IBM Delivers New Solutions for Enterprise Cloud Shift

At its Pulse 2012 conference, IBM introduced a series of new offerings to address the emerging shift in enterprise cloud adoption.

LAS VEGAS€”IBM (NYSE: IBM) has introduced new software that addresses what Big Blue has identified as the next shift in enterprise cloud adoption.

At its Pulse 2012 conference here, IBM unveiled new SmartCloud solutions as well as software to extend its secure cloud management capabilities to mobile devices and physical assets. The new technology represents advancement in the level of visibility, control and automation for organizations to securely manage and deploy cloud services, IBM said.

"This year at Pulse we placed a big focus on where our clients are rapidly heading€”the convergence of the cloud with the proliferation of mobile," said Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing at IBM Tivoli, speaking at an event announcing IBM's new offerings. Hebner added that when he speaks of "mobile" he is not just talking about laptops, tablets and smartphones, but TVs and embedded systems in cars, trains, planes and other areas.

"Mobility is the top driver of cloud computing," Hebner said. "It's a fundamental cost statement; it's about lowering cost. And speed of delivery is the next phase of the cloud€”the speed with which you can get out new products and services."

"Cloud computing and mobility are forcing enormous change," said Jamie Thomas, vice president of strategy and development at IBM Tivoli. Cloud and mobile, along with smarter physical infrastructures and security, are key driving factors of a fundamental transformation of IT, Thomas said. "Security is the glue that allows us to create an effective Smarter Planet solution," she added.

Hebner cited a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study that found that 90 percent of organizations expect to adopt or substantially deploy a cloud model in the next three years. As organizations take the next step beyond virtualized data centers and expand their cloud environments, they are faced with what has become known as "virtual image sprawl," according to the study.

Virtual images are typically between 5 to 20 gigabytes in size. Multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having 5,000 to 20,000 virtual machines€”making it costly and challenging for IT managers who are tasked with improving service levels.

"Virtual images are tripling every two years, outpacing the doubling in compute power and essentially flat IT budgets," said Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM Tivoli Software, in a statement. "With current operating practices, every two years, you'd need 1.5 times the physical infrastructure to support cloud and twice the labor. That's an unsustainable cost and management problem which is the exact opposite of the promise of cloud. We are delivering a much higher level of control over cloud service delivery allowing our customers to quickly, easily and affordably move to higher levels of value beyond virtualization."

IBM said enterprises need to exert the same control over the virtualized, distributed world as they would exert over prior models of IT. IBM's new offerings address these issues. The new IBM SmartCloud Control Desk provides organizations with the ability to maintain configuration integrity in response to planned changes and unplanned incidents and problems occurring across a complex IT landscape to ensure continuity of service, speed of response and efficiency of management.

"The IBM SmartCloud Control Desk is to manage and control the proliferation of cloud services across you enterprise," Hebner said. "It helps control a post-deployment environment of cloud services."