IBM Launches Smart Public Cloud Platform for Business

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-04-07

IBM Launches Smart Public Cloud Platform for Business

IBM has jumped head first into the public cloud space with its new IBM SmartCloud enterprise-class, secure cloud offering that has been specifically created to meet the demands of businesses.

IBM introduced its new SmartCloud offering at an April 7 event in San Francisco. In an interview with eWEEK, Ric Telford, IBM's vice president of Cloud Services, said IBM has identified key pain points that have been inhibiting broader adoption of cloud computing for businesses and is addressing these in the new SmartCloud offering.

Indeed, to accelerate the shift from experimentation, development and assessment to full scale enterprise deployment of cloud, IBM is building out its existing cloud portfolio with IBM SmartCloud, enterprise cloud technologies and services offerings for private, public and hybrid clouds based on IBM hardware, software, services and best practices.

"IBM is seeing cloud adoption in the enterprise hit a stride," Telford said. We see the cloud as another key inflection point in the industry, similar to e-business, and Linux and open source. "Between our hardware, software and services that will go into supporting our client needs for cloud computing, we can see our way to the $7 billion figure by 2015."

That $7 billion figure refers to the target IBM set for its cloud computing solutions. Samuel Palmisano, IBM's chairman, president and CEO, has identified cloud computing as one of IBM key growth areas on IBM's 2015 roadmap. And Mark Loughridge, the company's chief financial officer, stated that IBM projects $7 billion in cloud revenue by 2015.

Meanwhile, IBM officials said with the SmartCloud solution, enterprise clients will be able to select key characteristics of a public, private and hybrid cloud to match workload requirements from simple Web infrastructure to complex business processes, along five dimensions: Security and isolation, availability and performance; technology platforms; management support and deployment; payment and billing.

The IBM SmartCloud includes an array of secure managed services, to run diverse workloads across multiple delivery methods both public and private, IBM said.

"The new IBM SmartCloud allows for the best of both worlds - the cost savings and scalability of a shared cloud environment plus the security, enterprise capabilities and support services of a private environment," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services. "In thousands of cloud engagements, we have discovered that enterprise client wants a choice of cloud deployment models that meet the requirements of their workloads and the demands of their business."

This level of choice and control translates into capabilities customized to a user's needs and priorities, whether they are deploying a simple web application, an ordering logistics system or a complete ERP system, IBM said.

Cloud Demand Is Exploding


Moreover, the new IBM cloud can enable organizations, their employees and partners, to get what they need, as they need it - from advanced analytics and business applications to IT infrastructure like virtual servers and storage or access to tools for testing software code - all deployed securely across IBM's global network of cloud data centers, the company said

The IBM SmartCloud has two implementation options: Enterprise and Enterprise +. The Enterprise version is available today and expands on IBM's existing Development and Test Cloud. This enables customers to expand on internal development and test efforts with reduction of application development tasks from days to minutes via automation and rapid provisioning with over 30 percent reduction in costs versus traditional application environments.

The Enterprise+ implementation will be made available later this year, Enterprise + will complement and expand on the value of the Enterprise version, and offer new capabilities to provide a core set of multi-tenant services to manage virtual server, storage, network and security infrastructure components including managed operational production services.

Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2011, Big Blue will offer IBM SAP Managed Application Services on the IBM SmartCloud. These new services automate the most common labor intensive tasks associated with managing SAP environments. The services catalog for SAP on the IBM SmartCloud provides for the automated provisioning of SAP environments and significantly reduces the cost and labor associated with SAP cloning, refreshes and patching. SAP services on the IBM SmartCloud provide production service levels and optional 24 / 7 DBA and SAP Basis support.

Benefits from IBM's SAP in the Cloud service, include:

-          Install of DB2/Oracle from 1 day to 12 minutes

-          Maintain database libraries from ??รณ day to 8 minutes

-          Clone database from 2-3 days to 20 minutes

-          Install of operating system from 1 day to 30 minutes

-          Prepare upgrade/provide SAP system from 2-3 days to 40 minutes

-          Add additional application server form 1 day to 10 minutes

-          SAP systems refresh from 1 - 4 days to 3 minutes

"We selected the IBM SmartCloud to host our production and non-production SAP environments." said David Cummings, CIO at Univar, in a statement.  "We believe IBM is uniquely qualified to provide us with a production cloud platform for hosting and cloud based automations for managing application environments."

IBM also is enabling customers to deploy their Lotus Domino applications to the IBM SmartCloud with the Lotus Domino Utility Server for LotusLive. LotusLive provides integrated email, social business and third-party applications from the cloud. The new server licensing model extends customer deployment options for Domino applications from on-premises to cloud. With the immediate availability of the Domino Utility Server for LotusLive, clients can now move applications to the IBM SmartCloud - Enterprise and take advantage of fixed, predictable pricing and flexible deployment.  IBM Global Technology Services will also work with clients on planning and assessments.

The demand for cloud computing is exploding, analysts say. According to IDC, $17 billion was spent on cloud-related technologies, hardware and software in 2009 and IDC expects that spending will grow to $45 billion by 2013.

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