IBM Challenges Amazon Web Services to a Cloud Duel

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-11-15 Print this article Print

In a recent report, industry analyst Rob Enderle said IBM will beat AWS because process beats product.

Also, IBM last month announced a patented invention that solves the so-called "noisy neighbor" problem, made famous by Netflix's cloud performance issues using Amazon Web Services. The problem occurs when one cloud customer sharing a virtual machine with another hogs IT resources and bandwidth, causing the other customer's performance to deteriorate.

Moreover, IBM won a Netflix Open Source Software (OSS) Cloud Prize for the best example of an application mash-up. IBM is gloating over the award because it was announced at the AWS re:Invent conference. The award was presented to IBM software architect Andrew Spyker and his team of engineers.

IBM created an interactive application delivered via a mobile experience that acts as a tutorial for using the Netflix OSS services. The application called "Acme Airlines" represents an airline app that operates at "cloud scale," handling an extremely high volume of concurrent requests. In doing so, IBM demonstrated its ability to deliver a highly available and scalable app, built on standards that provide clients with the reliability and flexibility to operate on virtually any cloud platform.

For this sample, IBM delivered code, machine images, documentation and videos that show how a user can bring the system up with the app running in less than two hours instead of days. In addition, this demonstrates IBM's ability to scale to more than a billion requests per day, exceeding the criteria for the Programmable Web Billionaires Club. Among the things that differentiated the IBM application was the fact that it was built on an open cloud environment, enabling it to run across multiple clouds and scaling for mission-critical applications with high availability, a key criterion for Netflix cloud services.

Netflix launched this campaign to tap into an open developer ecosystem to enable cloud service innovation and recognized IBM as a winner because the apps provide a highly available, fault tolerant, cloud native and scalable Web and mobile platform.

As businesses are looking to scale and integrate legacy investments with new cloud environments, having open standards has become critical in driving this integration in hybrid cloud environments. IBM ported the Netflix OSS Cloud Platform to the IBM SoftLayer public cloud, helping build a solution that would allow the advanced cloud platform to be used in the public cloud and on-premise OpenStack platform. IBM also explored the port to OpenStack to further demonstrate IBM's commitment to open standards and cloud portability.

"As with all of our cloud solutions, we are committed to an open standards-based approach because we believe that it is the means to deliver the higher value of the cloud," IBM Fellow and Vice President Jerry Cuomo, said in a statement. "For a cloud environment to scale and manage complex workloads, it requires interoperability to integrate legacy investments with new environments and applications. Innovation within open systems can bring flexibility to consumer cloud services."

Today, IBM has more than 500 developers dedicated to driving innovation around open standards and is bringing that investment in open technology to the cloud through the company's commitment to open cloud platforms, including not only Netflix OSS, but also Cloud Foundry and OpenStack. In taking this approach, IBM and Netflix are demonstrating that cloud computing needs to be built on open standards to scale and manage mission-critical workloads to truly transform businesses.









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