IBM Launches Smart Public Cloud Platform for Business

IBM introduces a new enterprise cloud computing offering aimed at businesses that will help enable Big Blue to meet its projections of $7 billion in revenue from the cloud by 2015.

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.