IBM and Amazon Web Services have partnered to allow developers to use Amazon EC2 to build and run a range of IBM platform technologies, the companies announced today. The new "pay-as-you-go" model provides development and production instances of IBM DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Web Content Management and Novell's SUSE Linux operating system on EC2.
Developers can use their existing IBM licenses on Amazon EC2 or use new Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that IBM is making available at no charge for development and test purposes, enabling software developers to quickly build applications based on IBM software within Amazon EC2. In coming months, Amazon will introduce production AMIs running IBM services, enabling users to purchase these services by the hour.
The agreement with IBM, perhaps the company most identified with corporate IT, is the latest indicator of the growing traction for Amazon's cloud computing platform among enterprise users. The old maxim that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" underscores the significance of the partnership. At a time when many corporate IT departments are debating the merits of cloud computing, the IBM-Amazon partnership is a signal that IBM sees Amazon's public cloud as enterprise ready.
"As someone who once programmed IBM mainframes using 80 column punched cards, this is a pretty exciting announcement," wrote Amazon technology evangelist Jeff Barr. "Questions about commercial software licenses (and their applicability to the cloud) come up at almost every one of my speaking engagements. I'm happy to be able to point to IBM as an example of a software vendor with a licensing model which is cloud-aware and cloud-friendly."
"This relationship with Amazon Web Services provides our customers with a new way to use IBM software and broadens our distribution channels." said Dave Mitchell, Director of Strategy and Emerging Business, IBM Software Group.