SmartCloud takes IBM into private and hybrid clouds

The Enterprise and higher-tier Enterprise + services are aimed at companies wanting to move application development to the cloud, with virtual server, storage and security capabilities to follow
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

IBM has unveiled SmartCloud, a bundle of services that lets companies deploy analytics and business applications, virtual servers, storage and testing tools to the cloud.

SmartCloud, announced on Thursday, is an extension of IBM's existing public cloud into the realms of IBM kit-based private and hybrid clouds, using the company's various datacentres spread around the world.

"We are committed to helping clients both extend their IT investments and become leading providers of cloud-based business process services in their own industries," said IBM software and systems chief Steve Mills in a statement. "We have a track record of helping clients safely embrace and accelerate enterprise adoption of new models and technologies — from e-business to Linux and open source — and we're doing it now for [the] cloud."

SmartCloud comes in two versions: Enterprise, which is aimed at those wanting to move application development into the cloud, and Enterprise +, which adds virtual server, storage and security infrastructure management capabilities.

Enterprise + runs on IBM's AIX operating system, in addition to the Linux and Windows OSes supported by Enterprise. Enterprise is self-service and offers 99.5 percent availability, while the higher-tier service is fully managed and promises 99.9 percent availability.

We are committed to helping clients both extend their IT investments and become leading providers of cloud-based business process services in their own industries.
– Steve Mills, IBM

SmartCloud Enterprise is available now in the UK, while Enterprise + is scheduled to arrive here later in 2011.

A version of SAP Managed Application Services tailored to SmartCloud is also set for release later this year. According to IBM, the package will reduce the installation time of DB2/Oracle database systems from one day to 12 minutes, and the time needed for database cloning from two or three days to 20 minutes.

It is also possible to deploy Lotus Domino applications to SmartCloud, and IBM has changed the server licensing model for Domino applications to take account of the shift to the cloud.

Workload Deployer

Also on Thursday, IBM announced Workload Deployer, a platform with a web-based user interface that is intended to make it easier to provision middleware and application components to run web workloads in the cloud.

"This will allow businesses to respond quickly to new requests for services from their customers and rapidly deploy new applications," the company said. In an example given by IBM, Workload Deployer could, through its automated deployment and maintenance functionality, be used to help a retailer scale up to meet a holiday-season boost in business.

IBM said it expects to derive $7bn (£4.3bn) from cloud hardware, software and services by 2015.

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