IBM Acquires Managed Private OpenStack Cloud Startup Blue Box

Blue Box offers managed private cloud hosted on-premise

Jason Verge

June 4, 2015

2 Min Read
IBM Acquires Managed Private OpenStack Cloud Startup Blue Box
A symbolic data cloud is seen at the IBM stand at the 2014 CeBIT technology Trade fair on March 10, 2014 in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT is the world’s largest technology fair and the year’s partner nation was Great Britain. (Photo by Nigel Treblin/Getty Images)

IBM this week acquired Blue Box, a managed private cloud provider built on OpenStack. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Seattle-based cloud provider simplifies private cloud for enterprises by offering it as a managed service. Its turnkey private clouds are hosted in customers' data centers but managed by Blue Box, similar to Cisco’s Metacloud. Blue Box gives IBM capabilities to deliver public cloud-like experience within a data center of the client's choice.

Blue Box supports managed infrastructure services across hybrid cloud environments and IBM’s Platform-as-a-Service called Bluemix. Customers gain simplified and consistent access to infrastructure in whatever setup they want (local, dedicated, public cloud, etc.). It also provides a single management tool for OpenStack-based private clouds regardless of where they reside.

IBM will continue to support Blue Box clients and will further their technology. Blue Box clients may also leverage other IBM services, while IBM clients now gain a new private cloud option.

“Together, we will deliver the technology and products businesses need to give their application developers an agile, responsive infrastructure across public and private clouds,” said Blue Box Founder and CTO Jesse Proudman in a press release. “This acquisition signals the beginning of new OpenStack options delivered by IBM. Now is the time to arm customers with more efficient development, delivery and lower cost solutions than they've seen thus far in the market.”

If a company does something well when it comes to private OpenStack clouds, chances are a big technology company will scoop it up. The acquisition is the latest example of consolidation and shake up in the private OpenStack cloud space, which is becoming less of its own space, and more part of a wider portfolio as the tech giants build out their cloud offerings.

Cisco acquired Piston Cloud Computing this week and Metaloud late last year. After private OpenStack cloud provider Nebula went defunct, its engineers found a home at Oracle in a quick fashion.

Enterprises often want different types of clouds – secure, managed private cloud for some workloads, unmanaged and/or public for others. Providers like Blue Box, while innovative, don’t offer the full spectrum. It often means an enterprise either has to seek out several vendors and relationships or turn to a service provider or technology vendor with diverse offerings or partnerships in place to meet needs.

Gartner forecasted that over 70 percent of enterprises would be pursuing a hybrid strategy this year in a Gartner Data Conference Poll presented in October.

IBM continues to stick to its game plan regarding cloud, and it appears to be working. It’s cloud revenue across public, private and hybrid environments was $7.7 billion in the twelve months ending in March.

This acquisition, as well as other recent cloud moves, are in a bid to help customers put data in whatever setup they want easily, as well as to let them migrate to different setups easily.

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