IBM Named Leader in U.S. Government Private Cloud

On the strength of its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure and Bluemix PaaS offerings, IDC named IBM a leader in the U.S. government private cloud space.

IBM cloud

IDC MarketScape has named IBM as a leader in the analyst firm’s recent U.S. Government Private Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 2014 Vendor Assessment report.

The report, released in November, recognized IBM as a leader in providing the right mix of private, public and hybrid cloud capabilities that are ideal for federal agencies with unique requirements compared to the private sector. According to the report, “this sets IBM SoftLayer up to play a leading role in serving the ‘hybrid/mixed’ cloud requirements of government entities which, to date, have shied away from leveraging public cloud-only offerings.”

According to IDC’s recent federal cloud computing forecast, federal spending on cloud solutions will top $3 billion by the end of 2014, and the federal government is expected to spend more than $9 billion on cloud computing by 2018.

IBM recently opened SoftLayer Federal cloud centers in Ashburn, Va., and Dallas. These centers were built to meet Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads, IBM officials said.

In addition to the SoftLayer cloud centers, IBM also offers its FedRAMP-certified SmartCloud for Government. IBM also built one of the industry's first cloud data centers dedicated to workloads from the Department of Defense at impact levels 3-5 that can handle higher-risk unclassified data. The IBM Cloud Managed Services for Government-Department of Defense (CMS for Defense) is located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in West Virginia, which is owned by the Department of the Navy.

Meanwhile, IDC also singled out IBM’s Bluemix Platform as a Service (PaaS) as a “game changer” for the federal government. Bluemix runs on IBM’s SoftLayer infrastructure and allows for the speedy and agile development of new born-on-the-cloud applications for an increasingly mobile, socially connected and data intensive world.

According to the report, “IBM is on a path to provide services and solutions to all layers of the cloud stack, and that coupled with its deep industry knowledge positions it to deliver innovation for new cloud workloads. IDC believes that this IBM capability, coupled with its strong Bluemix open standards based PaaS environment, which simplifies application development in the cloud, is a game changer.”

IDC said its MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of information and communications technology (ICT) suppliers in a given market.

“The federal government has three priorities when it comes to cloud – security, flexibility and innovation,” said Anne Altman, general manager of U.S. Federal and Government Industries at IBM, in a statement. “Flexibility means a hybrid model with more security, control and ability to balance on-premise, private and public applications. Innovation is what we are offering with our Bluemix platform that allows a broad ecosystem of independent software developers and partners to create apps for citizens, and gives agencies a powerful platform to deliver new services.”

IBM has been leading with Bluemix and SoftLayer as it targets new opportunities with startups and innovative enterprise development shops. In October, IBM brought the power of its cloud platform and Bluemix Platform as a Service (PaaS) to Silicon Alley -- New York City’s tech sector – to help spur the city’s technology ecosystem.

At a ceremony in the city, IBM and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched announced Digital.NYC, an online platform that serves as a centralized hub for the city’s tech ecosystem, providing information and resources to help turn ideas into businesses, deliver tools for digital startups, and connect New Yorkers to opportunities in the City’s technology ecosystem.

“IBM is proud to have a strong partnership with the city of New York, and we are especially honored to help NYC power its digital economy with IBM Cloud and Bluemix,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of Software and Cloud Solutions at IBM. “Adding to New York’s status as the media and financial center of the world, Digital.NYC is designed to bring the city’s dynamic and creative business culture into the cloud, and will help to unleash new innovations which will solidify New York’s status as one of the world’s greatest technology hubs.”

Last month, IBM announced that the latest global analysis from Synergy Research Group ranked IBM as the top hybrid and private cloud provider for the enterprise and positions IBM among the top three providers in the cloud market for the third quarter of 2014.

IBM has been investing heavily in beefing up its cloud infrastructure, including committing $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud footprint. In the third quarter of 2014, IBM reported that cloud revenue was up more than 50 percent year-to-date and that cloud delivered as a service was up 80 percent with a third quarter annual run rate of $3.1 billion. Also, in October IBM announced the biggest win for IBM Cloud to date with SAP selecting IBM as its strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business critical applications.