IBM serves up on demand plans

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IBM is hoping that a new demand-driven system being showcased at the Australian Open will be the key to increased sales of its enterprise products in the local market.

Over the next fortnight, major customers of Big Blue will be given guided tours of the technology set-up at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

IBM has provided technology services to the Grand Slam event since 1992, but this year has been its first opportunity to demonstrate its Infrastructure Management systems that combine software and hardware to dynamically allocate resources to different applications depending on usage -- a cornerstone of the company's much-touted 'on demand' strategy.

"Tennis Australia have a peak demand for two weeks of the year, and in the past they've had to provision their systems to cope with a workload that is seventy times higher than the rest of the year," said Mitchell Young, regional manager for IBM's Tivoli Software division.

The Australian Open website is expected to receive around 10 million visits during the tournament.

Using a combination of IBM servers and Tivoli Intelligent Think Dynamics Orchestrator, resources can be re-allocated from other applications and handed over to the web server during periods of high activity.

"The reason people haven't dynamically provisioned in the past is that it's a manually intensive process," said Young.

While Big Blue likes to use the annual tennis bash as a showcase for the latest technology, in some areas change can be difficult to implement.

For instance, despite the increased visibility of wireless networking, the vast majority of connections at the venue remain cabled.

The only wireless network in place is in the media room, which plays host to 1,000 journalists from around the globe.

<I>Angus Kidman visited the Australian Open as a guest of IBM.</I>

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