IBM recently announced a set of software products to enable organizations to build their own private clouds and highlighted a previously announced a set of integrated BladeCenter configurations to make those software components easy to acquire, install and put to work. Let's look at the two announcements separately.
IBM SmartCloud Foundation is a set of software products to ease the provisioning, management, and deployment of cloud environments for virtual servers based upon IBM's System X and Power host systems. The packages include IBM SmartCloud Entry, SmartCloud Provisioning, and SmartCloud Management. The SmartCloud Foundation makes it possible for organizations to allow business units or departments to create their own highly manageable, reliable virtual images or workloads. The SmartCloud tools offer a number of analytical tools for capacity planning and determine the best placement of individual virtual servers to achieve high levels of performance. The tools also offer improved levels of security for virtual resources. With its own Self Service portal and metering, SmartCloud Foundation is robust cloud technology put within easy reach.
IBM SmartCloud Provisioning is an offering designed to help organizations to very quickly provision and scale to a large number of images. This offering supports a broad range of virtual machine software products (hypervisors), servers, storage and networking systems. Tools to assist organizations in converting from one platform to another are also provided. SmartCloud Provisioning enables automated recovery from failures. It also provides the tools for virtual image protection and patching to assure regulatory and business policy compliance
IBM SmartCloud Monitoring is an offering designed to provide a unified management layer for a heterogeneous mixture of hardware and software platforms. The tool also makes it possible for IT and business policies to be monitored to ensure compliance. Predictive analytics are also offered to evaluate trending and historical operational data and then make suggestions on how to optimize the environment.
Three different configurations of the IBM BladeCenter Foundation for Cloud were presented. The idea was to make it easy for small, medium and large organizations to build their own cloud. Each of the configurations come prepackaged in their own rack, include the necessary management server, keyboard, monitor, cables and small-form pluggable fibre channel connectors (SFP).
Let's look at them separately:
Configurations based upon other virtualization products can be expected in the future based upon customer demand.
While I was at DEC, the goal was offering pre-packaged Intel/UNIX server configurations to support database, accounting and collaborative workloads. As far as I know, this effort was one of the first to package all of the hardware, software and services to deploy a specific workload. DEC exhaustively tested the configurations and knew that the appropriate amount of memory, storage and networking capacity were included.
IBM appears to be using a similar approach for cloud computing. The software and hardware products have all been pre-packaged and pre-tested to support the type of cloud computing functions customers and partners might need. This approach should assure very quick installation of reliable, supportable configurations.
IBM appears to be on the right track with these software and hardware products.