IBM Offers Virtualization ‘Test Drive’

    June 22, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

IBM launched a new partner program to help SMB clients better understand how utilize its Virtualization Engine for running multiple virtual servers on a single piece of hardware.

From Wikipedia:

In computing, a virtualization engine is the concept of giving a holistic view of all the resources in the entire network infrastructure. The holistic view is independent of the physical data storage devices and their geographic location.

“Small and medium size businesses, traditionally slower to adopt emerging technology because of limited resources and IT budgets, through education, are now embracing virtualization at the same rate as large businesses. A recent IBM customer survey found that as many as half of all SMB customers are either currently using virtualization technology or are planning to implement at least one virtualization function within the next year.”

From the release:

IBM today announced a virtualization education and sales initiative designed to ease the adoption of virtualization technologies by small and medium businesses (SMB). The program includes adding new capabilities and enablement programs to more than 40 IBM Business Partner Innovation Centers that are selling IBM’s Virtualization Engine portfolio.

IBM’s virtualization portfolio is designed to help increase the availability, resiliency and utilization of clients’ infrastructures. Already, more than 65 percent of IBM’s virtualization sales are driven by IBM Business Partners targeting small and medium size business clients.

Leading industry analyst firm Gartner estimates that 40 percent of midsize businesses will reduce their server population by at least 20 percent in the next year through virtualization.

The new IBM Virtualization Test Drive program is designed to help partners more easily sell IBM’s Virtualization Engine portfolio. To kick off the partner program, IBM is using selected Business Partner Innovation Centers throughout North America to demonstrate to SMB customers the benefits of virtualizing their server and storage infrastructures.

The program includes assistance in setting up a center of competence, technical and industry education, sales enablement and support and tools to help IBM Business Partners assist their clients to design and implement virtualization solutions around IBM’s Virtualization Engine portfolio. The IBM Business Partners can also provide a “real world” environment in their innovation centers to simulate client scenarios and test applications.

By attending training sessions at the IBM Business Partner’s Innovation Centers, clients can see that IBM’s Virtualization Engine offerings go beyond the abilities of most competitive offerings: The IBM technology portfolio can reduce both planned and unplanned outages, ease data migrations and lower the costs for disaster recovery sites as well as manage an entire virtualized infrastructure

Clients around the world are deploying IBM’s end-to-end virtualization technologies, often combining various hardware and software from various providers, to make one system look and act like multiple systems or make multiple systems look and be act like one system, simplifying the management and operation of their technology infrastructure

Micro Strategies Inc., with facilities in New Jersey and Massachusetts, was one of the first IBM Business Partners to take advantage of the new program. Micro Strategies attended IBM’s first Teach the Teacher workshop, where they completed an intensive course of training on how virtualization technologies can solve client problems and provide benefits to businesses. Only three weeks following the training, Micro Strategies, Inc. hosted its first monthly virtualization test drive session for its customers.

“We have found an 80 percent sales success rate when our clients come in to experience solutions first hand, and we have already received sales leads from our first virtualization test drive session.” said Anthony Bongiovanni, President, Micro Strategies Inc. “With IBM’s new Virtualization Test Drive program, we are helping customers understand the TCO of virtualization technologies as well as use the technology in a risk-free environment.”

IBM is expanding the program to Europe and plans to roll out the “Virtualization Test Drive” partner program worldwide later this year. The partner program augments IBM’s broad internal sales force that focuses on selling IBM’s Virtualization Engine portfolio.