IBM Delivers New SmartCloud Services, Java PaaS

IBM announced a bunch of new cloud services, including a new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering for Java developers, pitting it against Oracle in yet another way.

IBM announced a host of new cloud offerings as part of its IBM SmartCloud initiative, including a new Java platform as a service.

Big Blue announced new cloud services and software to provide choice, security and portability for enterprises as they shift workloads to the cloud and use it as a platform for business.

IBM said it plans to support about 200 million users by the end of 2012 as clients shift core applications and processes to the IBM SmartCloud. Specifically, IBM is launching:

  • IBM SmartCloud Application Services: A new platform as a service that will give enterprises the cost and time savings of a cloud environment for a wide range of enterprise applications while maintaining a high level of control and security over deployment and access.
  • IBM SmartCloud Foundation: A new portfolio of breakthrough cloud software and hardware that allow enterprises to quickly deploy and control clouds within their own firewalls.
  • IBM SmartCloud Ecosystem: New services for IBM partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) to help thousands of small and midsize business clients adopt cloud models and manage millions of cloud-based transactions by assisting their customers in areas as diverse as banking, communications, health care and government to build their own clouds or securely tap into the IBM SmartCloud.

According to a new IBM survey of more than 500 business and IT leaders, only 33 percent have deployed more than a cloud pilot today, but that number is expected to more than double in the next three years. By 2015, 40 percent of the respondents say the cloud will bring "substantial change" and 30 percent say the cloud will drive the invention of business models and revenue streams.

"Enterprise clients are much more conservative because their revenue, reputation and supply chain are closely related to the performance and security of their infrastructure," said Erich Clementi, senior vice president at IBM, in a statement. "Our focus with SmartCloud will bring the benefits of this model in a way that supports enterprise-level service, leverages existing investments and opens new doors to productivity and innovation."

IBM launched a new version of its public cloud for the enterprise, the IBM SmartCloud, with new services including a platform as a service designed to meet the needs of enterprise application development, deployment and management on the cloud.

Available in beta in the fourth quarter, IBM SmartCloud Application Services will offer enterprise-grade security, open Java and cross-platform support with no vendor lock-in, and a comprehensive set of application infrastructure and managed services to enable development and deployment of applications to the cloud.

This new Java PaaS puts IBM directly against arch rival Oracle, which, as owner of the Java platform, launched its own Java PaaS offering at the Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne conference in San Francisco on Oct. 5.

The Application Services will run on IBM's SmartCloud Enterprise and Enterprise+--the company's enterprise class infrastructure as a platform--specifically designed to run enterprise workloads, at committed business centric service level agreements

IBM SmartCloud Application Services include application lifecycle, resources, environments, management and integration services.

Also, a key enhancement to the SmartCloud includes new services for automating the most common labor intensive tasks associated with managing SAP environments in the cloud. The SmartCloud for SAP Applications taps IBM's experience in managing more than 1.5 million users of SAP to significantly reduce the cost and labor associated with SAP cloning, refreshes and patching.

IBM is also announcing the availability of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ in the United States, with full global deployment planned by the end of 2012. Announced earlier this year, SmartCloud Enterprise+ delivers the cost saving and scalability of a public cloud environment plus the flexibility to "dial-in" the security, existing applications, reliability, management and support services more typical of a private environment. IBM intends to make SCE+ available to qualified IBM Business Partners to resell in the first half of 2012.

IBM is making available a Cloud Migration Service for hosting and application on demand clients in the United States to achieve the benefits of operating on IBM's SmartCloud while minimizing the risk of the transition to cloud delivery.

IBM is announcing the SmartCloud Foundation family of private cloud solutions to help companies quickly design and deploy private cloud environments with a new level of control over cloud service delivery and management. As organizations take the next step beyond virtualized data centers and begin to expand their cloud environments, they are concerned with managing what has become known as "image sprawl."

The SmartCloud Foundation portfolio contains these offerings:

  • IBM SmartCloud Entry solution, delivered by IBM Starter Kit for Cloud, offers the building blocks to create private clouds on virtualized IBM System x and Power Systems hardware. The solution provides simplified initialization and administration for cloud environments on Power and x86 systems, standardization of virtual machines, and improved operations productivity with an easy-to-use, self-service interface. Organizations can also quickly and easily scale to more advanced cloud solutions as business demands and workloads increase.
  • IBM SmartCloud Provisioning software offers a powerful provisioning engine and image management system to dynamically create or provision virtual machines. The software can create hundreds of virtual machines in less than a minutes and scale to more than 4,000 virtual machines in less than an hour.
  • IBM SmartCloud Monitoring applies its industry-leading monitoring expertise to provide greater visibility into the performance of virtual and physical environments: storage, network and server resources.

IBM began its cloud initiative nearly five years ago establishing "Blue Cloud" labs around the world and working with thousands of innovative businesses, governments and universities. Cloud is now a core growth area for IBM, expected to drive $7 billion in revenue by 2015 in hardware, software and services.

In September, IBM announced new cloud offerings that will help organizations respond automatically to shifting consumer and business market trends with new solutions for commerce as a service and social media marketing with technologies from key acquisitions such as Unica, Coremetrics and Sterling Commerce combined with IBM research and development.

Known as Smarter Commerce on the Cloud, IBM is already working with hundreds of leading companies such as Autotrader, Danone, DBS Bank, Guidewell, McKesson, PETCO, Sears, Staples, Target, True Value, VISA, Whirlpool, Winn-Dixie and many others to transform their marketing, sales, service and supply chain functions.