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Microservices Expo: Article

SK Telecom Builds Cloud Computing Platform with IBM

IBM Smart Business Test Cloud Helps Company Deliver "Apps" Faster

Oracle Keynote at Cloud Expo

IBM announced that it has successfully built Korea's first cloud computing environment for a private sector company, SK Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in Korea with over 24 million customers.

The cloud environment provides developers with the necessary software and hardware to develop applications that will allow SK Telecom to offer up to 20 new services to their customers by the end of 2009, such as sports news feeds and a photo service.

The IBM-built cloud environment will allow SK Telecom and its business partners to more quickly develop, test and publish new end-user services.

The new cloud environment delivers the following business and technology benefits: 

  • all the servers, storage and middleware required for application development on a secure, stable environment
  • low up front costs and reduced investment risks of mobile content developers
  • faster time to market and decreased barriers to entry of new services

"Our efforts to develop services with IBM and other partners reflect the latest trends in Web 2.0, which will ultimately enhance our customers' experience," said Jong-tae Ihm, senior vice president and head of SK Telecom's Data Network Office. "Together with venture capital firms our aim is to create new business opportunities by rapidly commercializing the ideas of content developers, further advancing the development of the Information and Communication Technology industry."

SK Telecom also operates a Research & Development Test Bed for developing and testing cloud computing technologies. By the end of 2009 the SK Telecom plans to accommodate more than 20 services for NATE, SK Telecom's Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Portal and in the coming years says it hopes to extend its entire IT infrastructure to the cloud model. This will in turn enhance the competitiveness of the cloud industry and foster business partnerships and cooperation.

"With this new environment SK Telecom will lead in innovation by offering IT infrastructure for software developers through a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model," said Kang-yoon Lee, head of IBM's Cloud Computing Center in Korea. "We believe this project will be a model example in how enterprises in Korea and worldwide can leverage the cloud environment to support business requirements in continual change."

For this project IBM Korea worked jointly with SK Telecom to develop the entire cloud environment - from concept planning to hardware and software selection and implementation. The cloud includes 80 systems, comprised of both System x and blade servers, Xen virtualization technology and IBM middleware and service management technology. Service management is a key to any successful enterprise cloud computing project as it orchestrates hundreds -- even thousands -- of services in a workload-optimized fashion, maximizing efficiency of the system overall. SK Telecom is using IBM's Tivoli Service Automation Manager to enable software to be leased and installed seamlessly, and virtual machines provisioned accordingly. In planning the cloud architecture, SK Telecom also utilized implementation services and operation process consulting from IBM Global Technology Services. through to implementation services and operation process consulting.

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