Saying it will pack a briefcase or roll an SUV up to your premises, IBM Corp and Cisco Systems Inc are rolling out a new service with the apt name, IBM Management Services for Crisis Management.
IBM claims that its managed service offering provides a more flexible and less capital-intensive alternative to traditional business continuity systems because you don’t have to pony up an investment for a hot standby data center deep inside some mountain.
It promotes it as a one-stop emergency communications network offering that replaces the need for multiple point software and hardware products.
It comes packaged with servers that are provisioned with your organizations essential applications, plus the communications gear (courtesy of Cisco) that can provide wireless or wireline local or remote links.
It comes in four editions, depending on the size of the installation. The base level, called a tactical communication kit, consists of a suitcase-sized unit that could be checked in baggage on a commercial air flight. This supports from six to a dozen users, with wireless capability to serve up to a 20,000 square foot area.
The next unit up is called Fog Cutter, which includes a racked module that supports data, voice, and video that supports up to 250 concurrent users. Then there are the two NERV offerings that are transported in sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
NERV I is outfitted to handle up to 150 users in the field and provide up to 1.2 miles range with wireless communications. A larger NERV III unit is in a full, 28-foot long recreational vehicle (RV) that can support up to 250 users in the field, 5000 concurrent users, with a transmitter that can reach up to a 30-mile radius.
Given that this is being announced at FOSE, a federal systems conference in Washington, it’s not surprising that there is interest from government agencies for civil defense scenarios. But IBM claims there is also interest from financial services firms and energy firms that may need to kick in services when communications are cut or a disaster hits a remote rig.
As a managed service, IBM is offering this on a subscription basis, so customers do not have to buy equipment.