If you told me that a China City was buying IBM gear for its city infrastructure I would think you were talking about 20 years ago when China did not have the expertise in IT equipment. But now, go down the list of servers, network, and storage and China makes all the parts to build IT infrastructure, so you would expect China to be powered by all China gear.
IBM has a press announcement on its PureSystems being used in the China city Tongliao.
Tongliao City Turns to IBM PureSystems to Spur Economic Development
Inner Mongolian City Embraces Cloud Computing to Modernize Its Infrastructure and Support Adoption of an eGovernment Model
Where is Tongliao? NorthEast of Beijing. Located in the top right of this map.
A couple of weeks I got a chance to chat with IBM's Technical Fellow Jason McGee who leads the team who created the Pure Systems platform.
IBM Software Group - Durham, N.C.
Jason McGee has been instrumental in establishing IBM as the leader in cloud technologies, Java based application server middleware and application aware virtualization. He led the development of critical technologies in WebSphere Application Server, including the Web container and the watershed version 5 system design. McGee's innovations in using application awareness have helped the application server move into the realm of virtualization and cloud computing. Those innovations are now being applied to expert integrated systems with his leadership of IBM PureApplication System. McGee will serve as technology ambassador to Egypt.
Jason and I discussed many interesting points. One that Jason shared that I found good insight is how the PureSystems supports an environment for teams to work together. I would expect China IT departments are no different than one in the US where the various silos create friction making it difficult to integrate systems well. When you have a well designed IT system where parts all the parts are integrated, flaws in operations and development can be seen more easily and addressed. Why? In poorly designed hardware systems it is hard to pinpoint whether the performance issues are hardware or software.
“With built-in expertise and highly integrated hardware and software capabilities, IBM PureApplication System was selected to be the core of Tongliao City's Smart Cloud infrastructure,” said Mr. XU Gang, general manager, WebSphere Software, Software Group, IBM Greater China Region. “With a wealth of practical experiences and leading cloud computing technology, IBM is in the position to work with Xi'an Future International to support Tongliao City to improve the lives of its citizens through this Smarter Cities project.”
What I think the Chinese have figured out is that the integration of all the hardware let alone the software is something they need to buy and cannot make as easily as they thought.
There is of course a Chinese partner in the project.
To meet Tongliao City’s needs, IBM and business partner Xi’an Future International Information Co. Ltd. developed the ‘Smarter Tongliao City on the Cloud’ solution. This cloud computing-based, Smarter Cities project is designed to advance Tongliao City’s ongoing economic development and meet the following goals: