IBM on Thursday unveiled "Blue Cloud," a corporate cloud computing bundle of services for data centers.
With the move Big Blue is following the path blazed by Amazon and other cloud services. IBM's advantage: It has enterprise relationships in place and may have an edge on other rivals. While Amazon's cloud services now have service level agreements and some corporate adoption, IBM is already entrenched in the enterprise market.
In a statement (Techmeme), IBM said its first Blue Cloud offering will be available in the Spring of 2008. The first service will support Power and x86 processors. Simply put, IBM is looking to use its experience designing huge computing clusters and sell services. The company also noted Blue Cloud is supported "by more than 200 IBM Internet-scale researchers worldwide."
Big Blue, which demonstrated Blue Cloud in Shanghai, said the initiative is based on IBM's Almaden Research Center architecture. Blue Cloud is built on Xen and PowerVM virtualized Linux and a Hadoop parallel workload scheduling. Not too surprisingly, IBM it touting its own software such as Tivoli and its own hardware such as BladeCenters and System z mainframes.
IBM added that Blue Cloud will be used to adopt service oriented architecture, Web 2.0 applications and highlight new technology breakthroughs. The Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology has signed on for a pilot.
More details are in IBM's statement, but the big takeaway is this: The cloud is going corporate. And this enterprise relationship will be built on trust. Don't be surprised if every vendor has its own cloud at some point. That fact will raise some interesting conundrums. Consider the following:
- Do you go with IBM's cloud over Amazon's or Google's?
- What are the SLAs for each cloud?
- How important is trust and an existing relationship?
- Will cloud computing resources be bundled with hardware and services?
- Or will cloud computing power come with an operating system? For instance, Red Hat vs. Microsoft's cloud.
It's still early to ponder the enterprise cloud possibilities, but it can't hurt to mull over the issues. The cloud will be hovering over your corporation shortly.