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@CloudExpo: Article

IBM Lights Out After Amazon

New infrastructure-as-a-service gamble

Stepping on Dell’s cloud announcement Thursday, IBM said it’s going into the public cloud business sure that it can trump Amazon because it owns the Pied Piper’s flute that enchants business.

IBM needs to step on the gas if it’s going to produce $7 billion-a-year in cloud revenues by 2015 like it promised.

Its new infrastructure-as-a-service gamble of course won’t just compete with Amazon. It’s directed at all the major cloud purveyors like Rackspace, GoGrid, OpSource and Terremark.

The thing it’s going to be hawking is the pay-per-use, multi-tenant IBM SmartCloud, which will come in two versions: Enterprise, which is available now, and the more functional, more secure Enterprise +, which is set to roll out later this year.

IBM sees the Enterprise version, which apparently replaces or expands its existing Red Hat cloudware-based Development and Test Cloud, as being largely for development and testing, which has historically been Amazon’s strength.

Enterprise +, now in pilot, is for production deployment of enterprise applications in a public, private or hybrid cloud and is supposed to let users pick fancier levels of security and isolation; availability and performance; platforms; management and ease of deployment; and payment and billing that suit them best.

Pricing is expected to be higher than Amazon’s although Enterprise is advertised as being 30% cheaper than using conventional environments.



Rapid access, multi-tenant solution scaled and priced based on usage

Enterprise +

Robust multi-tenant solution, including managed services


Ideal for developing and deploying new application designs

Ideal for migration of traditional and higher availability applications

Operating System

Linux, Windows

Windows, Linux, AIX

Management Level

Self-service with advanced premium support

Fully managed





Virtual and some physical

Multiple levels of isolation

Software License

Bring you own/pay as you go/free developer use

IBM provides operating system and tool licenses


Hourly usage-based with reserved options

Monthly usage-based and fixed contract

Besides LotusLive, TivoliLive, Sterling Commerce, IBM Converged Communication Services and other IBM widgetry, IBM means for Enterprise + to run IBM SAP Managed Application Services in Q3. The SAP stuff is supposed to capable of cutting the installation of Oracle or DB2 to 12 minutes down from a day, clone a database in 20 minutes instead of two or three days and install an OS in 30 minutes not a day.

IBM’s own GUI-based Workload Developer software will be used to accelerate cloud deployments: provision all the middleware and application components across multiple servers or hypervisors, instead of configuring each one separately, configure databases, set up security and monitor the stuff.

IBM is coming armed to the party with 45 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Citigroup, State Street, ADP and North Carolina State University organized into a first-of-its-kind Cloud Standard Customer Council (CSCC) under the aegis of the Object Management Group (OMG).

Besides IBM the founders include Rackspace, Software AG, CA Technologies and Kaavo.

The idea is to make the cloud mainstream. It will prioritize interoperability issues such as management, reference architectures, hybrid clouds, security and compliance and come up with user-driven requirements.

It’s gonna tick Microsoft and Amazon off no end that it’s waving around that Open Cloud Manifesto that IBM is understood to have ghost-written a couple of years ago that they rejected as too Blue.

Anyway, apparently the CSCC means to produce standards roadmaps and white papers and interface with the Distributed Management Task Force, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the Open Group, where IBM recently deposited a Reference Architecture for Cloud Computing.

Membership is free to users; vendors can join as sponsors. See www.cloud- council.org.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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