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IBM Offers Platform for Diving Into the Cloud

IBM Offers Platform for Diving Into the Cloud

IBM wants to make it easy for companies to jump into the cloud in one "burst," so to speak. It's offering an integrated set of tools and services that let companies create cloud environments for the accomplishment of specific tasks -- say building test beds for software development.

By Erika Morphy E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
06/15/09 2:43 PM PT

IBM had added a new service-and-hardware offering to its cloud computing repertoire. The bundle targets users seeking a single jumping-off point for deployment of a cloud environment focused on a discrete task, such as a test bed for application development.

IBM CloudBurst is a set of preintegrated hardware, storage, virtualization and networking tools that come with with a built-in service management system. It's an easy, one-off deployment to help companies get started on a particular project, IBM's Ric Telford, VP of cloud services, told the E-Commerce Times.

"It comes preloaded with a control blade that has four expandable additional blades that can also be used right away in a dynamic cloud delivery model," said Telford. "Companies can grow from there, adding more capacity to their chassis as their cloud computing needs dictate."

Running in Days

One of the top client uses projected for CloudBurst is building test beds, Telford noted. "Companies want to be able to build something like this without a big headache, and then get a quick ROI. They want to have it running up in days."

IBM already offers a raft of cloud computing services -- most of which are aimed at large enterprises with substantial investment capabilities.

IBM has incorporated the knowledge store it developed with earlier client deployments into the CloudBust offering, Telford said. "We have developed our best practices into standardized prepackaged offerings, based on what we see are a common set of needs for our clients."

IBM does well in tracking the demand drivers in the cloud computing market, Charles King, principal with Pund-IT, told the E-Commerce Times.

"What I found interesting about CloudBurst is that it arose out of research that IBM did with some customers," King recalled. "That was how it realized there was a need for end test environments for a cloud system solution. So it went out and built this."

Small Universe

Despite the hype that's enveloping the cloud computing space, there is just a small number of vendors providing infrastructure-based products such as CloudBurst for small-sized companies, King noted.

"What we have seen is large-scale infrastructure plays based on this idea of the cloud being the data center of future," he said

CloudBurst does not necessarily have to remain a one-off play for its users, King added. "There is no reason why this initial solution couldn't be incorporated into a larger cloud."


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