IBM Announces OpenStack Cloud, Boosting Open Cloud Momentum

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IBM has moved into open cloud architecture with a new service based on OpenStack, the company said yesterday.

Technology industry heavyweight IBM announced its move into open cloud architecture, which includes a new cloud offering based on the open-source cloud OS, OpenStack. IBM had joined the OpenStack community last year, but this was its first announcement of bringing a OpenStack-based service to market.

“History has shown that standards and open source are hugely beneficial to end customers and are a major catalyst for innovation,” said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software. “Just as standards and open source revolutionized the Web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing. IBM has been at the forefront of championing standards and open source for years, and we are doing it again for cloud computing. The winner here will be customers, who will not find themselves locked into any one vendor — but be free to choose the best platform based on the best set of capabilities that meet their needs.”

IBM said that its move towards industry-wide open standards for cloud computing will allow businesses to take full advantage of the opportunities associated with interconnected data, such as mobile computing and big data.

Big Blue’s move was not unexpected, but nonetheless significant. Here’s a look at the notable analysis and commentary from around the web:

IBM Makes a Big Bet on OpenStack in the Cloud – From AllThingsD: “Ann Winblad, a venture capitalist and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, a firm that has had a long-term investment interest in open source software and open standards, and has backed companies like Plumgrid and Sonatype, says that OpenStack has essentially become the operating system for the cloud. “I think the trend here is that OpenStack has won the race to become the standard, and it has done it rapidly,” Winblad said. “We’ve made some investments around the software-defined data center, and OpenStack is a key component. It is the OS for the cloud.”

IBM builds next-gen cloud control freak on OpenStack - From The Register: “…the company’s top cloud brass said that OpenStack will be the foundation of its SmartCloud tools for creating private and public clouds – including the public cloud by the same name that IBM runs on behalf of customers.”

IBM Leads Open Source Cloud Flotilla Against Amazon - From Seeking Alpha: “It’s strange to see IBM as being the underdog in any fight, but super-aggressive price-cutting by Amazon.com (AMZN) has kept that company well ahead in the market for public cloud services. Now, in an unsurprising move, IBM has publicly announced its intention to fight Amazon with “standards,” in this case the open source Open Stack cloud infrastructure.”

Finally: IBM drops the other OpenStack shoe – From GigaOm: “While it’s hardly surprising that IBM would make use of all these open source goodies it’s been working with, the news is … a big deal. In theory this means big cloud buyers will be able to mix and match cloud workloads among and between various OpenStack providers including IBM competitor Hewlett-Packard, Rackspace, Red Hat and others.”

IBM says OpenStack will be central to its future cloud strategy – From Network World: “Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of middleware software for IBM, says there’s a lot of talk about the debate between public and private clouds, but he believes customers will more likely end up using both in a hybrid world. Open source tools, like OpenStack, he says are critical for supporting common platforms that span public and private clouds, which is why the company plans to’”fully adopt OpenStack in our products and services,’ he says. “That could be somewhat of an issue though: The basis of IBM’s cloud strategy is SmartCloud, which combines a pay-as-you-go public cloud offering, with components for customers to launch a private cloud or have dedicated hosted infrastructure, along with even a platform as a service (PaaS) offering, according to the company’s website. IBM developed SmartCloud before OpenStack was founded two and a half years ago though, so LeBlanc said SmartCloud is not running on OpenStack at this point. Will it in the future? ‘We’re on a continual journey,’ LeBlanc said about integrating OpenStack into the SmartCloud Platform. ‘But we think this is a major step in that journey.’”

About the Author

Colleen Miller is a journalist and social media specialist. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, with her most recent work dedicated to the online space. Colleen covers the data center industry, including topics such as modular, cloud and storage/big data.

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