IBM wants to make it easier for businesses to extend their SOA investments into the cloud.
IBM on April 30 rolled out a new hardware appliance and a new virtualization-focused version of its WebSphere Application Server that, together, give enterprises a smooth path for bringing their service-oriented architecture work into private cloud environments.
The new hardware, WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance, stores and secures SOA images and patterns created through the new WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition that will be brought into a cloud environment.
"The role [of the new offerings] is to make it very easy for our customers to leverage private clouds ... based on WebSphere software," said Kareem Yusuf, director for IBM WebSphere.
WebSphere CloudBurst lets developers quickly and easily develop, test and deploy applications, in large part by making it easier to create application environments. It takes a lot of the time-consuming manual tasks out of the equation, enabling users to set up the application environments in a matter of minutes rather than hours or days, Yusuf said. Once completed, the various computing resources used to create the test environment are then returned to the pool of available resources.
In addition, WebSphere CloudBurst gives IT administrators greater access control, managing individual and group access, IBM said.
WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition is a version of WebSphere AS software that is optimized to run in virtualized hardware environments, including those using VMware technology. It comes preloaded with WebSphere CloudBurst, Yusuf said.
The new offerings let customers take advantage of the principles behind cloud computing, in particular simplicity, lack of set-up costs and low barrier to entry, he said, adding that businesses are beginning to take a hard look at the concept.
"Customers are asking the questions," Yusuf said. "Once they step beyond the [cloud computing name] and talk about the principles behind it, it starts to really make sense to them."
The new products also integrate with development and service management tools from IBM's Rational and Tivoli groups, he said.
IBM's Rational Automation Framework for WebSphere gives WebSphere CloudBurst users more than 400 automated tasks for configuration and application deployment to WebSphere AS environments, which makes the delivery of test and deployment more efficient. In addition, Tivoli Automation Manager automates processes used to develop and manage a cloud computing environment, which helps enterprises more quickly build these environments and reduce IT operational costs.
In other cloud-related moves, Yusuf also said IBM is adding to the middleware products that users of Amazon.com's Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) public cloud environment can access.
IBM already offers WebSphere sMash and Portal middleware on EC2. Now IBM is adding Lotus Mashup and Forms to the mix, and later will offer WebSphere Application Server, he said.