IBM expands cloud portfolio, launches SmartCloud

Summary:IBM will outline plans for its next-generation cloud platform---and effort dubbed SmartCloud. IBM's aim is to move beyond experimentation and push more enterprises to cloud computing.

IBM on Thursday will outline plans for its next-generation cloud platform---and effort dubbed SmartCloud. IBM's aim is to move beyond experimentation and push more enterprises to public cloud computing.

The company is holding a cloud powwow in San Francisco to highlight best practices from a bevy of cloud customers.

Of course, IBM's motive is to build its cloud platform based on its hardware, software and services. However, Big Blue's SmartCloud platform is in pilots with customers and will be available for a full roll-out later this year. For IBM, the move marks its leap into public clouds.

In a nutshell, enterprises will be able to pick and choose public, private and hybrid cloud characteristics to match requirements. These selections will revolve around security, availability and performance, technology platforms, support and billing. IBM's message is that it has been a cloud player for a while, the technology is ready for mass adoption and that it's a step ahead of rivals.

SmartCloud builds on IBM's existing public cloud service and the next-gen offerings come in two flavors: Enterprise and Enterprise +. The latter choice will offer more support, security, application management and manageability found in a private data center.

Here's the breakdown between Enterprise and Enterprise +:

  • Enterprise expands IBM's development and test cloud for rapid provisioning. This version is available now.
  • Enterprise + will come later this year and will feature multi-tenant services for virtual server, storage, networking and security.

Other odds and ends worth noting:

  • IBM launched Workload Deployer, which allows customers to provision applications and middleware from one platform.
  • A cloud standards council that features IBM and 40 large enterprises such as ADP, Lockheed Martin and others to work through interoperability problems.
  • The company's social business effort added new customers such as American Airlines, Costco and Frito Lay.

Related:

IBM's Steven Mills on trophy acquisitions, Watson's future, analytics

Topics: IBM, Hardware, Security, Servers, Virtualization

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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