Back in February, IBM released Rational AppScan 7.8, an application management system that enables Web services to be secure and regulations-compliant. Alongside the new Rational AppScan OnDemand, this service software ensures that Web services are monitored on a continuous basis and provide IT managers with ongoing security analysis.
Using this catalog, users can get a custom private cloud built by IBM, get started immediately on building their own cloud with IBM CloudBurst or choose to receive standardized cloud services from the existing IBM cloud.
IBM also is providing optional virtual desktops, which use about two-thirds less power than traditional desktops and laptops and are much lighter loads for servers to handle.
IBM offers two options in this realm: the IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud, which is a cloud service delivered via the client's own infrastructure and data center; and the IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud, which is delivered via IBM's own public cloud.
IBM: Listening, learning for two years
"Since their announcement of Project Blue Cloud a year and a half ago, IBM has been doing nothing but listening and learning. And this [represents] the first fruits of that," James Staten, Forrester Research principal analyst for IT Infrastructure, told eWEEK. "We think they actually got it right."
IBM now understands what a cloud solution is and what an enterprise needs it to do, Staten said.
"These are just 1.0 offerings, but they're correct in understanding the solution," Staten said. "The first real toe-in-the-water effort by any enterprise is going to be tied to [development]. IT operations, the central guys who run the data center, don't like the fact that their 'innovative' developers are bypassing them and going to use public cloud resources. They want to offer something as an alternative to that, but it has to meet their security [requirements] and pass all their processes and procedures."
IBM understands this, so it has two offerings, the first being a hosted cloud with enterprise-level security parameters around it, Staten said.
"It's not that different from some of the others that are available, such as Terramark or Rackspace, but it has the IBM stamp of legitimacy on it," Staten said. "So if you're an IBM customer, or customer of IBM outsourcing, this becomes attractive."
The second option is software development inside the cloud, "which is what the IT ops guys really want: to keep all that development effort staying inside the data center," Staten said. "They just needed something they can deploy quickly that uses the cloud; that's what this CloudBurst thing is all about."
Hewlett-Packard recently launched HP BladeSystem Matrix, a similar set of products and services. "It's all the same components," Staten said. "They just didn't call it 'cloud.'"
For current IBM-Tivoli customers, "this will be really easy to consume," Staten said. "Because they've built a tie-in to Tivoli Provisioning Manager and Tivoli Service Automation Manager, which are at the core. So this is going to become really, really simple.
"If you're a non-IBM shop, this is kind of a nonevent."
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