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IBM accelerates Blue Cloud

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Still beeing in Las Vegas after 3 interesting days at IBM’s Tivoli Pulse 2009 <LINK>, I want give you some thoughs on IBM’s cloud strategy. Attending only one Session on Clouds (Manageing Clouds), I got the impression, that clouds are not a big deal, if you stick with IBM.

After months of rumors on “Blue Cloud offerings”, they unveiled their strategy and showed that using IBM Tivoli products can help you setting up a complete privat, public or mixed offering. Based on the characteristices of Cloud computing:

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-          Elastic Scaling

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-          Rapid provisioning

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-          Resource Abstraction

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-          Flexible pricing

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IBM has almost everything in place to set up a cloud offering: Ranging from Virtualization and Provisioning, over open Standards for SOA and Information management up to a complete IT Service Management solution (based on IBM Tivoli), that monitors and controls the processes around the offering. Sounds quite easy, doesn’t it.

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IBM is pushing pressure on the competition on the cloud front. To emphasize this, they also start a new offering based on AWS EC2 to provide parts of their Software portfolio (DB2 and Informix Databases, as well as Webshere Portal and Middleware) to customers on a On-demand pricing model <LINK>. This offering might be used for setting up rapid test and developments environments. Dana Gardner has more on this topic <LINK>.

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This step is kind of suprising, because some people might have though, that Big Blue was going to have a competing offer for public clouds. I think that this step proves, that IBM won’t battle Google and Amazon, instead they are focussing on Enterprises. This is what their customers demand.

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In combination with these releases, IBM also presented a bunch of customers for their offerings <LINK>, to prove that their offering are real.

So it seems, that cloud computing could be quite easy, if you have a good set of products and some good, strategic partners. Let’s wait and see.

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Category: Clouds, Green IT | Comments Off | Autor: roland

How many clouds will we see in the future?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

In the keynote at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, Gartner VP Thomas Bittman predicted that ‘cloud computing will eventually support thousands of specialized providers, with services being put together like Lego blocks’ <READHERE>. My guess is that Mr. Bittman tried to say, that cloud computing will intrinsically tied to Saas. But is that true? Let’s first discuss what the point with cloud computing is. Is it just a new buzzword for modern service providers with very flexible provisioning features and/or highly distributed high capacity datacenters? Or is it a new computing paradigm, enabling users to write applications capable dealing with thousand times higher computing capacity, like Google asks students promoting their cloudy mindset <HERE>. So whats the point?

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The close relationship between Clouds and SOA is common sense (see interview with IBM Autonomics director <HERE>). That may be the reason, why all big IT vendors like IBM, HP, Microsoft, Novell and thelike  have broadened their portfolios in the past few years and will be able to not only offer platforms for building service enabled applications, but are also providing/buying technology for automating data center management and provisioning.

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So managing clouds is the new Infrastructure paradigm (vs. on-premise or ’serverhugging’), while SOA might be the new application development paradigm (vs. ERP dinosaurs)? If it was that simple, then we probably will have thousands of providers, providing 2nd Tier service offerings and several large scale 1st Tier infrastructure providers offering cheap and enormous computing power.

Even if I haven’t looked into topics like security or IAM, the paradigm shift may be a long way, thinking of todays heterogenous computing landscape. Key to success might be the possibility to be able to provision, manage and support large scale (utility) systems. For that reasons I’m really glad to work in the interesting area of ITSM, BSM and Automation <RELATED_READING>, which definitly will be the key to the future.

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Category: Clouds, Saas | Comments (2) | Autor: roland

Cloudy utility-grids

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

I’m glad, that I’m not the only one who was getting confused about this ‘game-changing’ topics when reading sentences like

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‘IBM today unveiled Blue Cloud, a utility computing initiative designed to help customers run efficient grid-based platforms in enterprise data centers.’

This is the introductionary phrase of a datacenterknowledge.com article <READIT> from last year about IBMs ‘Blue cloud’ press release. Grid, Utility and Clouds plus datacenters in one sentence is quite a challange today, where new players and commenters are popping every day. In Dells cloud blog, Jimmy Pike tries to give a definition on these three important 2008 buzzwords <READIT>. After first beeing sceptic about the definitions, I partly changed my mind. I’d put more emphasis on “Utility computing” beeing not only an idea, but more kind of marketing buzz. And I wouldn’t call clouds beeing a subset of grids.

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So what is the point? How are grids and clouds working together?

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Does a cloud have to be a grid

?

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like John Willis asks <HERE>. The answers is definitely no

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.

As far as my research goes at this point, gr

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are more focussing on the hardware, the platforms, the interoperatbility between some or many or vaste number of systemes to provide ‘Internet scale’ computing power. The term ‘grid’ is describing more or less an architectural pattern.

Clouds

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are more focussing on the delivery of computing services. It’s about APIs, payments and so on. Clouds are can

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be based on computing grids, but can also have a different system architecture like seti@HOME (p2p clouds).

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IBMs press kit <SEEHERE> for the Blue cloud press release adds some more interesting points about to the discussion

IBM today unveiled plans around cloud computing, a revolutionary approach to computing that will allow corporate data centers to act with the efficiency of the Internet. IBM’s commitment to cloud computing echoes another major commitment to computing the company made in 2000 when it announced its support of Linux.

So here we learn from IBM: Clouds are about ‘internet’, ‘data centers’ and ‘computing’, which sounds like defining a new computing paradigm:

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over Client Server to Web based and cloud

I’ll come back to point, I promise.

Roland

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Category: Clouds | Comments Off | Autor: roland

IBM vs Google? Will this be the next big war?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Commodity hardware vs. high tech. This is seems to be the baseline. While Google has shown that commodity hardware using the ‘right’ OS and architecture is able to outperform everything else, IBM entered the battlefield about six months ago <ARTICLE_READWRITEWEB>. They even teamed up with google to <PRESSRELEASE_IBM> to provide cloud developement facilities to US universities. But what’s IBMs goal? Just to be on the field? No. IBM has several handicaps compared to Google. They have a long history and many customers putting pressure on them, so It’s not just “here’s our new cloud plattform – just use and pay”. Instead IBM has a long track record in developing and selling hardware from a to z – or was it System i to System z :-) , so they want to take their customer base with them to the new age. While ‘newcomers’ like Google and Amazon attract young companies and early adopters, traditional player like IBM need to take care of corporate customers and the masses. And maybe they are working on preparing the public for several years now with their “On-Demand-Computing” campaign? Who knows?

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So probably, there will not be a big war, It’s more like sharing the cake.

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Roland

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Category: Clouds | Comments (1) | Autor: roland