IBM Corp. today announced Linux Virtual Services, an on-demand, pay-as-you-go service that will let companies essentially rent virtual server capacity on IBM mainframes running Linux.
A company using the service can select the appropriate processing power, storage capacity, and network capacity (i.e., bandwidth to and from the IBM hosted site) for the applications it runs. This capacity can be scaled up or down to meet the demands of a company's applications running on the IBM systems.
The new virtual service is a variant of traditional managed server services, which typically allow a company to purchase capacity on shared or dedicated servers maintained by the hosting provider. The slight twist here is that the capacity can be modified quickly. And companies are not locked into long-term contracts.
Essentially, this service is a good example of the growing trend for hosting companies to offer server processing, storage, and bandwidth as a utility -- a pay-as-you-go model that is not that common today.
As with other managed server services, the potential cost savings of using the IBM service come in through lower operating costs. Specifically, if a company sets up its own Linux cluster, the initial low cost of the server hardware might be offset by recurring monthly charges.
These charges include the IT staff labor costs to manage the servers and the costs to maintain the facilities. The facilities charges include the monthly fee (rent or mortgage payments) for the physical space to house the equipment, as well as the cost for the electricity to run the servers and to provide heating or cooling of the facility.
A company choosing the IBM Linux Virtual Services avoids these recurring costs.
The IBM Linux Virtual Services are available now. Pricing varies with capacity.