they are now able to offer customers applications on the cloud using a Software-as-a-Service model.
  • ValeCard, a multi-industry conglomerate based in Brazil, has achieved 40 percent growth annually over the past three-years. Facing rapid expansion of its business, ValeCard turned to IBM PureSystems to manage thousands of transaction records from contracts with large companies and government entities. Additionally, ValeCard is using IBM PureSystems to help it meet an increasing set of new regulations and standards for data availability.

IBM’s Partners Drive PureSystems Adoption 

For IBM Business Partners, PureSystems creates a new opportunity to help clients solve the complexity of enterprise IT.

From resellers to distributors and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), more than 700 Business Partners are supporting IBM PureSystems.

PureSystems currently run tens of thousands of existing ISV applications across four operating environments including Windows, Linux, AIX, and IBM System i.

Additionally, Business Partners have created more than 160 new solutions and applications that are optimized to run on PureSystems. These patterns of expertise, which span 20 industries, can be accessed through the IBM PureSystems Centre.

They include leading solutions from some of the world’s largest ISVs, including ERP systems and applications for the banking, marketing, healthcare and energy industries.

Numerous partners are also installing PureSystems in their own datacenters. For example Computer Gross, a managed service provider in Italy, and OneTree Solutions, an ISV from Luxembourg are both using the cloud capabilities of IBM PureSystems as a way to more easily meet the needs of their customers.

PureSystems Training, Certification, & Validation

To help address the new opportunity that PureSystems presents, IBM is also providing training, marketing, certifications and technical validation support to business partners.

For instance, dozens of IBM Innovation Centers in cities such as Bangalore, Dublin, Johannesburg and Shanghai are helping Business Partners develop and test their applications using IBM PureSystems. Business Partners can also bring their clients to IBM Innovation Centers to see PureSystems technology at work.

In addition, more 1,300 business partners — ISVs, managed service providers, resellers, system integrators and distributors — have been showing their support and interest in PureSystems by attending Business Partner Day and training events in 27 cities around the world.

PureSystems cloud capabilities are also drawing interest, with 500 developers using the PureSystems Cloud Trial to create applications through IBM’s SmartCloud that are ready to run on IBM’s new expert integrated systems.

IBM Financing For PureSystems

To help credit-qualified clients easily acquire IBM PureSystems, IBM Global Financing is making available a range of financing options.

As a result, clients will be able to avoid paying cash up-front, while lowering their total cost of ownership.

This is the first time that clients can lease the entire value of the system, including hardware and software.

Credit-qualified clients that elect financing can see immediate benefits with PureSystems while deferring their first payment for 90 days. Additionally, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services can buy back servers, including those made by HP and Oracle, for clients migrating to IBM PureSystems.

There are two models of the PureSystems family available — PureFlex System and PureApplication System.

PureFlex System enables organizations to more efficiently create and manage an infrastructure, while PureApplication System allows organizations to quickly deploy and reduce the cost and complexity of managing applications.

Both have already shipped to leading clients in 5 continents.

You can learn more about IBM PureSystems in the Expert Integrated Systems blog here.

Healthier Hong Kong

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I’ve been too busy to keep an eye out for Norad Santa this year, but for those of you with children out there, you’ll be happy to know you can now track Santa via the NORAD Tracks Santa app, available for both Android and the iPhone.

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

It’s good to know that Santa’s multi-platform!

If, on the other hand, you’re all about tracking leading healthcare providers, look now towards Hong Kong-based Quality HealthCare Medical Services (QMHS), which partnered today with IBM to build a virtualized infrastructure for its practice.

The project involves the consolidation of more than 100 servers into a cloud environment that hosts QHMS’ mission critical systems that serve over 600 medical centers in Hong Kong and Macau.

The optimized infrastructure will enable QHMS to reduce IT maintenance and disaster recovery costs, ensure production system maintainability and performance, and achieve energy-savings.

