IBM Ends 2014 With a Cloud Bang

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-12-18 Print this article Print
Cloud apps

Moreover, IBM announced key cloud investments throughout 2014. In addition to expanding its global cloud footprint and the establishment of the Bluemix platform as a service (PaaS) to bring enterprise developers into the hybrid cloud era, IBM also launched a new cloud marketplace that brings together IBM's portfolio of cloud capabilities and new third-party services for the enterprise. The IBM Cloud marketplace is an online destination that serves as a digital front door to cloud innovation for enterprises.

"IBM Cloud's focus on the needs of enterprise clients has been set in stone pretty much from day one since the July 2013 acquisition of Softlayer," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, in a post on IBM's new cloud centers.

"IBM's latest cloud computing centers, partnerships and customer wins certainly provide a happy ending to 2014, but we also expect they offer a taste of where the company will go in the year to come," King added. "In all likelihood, IBM will spend 2015 showing customers, partners and competitors what enterprise-class cloud and synergy are all about."

IBM's announcement with Equinix further extends the reach Big Blue has achieved through its own cloud portfolio.

"Equinix Cloud Exchange continues to build momentum with secure, low-latency connections to multiple cloud providers, and adding IBM Softlayer to our growing portfolio will continue to help our enterprise customer realize the benefits of the cloud," Ihab Tarazi, CTO of Equinix, said in a statement. "Softlayer, with its broad reach into the enterprise market and proven success in networking will be a great asset to Cloud Exchange, enabling customers to seamlessly replicate data between markets. Our direct access capabilities to cloud services such as Softlayer provide enterprise customers with a choice of multiple clouds to better enable their hybrid cloud strategies."

"Softlayer has maintained a longstanding commitment to providing advanced network capabilities to the enterprise as part of our core service offerings," Sonny Fulkerson, CIO of Softlayer, said in a statement. "By extending our Direct Link offerings to now include access via the Equinix Cloud Exchange capabilities, we further our goal to improve the flexibility, performance, security and reliability of enterprise connections to Softlayer."

These new cloud moves add on to a string of recent cloud partnerships IBM entered into with other notable companies. SAP selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business-critical applications. SAP applications are now available through IBM's cloud and enable SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers.

Also, IBM and Microsoft are working together to provide their respective enterprise software on Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. This relationship will give clients, partners and developers more choice in the cloud, helping them drive new business opportunities, spur innovation and reduce costs.

In addition to these partnerships, IBM is also contributing private computing services from IBM Cloud OpenStack Services platform to the OpenStack and Cloud Foundry Foundations. The initial use of these services will offer expanded capabilities to enable automated integration, reduced cycle time and increased quality for software distribution. This will accelerate time to market for all uses of OpenStack-based infrastructure, IBM said.

Overall, IBM is continuing to make its way in the cloud space and is expanding its reach by better enabling the open community, partnering with key companies, and making strategic financial and technological investments. And it appears to be paying off. IBM reported cloud revenue of $4.4 billion for 2013, up 69 percent year-to-year. Moreover, IBM cloud revenue increased 50 percent through the third quarter of 2014, with a $3.1 billion run rate in "as-a-service" revenue, the company said.



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