IBM's New Lab in U.K. to Help Companies Build Clouds

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-10-26 Print this article Print

The new IBM program is not being run by its Global Services division; it is offered at a new cloud computing lab in the U.K.

Less than a week after archrival Hewlett-Packard came out with a new program to help enterprises build their own data centers of the future to run private cloud systems, IBM announced that it, too, is now offering technical help for large-enterprise customers that want to migrate to the cloud.

Interestingly, the new IBM program is not being offered by its Global Services division. This new instruction is centered at a new cloud computing lab at the IBM Innovation Center in Hursley, United Kingdom.

Those interested in the new cloud instruction won't have to travel to the U.K. to participate, however. Users can access the lab from any of IBM's network of 38 Innovation Centers worldwide.

The instruction will be provided by experts from IBM's Cast Iron development team, who will be on hand at the lab to help partners connect on-premises and cloud computing environments for clients in the finance, health care, telecommunications, and energy and utilities sectors. 

IBM acquired Cast Iron earlier this year for its expertise as a leading integration-as-a-service company.

Cast Iron, based in Mountain View, Calif., delivers cloud integration software, appliances and services.

Develop software and build go-to-market plan

IT pros using the new Cloud Computing Lab in the Hursley center will be able to access the latest IBM cloud hardware and software to develop and test new cloud services. They also will work with industry experts to build a go-to-market plan.

A typical project at the lab will enable a user to check out a selection of cloud-computing models to become cloud builders; application, technology and infrastructure providers; and cloud resellers and aggregators, depending on their individual business.

IBM's Cloud Service Provider Platform, introduced in 2009, is the central tool for the Cast Iron instruction. The Cloud Service Provider Platform provides telecommunications clients with industry-specific hardware, software and services to build cloud systems.

IBM partners such as Broadsoft, Corent Technology, deCarta, Jamcracker, Juniper Networks, NetApp, Openet, RightScale and Wavemaker currently are supporting the platform.

In a recent IBM developerWorks survey of 2,000 IT professionals from 87 countries, a whopping 91 percent of respondents said they anticipate cloud computing to overtake on-premises computing as the primary way organizations acquire IT by 2015. 

Industry analysts including Enterprise Strategy Group, Gartner Research, Forrester Research and IDG have predicted significant growth for cloud computing services, estimating that this year's $68 billion opportunity will reach nearly $150 billion by 2014.

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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