“Cloud is an important new consumption and delivery model for IT and business services. Large enterprises want our help to capitalize on what this model offers in a way that is safe, reliable and efficient for business,” said Erich Clementi, General Manager, Enterprise Initiatives at IBM.
The company believes the digital and physical infrastructure are converging as a result of the instrumentation of all kind of business and IT assets, but that while the impact will be vary from industry to industry, cloud will be the delivery engine for emerging industry systems. Analytics are also going to play a huge role in collaborative industry clouds. To extract valuable insights, clients need tools to mine the massive amounts of data and pull out actionable information. Software is a focus as well—IBM is integrating software into services that can be sold through the cloud to deliver the high-value solutions enterprise clients are requesting, including integrated hardware, software, and services packages.
IBM was a very early proponent of both virtualization and cloud computing. IBM Smart Business cloud solutions support clouds built behind the enterprise firewall, or the IBM cloud. IBM’s public cloud offering is still new, while its private cloud offerings are, for the cloud, very mature.
Unlike Google, who has collaborated with VMware, IBM’s strategy is to handhold enterprises into the cloud both by providing services and also by working with Red Hat to offer Red Hat’s EL, bypassing VMware with the announcement of Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud.
IBM has also partnered with SOASTA, who makes “CloudTest,” and is a leading provider of cloud testing. SOASTA also partners with CA Amazon, and Microsoft. It is competing head-on with VMforce and Salesforce.com. IBM also partners non-exclusively with RightScale, which offers Hyperic HQ .
Consistent Development Experience
IBM was relatively early in recognizing the advantages of cloud computing for development. IBM has offered a private cloud solution for development and test since June 2009, and now offers development and test services in three delivery models:
“Workload characteristics continue to drive the rate and degree of standardization of IT and business services,” said Rich Esposito, vice president, IT Strategy & Architecture and Middleware Services, IBM. “Standardization is key to bringing discipline, efficiency and simplicity to the most complex corners of big businesses.”
Eleven Cloud Computing Competency Centers Worldwide
IBM’s cloud computing competency centers are designed to showcase IBM cloud computing infrastructures, applications, and services capabilities through specific competency and training solutions, as well as offer additional services to clients. By June 2010, IBM had opened eleven centers:
Craig Sowell, Director, Cloud Marketing and Communications at IBM, was kind enough to discuss IBM’s cloud strategy with me. The points that IBM stresses are that IBM cloud solutions:
IBM purchased Rational a number of years ago, and is particularly strong in supporting application development and testing. Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud offers flexible provisioning on demand, at a predetermined cost.
The IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud is a dynamically provisioned and scaled runtime environment that provides a complete environment to develop and test application code; of course, it highlights IBM’s software offerings. These include tools to configure and manage the dynamic execution environment, an IDE that facilitates the direct use of the execution environment, and build and test tools that can exploit the execution environment. Other areas supported include SaaS solutions for collaboration and governance infrastructure and resource repositories for source and reusable assets. It is available now in North America. The IBM Smart Business Development and Test Cloud provides an onpremises cloud, built by IBM Services. IBM CloudBurst offers pre-integrated hardware, storage, virtualization, and networking to create an onpremises cloud environment. Service management capability is delivered via IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager V7.2.
IBM’s Smart Business Desktop Cloud Solution is an on-premise approach providing virtualized desktops to provide replication of a standardized desktop to enterprises.
In May 2010, IBM acquired Cast Iron Systems, a cloud integrator, to deliver industry-leading cloud integration software, appliances, and services. It does this on a cross-vendor basis; for example, it integrates cloud applications from providers (such as Salesforce.com, Amazon, NetSuite, and ADP) with on-premise applications (such as SAP and JD Edwards). Cast Iron has hundreds of prebuilt templates and services expertise, reducing custom coding and allowing cloud integrations to be completed in the space of days, rather than weeks or longer. These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance, or a cloud service. IBM also strengthened its offerings by acquiring Sterling Commerce from AT&T.
PayPal, the online payment system is extending its global payments platform, PayPal X, into the cloud. PayPal is working with the IBM Cloud Labs to quickly monetize new applications developed and made available via smart phones. “We want to vice president of platform and emerging technologies. “The IBM cloud provides a platform for developers to come together as a community, to create, develop and test new applications. We look forward to seeing the payments innovations our developers create through the IBM cloud and bringing the wallet into the cloud.”
One of I.B.M.’s test beds for cloud computing has been the Interior Department’s National Business Center, a service center that handles payroll, human relations, financial reporting, contracting services and other computing tasks for dozens of federal agencies. The center runs two large data centers, one in Northern Virginia and another outside Denver. Douglas J. Bourgeois, the center’s director, said he is introducing several cloud-style applications over the next nine months including Web-based training, and staffing and recruitment software. In tests with financial and procurement software, the cloud-computing environment has delivered efficiencies of 40 to 60 percent in productivity and power consumption, he stated. “For us, like other data centers, the volume of data continues to explode,” Mr. Bourgeois said. “We want to solve some of those problems with cloud computing, so we don’t have to build another $20 million data center.”
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