What does the "Blue Cloud" look like? There have been times when IBM's vision for cloud computing seemed diffuse, largely because Big Blue has so many points of entry. IBM sells servers and software, builds data centers, and provides consulting services. The company also had to consider the issue of whether it might wind up competing with its customers. As a result, IBM's early efforts in the cloud didn't align neatly with the most visible examples of the genre, such as Amazon Web Services or Salesforce.com.
This week IBM is rolling out new products that begin to bring some definition to its cloud computing roadmap. IBM is offering several services enabling public cloud computing. But Big Blue's sharpest focus is on the private cloud, which presents an opportunity to sell hardware and software rather than monthly subscriptions.
Here's what IBM is announcing:
Public Cloud: IBM can run your application testbed in its public cloud today, and will soon offer a subscription service to host virtual desktops in its data centers. The IBM Smart Business Test Cloud Services taps into, while the upcoming IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud will establish a beachhead for expected future growth in enterprise desktop virtualization as a service delivery strategy.
IBM projects that the Smart Business Test Cloud can potentially save clients as much as 50 to 75 percent on capital and licensing expenses, and as much as 30 to 50 percent on operating and labor costs through automated provisioning and configuration of virtualized test resources.
Private Cloud: IBM CloudBurst provides customers with a private cloud in a single 42U rack for about $200,000. It can be paired with the previously-announced Websphere CloudBurst Appliance, which comes pre-loaded with images for quickly deploying application environments based on IBM's WebSphere software.
The basic CloudBurst package includes:
- 1 42U rack
- 1 BladeCenter Chassis
- 1 3650M2 Management Server, 8 cores, 24GB Ram
- 1 HS22 CloudBurst Management Blade, 8 cores, 48GB RAM
- 3 managed HS22 blades, 8 cores, 48GB RAM
- DS3400 FC attached storage
- IBM CloudBurst service management pack
- IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager v7.1
- IBM Tivoli Monitoring v6.2.1
- IBM Systems Director 6.1.1 with Active Energy Manager; IBM ToolsCenter 1.0; IBM DS Storage Manager for DS4000 v10.36; LSI SMI-S provider for DS3400
- VMware VirtualCenter 2.5 U4; VMware ESXi 3.5 U4 hypervisor
IBM offers financing as well as a "quick start" service to help customers get up and running. CloudBurst also integrates with IBM Smart Business Test Cloud, allowing CloudBurst users to easily create a hybrid setup where they test apps on a cloud in an IBM data centers and then bring them onto an in-house CloudBurst cloud for production deployment.