By reducing the number of physical servers from over 100 to eight IBM System x3650 servers and centralizing storage, QHMS is expected to reduce IT operational costs by 25 percent and software license and related maintenance costs by 23 percent.

The new and highly redundant server infrastructure also includes an automated centralized back-up system of IBM System Storage DS3500 Express that enables fast, secure and cost-effective storage management, back up and recovery.

“We are always looking for ways to further improve the patient experience. Our new cloud allows us to deliver information to our doctors faster and in a more reliable way,” said Elaine Chu, Chief Operating Officer of QHMS. “As a result, we will be able to serve our patients more effectively and with higher levels of care. It is very exciting to see how we can make a difference to our patients with the help of technology.”

Additionally, the deployment of the IBM Cognos Business Intelligence solution provides financial key performance indicator (KPI) and analysis, creating the opportunity to gain more timely business information for better business performance management and smarter decision-making.

QHMS aims to monitor business performance in over 600 medical centers. With IBM Cognos BI, QHMS can build a standardized and centralized information delivery platform that enables QHMS to monitor the performance of a wide range of services running on different systems.

QHMS’ management team can now access timely business information with just a few mouse clicks, speeding response times to business needs and patient demands.

About Quality HealthCare
Quality HealthCare Medical Services Limited is a physician led provider group offering an integrated range of healthcare services including facilities management, third party plan administration and paramedical support. The Group provides care for private and corporate contract patients through a network of more than 580 Western and Chinese medical centers, and 47 dental and physiotherapy centers.

In 2010, its network recorded more than 2.8 million healthcare visits. It also operates Hong Kong’s longest-established nursing agency and one of its medical practices has been serving Hong Kong people for over 140 years.

IBM’s Solar Servers

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There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment. — Orison Swett MardenAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy, data centers can consume up to 100 times more energy than a standard office building.In fact, less than 15% of original source energy is used for the information technology equipment within a data center.

A technician inspects IBM's solar-power array atop the roof of the company's software development lab in Bangalore, India. The technology is designed specifically to run high-voltage data centers, integrating AC- and DC-based servers, water-cooling systems and related electronics. The 6,000-square-foot array is capable of providing a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day.

A 2008 McKinsey report suggested that demand for data centers was expected to grow at 10% CAGR over the next decade, but because of their enormous energy consumption, they were expected to consume as much energy as 10 new major power plants by last year (.2% of world energy production!)

Enter Big Blue.

IBM said today that is rolling out the first solar-power array designed specifically to run high-voltage data centers, integrating AC- and DC-based servers, water-cooled computing systems and related electronics.

The new array is spread over more than 6,000 square-feet of rooftop covering IBM’s India Software Lab in Bangalore.

The solar array is capable of providing a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day.

By employing unique high-voltage DC power conditioning methods – and reducing AC-DC conversion losses – the new IBM solution can cut energy consumption of data centers by about 10 percent and tailors solar technology for wider use in industrial IT and electronics installations.

In many emerging markets, electrical grids are undependable or non-existent. Companies are forced to rely on expensive diesel generators.

That makes it difficult and expensive to deploy a lot of computers, especially in the concentrated way they’re used in data centers. Using IBM’s solution, a bank, a telecommunications company or a government agency could contemplate setting up a data center that doesn’t need the grid.

The solution, in effect, creates its own DC mini-grid inside the data center.

High-voltage, DC computer servers and water-cooling systems are beginning to replace traditional, AC-powered servers and air-conditioning units in data centers.

IBM’s Bangalore array is the first move to blend solar-power, water-cooling and power-conditioning into a “snap-together” package suitable to run massive configurations of electronic equipment.

“The technology behind solar power has been around for many years, but until now, no one has engineered it for efficient use in IT,” said Rod Adkins, senior vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group. “We’ve designed a solar solution to bring a new source of clean, reliable and efficient power to energy-intensive, industrial-scale electronics.”

