IBM Readies Partners for New Public, Private Cloud Portfolio

IBM this week fleshed out its SmartCloud public and private cloud portfolio and said it is enabling its wide network of partners to deliver its cloud products and services.

Big Blue said it is allowing its partners to white-label the company's crop of public and private cloud offerings. "We have a big focus on working with our partners to build services that we can help provide to clients," said Scott Hebner, vice president of market strategy at IBM Tivoli.

Announced at IBM's Cloud Forum in New York on Wednesday, IBM said it is looking to capture what it predicts will be a growing base of enterprise customers looking to move to the cloud.

In an IBM survey of 500 enterprise IT and business executives, 33 percent have deployed more than one cloud pilot to date, a figure poised to double by 2014. The survey also found that 40 percent see the cloud as bringing "substantial change" to their IT environments. IBM said it will be supporting 200 million users in the cloud by the end of 2012.

"It's clear to us [that] what we're seeing is a fundamental transformation of how our clients are trying to change the economics of their IT environment and speed the delivery of new, innovative products and services," Hebner said.

On the public cloud front, IBM plans to launch a Platform as a Service (PaaS) called SmartCloud Application Services, which will consist of a managed services offering that will provide application infrastructure. The service will offer application lifecycle management, application integration and the ability to manage applications in the hosted environment.

The new PaaS offering, due to go into beta later this quarter, will run atop IBM's Smart Cloud Enterprise and Enterprise+, the company's public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings announced in April. IBM this week announced the commercial availability of the IaaS offerings in the United States with full global availability slated for the end of 2012.

IBM said it will allow its partners to offer SmartCloud Enterprise+ in the first half of next year.

Building on its private cloud portfolio, IBM launched its SmartCloud Foundation, for customers looking to build and operate cloud infrastructures internally. The company introduced three offerings:

  • SmartCloud Entry: A starter kit that allows organizations to build private clouds running on standard x86 or IBM's Power processor-based infrastructure. The modular offering lets organizations scale as demand for capacity increases.

  • SmartCloud Provisioning: Software consisting of a provisioning engine and an image management platform that can spin more than 4,000 virtual machines in under an hour, IBM said.

  • SmartCloud Monitoring: A tool that provides views of virtual and physical environments, including storage, networks and servers. It offers predictive and historical analytics designed to warn IT admins of potential outages.

IBM also announced the availability of its SAP Managed Application Services. Announced back in April, the service will allow for the automated provisioning and management of SAP environments.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.