IBM Clarifies Its Cloud Approach

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-06-15 Print this article Print

Following a five-year-long, multibillion-dollar development effort, IBM is making available a new portfolio of cloud computing products and services that it claims will provide corporate users with ease of use to rival the consumer Web.

IBM has been trying to get its Big Blue arms around cloud computing for a while, perhaps because the cloud is one of the few things in IT that IBM didn't help invent.

The vision from Armonk, N.Y., was fuzzy for a couple of years, but now the glasses are on and the focus appears to be sharpening. Following a five-year-long, multibillion-dollar development effort called Project Blue Cloud, IBM on June 16 will make available a new portfolio of cloud computing products and services that it claims will provide corporate users with ease of use to rival the consumer Web.

In short, IBM has designed and built a number of shortcuts for cloud computing development, so that an enterprise aiming to build its own internal or external cloud-type system can do it with the least amount of time, effort and capital.

Cloud computing, or utility computing, serves up computing power, data storage or applications from one data center location over a grid to thousands or millions of users on a subscription basis. This general kind of cloud-examples include the services provided online by Amazon EC2, Google Apps and known as a public cloud, because any business or individual can subscribe.

Private clouds are secure, firewalled systems that tie together an enterprise with its supply chain, resellers and other business partners.

"What we are doing here is branding the choices that we are giving clients for the deployment of cloud solutions," IBM Cloud CTO Kristof Kloeckner told eWEEK. "It's a family of preintegrated hardware, storage, virtualization and service management solutions that target specific workloads."

Those workloads can be virtually anything a company needs to have done on a daily basis: e-mail, retail transactions, scientific computations, health record management, financial services, and a number of other functions.

Thus, IBM now sees cloud computing as a "reintegration of IT around types of work, with the most successful clouds being defined by the types of work they do-for instance a search cloud or a retail transaction cloud," Kloeckner said.

Three cloud models offered

IBM is now offering three cloud models for delivering and consuming development and test services:

  • IBM Smart Business Test Cloud, a private cloud behind the client's firewall, with hardware, software and services supplied by IBM;
  • Smart Business Development & Test, and Smart Business Application Development & Test, which use Rational Software Delivery Services on IBM's existing global cloud system; and
  • IBM CloudBurst, a preintegrated set of hardware, storage, virtualization and networking [options], with a built-in service management system.
The underpinnings of all this are Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.1 and the new Tivoli Service Automation Manager, which automates the deployment and management of computing clouds.

Tivoli Storage as a Service is the foundation for IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services cloud. Beginning later in 2009, developers will be able to use Tivoli data protection via a cloud service.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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