IBM Adds to Its Cloud Arsenal via Innovation, Acquisition

1 - IBM Adds to Its Cloud Arsenal via Innovation, Acquisition
2 - Innovation and Patent Leadership
3 - Market Insight
4 - Watson
5 - SoftLayer
6 - SoftLayer’s Footprint
7 - SoftLayer Platform
8 - SoftLayer Triple-Network Architecture
9 - Cloud Leadership
10 - Cloud Analytics
11 - Industry-Specific Cloud Services
12 - Financial Commitment to Cloud Keeps Growing
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IBM Adds to Its Cloud Arsenal via Innovation, Acquisition

by Darryl K. Taft

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Innovation and Patent Leadership

IBM developed a method for dynamically managing network bandwidth within a cloud, which could lead to significant improvements in overall system performance. For the invention, IBM received U.S. Patent #8,352,953: Dynamically Provisioning Virtual Machines—which provides a method for automatically deciding the best way for users to access a cloud computing system based on availability of network bandwidth.

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Market Insight

IBM promotes the use of its cloud platform to provide customers with better insight and visibility of their businesses, it facilitates collaboration and it fosters rapid development of new products and services.

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IBM opened its Watson cognitive computing system to developers for building cognitive apps in the cloud. In November, IBM opened up Watson as a development platform in the cloud for a worldwide community of software application providers to build a new generation of apps infused with Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.

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IBM closed its acquisition of SoftLayer in July. SoftLayer is one of the largest cloud infrastructure providers in the world, with more than 100,000 devices under management for 21,000 customers in 140 countries.

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SoftLayer’s Footprint

SoftLayer operates a global footprint of 13 data centers and 17 network points-of-presence around the world, filled with servers, storage, routers, firewalls and load balancers. Its underlying software platform provides a complete operating system for the data center that automates every aspect of infrastructure as a service.

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SoftLayer Platform

SoftLayer provides a global, interconnected platform that meets the key operational and economic requirements of cloud users across a broad portfolio of infrastructure—dedicated and shared devices, physical and virtual servers, hourly compute instances and four-way, octo-core bare metal, along with a wealth of storage, networking and security components.

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SoftLayer Triple-Network Architecture

IBM has made a significant investment at SoftLayer in building a network of networks. When one data center fails, SoftLayer offers clients more choices to put backup infrastructure via its high-speed global network to make sure backups can come on line without interference from the public internet.

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Cloud Leadership

IBM claims to support 30 percent more of most popular Websites in the world than any of its competitors. At Pulse 2014, IBM will offer details on its cloud leadership, the company said.

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Cloud Analytics

One way IBM offers analytics via the cloud is with its cloud-based Digital Analytics Benchmark, which is used to analyze holiday shopping trends for the retail industry. For the benchmark, IBM gathers data on consumer shopping trends from 800 retail sites.

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Industry-Specific Cloud Services

To jump-start a client's deployment to the cloud, IBM is developing a catalog of pre-integrated solutions that address priority business needs industry by industry, while making the cloud easier to adopt and consume for line-of-business leaders. For instance, IBM consultants have developed the Insurance Service Hub Cloud, a communication platform on the cloud that connects health insurance companies with multiple data providers such as clinics and physicians, as well as customers via their mobile devices.

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Financial Commitment to Cloud Keeps Growing

IBM SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby examines servers at the IBM SoftLayer data center in Dallas. IBM announced it is committing more than $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global network of cloud data centers.

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