IBM plans for the Bangalore solar-power system to connect directly into the data center’s water-cooling and high-voltage DC systems. The integrated solution can provide a compute power of 25 to 30 teraflops using an IBM Power Systems server on a 50kW solar power supply.

“This solar deployment, currently powering almost 20 percent of our own data center energy requirements, is the latest in the investments made at the India lab to design an efficient and smarter data center,” said Dr Ponani Gopalakrishnan, VP, IBM India Software Lab. “Ready access to renewable energy in emerging markets presents significant opportunities for IBM to increase efficiencies, improve productivity and drive innovation for businesses around the world.”

New Big Iron: Introducing The zEnterprise 114

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IBM introduced some new big iron earlier today.

The new server is the IBM zEnterprise 114 mainframe server and is geared towards mid-sized organizations looking to enjoy the benefits of a mainframe as the foundation for their data centers.

This box costs 25% less and offers up to 25% more performance than its predecessor, the System z10 BC server.

Clients utilizing this new server can consolidate workloads from 40 x86 processors running Oracle on to a new z114 with just three processors running Linux…that’s 40 down to 3.

Over a three year period, total costs for hardware, software, and support on the new z114 as compared to consolidated servers can be up to 80% less with similar savings on floor space and energy.

Workload Optimized, Scalable And Secure By Design

The z114 was also built with scalability in mind.  Clients can start with smaller configurations and access additional capacity built into the server as needed without increasing the data center footprint or systems management complexity and cost.

The z114 is powered by up to 14 of the industry’s most sophisticated microprocessors, of which up to 10 can be configured as specialty engines.  These specialty engines, the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP), the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP), and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL), are designed to integrate new Java, XML, and Linux applications and technologies with existing workloads, as well to optimize system resources and reduce costs on the mainframe.

By way of example, using a fully configured machine running Linux for System z, clients can create and maintain a Linux virtual server in the z114 for as little as $500 per year.

The z114 also offers up to an 18% performance improvement for processing traditional System z workloads over its predecessor the z10 BC, and up to an additional 25% improvement for microprocessor intensive workloads using compiler enhancements.

The z114 runs all the latest zEnterprise operating systems including the new z/OS V 1.13  announced today.  This new version adds new software deployment and disk management capabilities.

It also offers enhanced autonomics and early error detection features as well as the latest encryption and compliance features extending the mainframe’s industry leading security capabilities.

Additional compliance and encryption features, the result of a multi-year effort from IBM Research, further enhance security with cryptography built into the DNA of System z, by designing hardware with processor and coprocessor based encryption capabilities.

Where It Fits

At a starting price of under $75,000 — IBM’s lowest ever price for a mainframe server — the zEnterprise 114 is an especially attractive option for emerging markets experiencing rapid growth in new services for banking, retail, mobile devices, government services and other areas.

These organizations are faced with ever-increasing torrents of data and want smarter computing systems that help them operate efficiently, better understand customer behavior and needs, optimize decisions in real time and reduce risk.  

IBM also introduced new features that allow the zEnterprise System to integrate and manage workloads on additional platforms.  New today is support for select System x blades within the zEnterprise System.   These select System x blades can run Linux x86 applications unchanged, and in the future will be able to run Windows applications.

New Financing Options

IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing options for existing IBM clients looking to upgrade to a z114 as well as clients currently using select HP and Oracle servers.

For current System z clients, IBM Global Financing (IGF) can buy back older systems for cash and upgrade customers to the z114 on a Fair Market Value (FMV) lease, which offers a predictable monthly payment.

IGF will remove and recycle these older systems in compliance with environmental laws and regulations and pay clients the fair market value of  HP and Oracle-Sun servers.   IGF is also offering a 6 month deferral of any hardware, software, services or any combination for clients who wish to upgrade now, but pay later.

IGF is also offering a 0% financing for 12 months on any IBM Software, including IBM middleware for the z114 such as Tivoli, WebSphere, Rational, Lotus and Analytics products.

For additional information please check out this video or visit the IBM Systems website.

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