IBM strengthens its cloud portfolio
IBM has further strengthened its portfolio of cloud solutions, following its announcement last week of a new pricing model for its high-performance cloud storage systems.
Its SoftLayer subsidiary is integrating IBM Power Systems into its cloud infrastructure. In addition, IBM is launching a new Platform Computing Cloud Service, which includes new services and tools to help organisations deploy hybrid and private cloud environments. IBM has also acquired Cloudant, a privately held database-as-a-service (DBaaS) provider that enables developers to create mobile and web apps easily and quickly.
Last month, IBM committed $1.2 billion to expand its global cloud footprint, by delivering cloud services from 40 data centres in 15 countries. There are plans to expand in the Middle East and Africa in 2015.
SoftLayer can help clients to capture and understand increasing volumes of data. IBM Wave for z/VM will provide insight into an organisation’s virtualised infrastructure with intelligent visualisation, simplified monitoring, and unified management. IBM acquired the technology with the purchase of Israel-based virtualisation company, CSL International.
Beginning next quarter, SoftLayer's first service will be IBM Watson solutions, followed by additional offerings using Power Systems' advantages of optimisation for data and analytics. The initial plans include:
- Watson solutions -- includes Watson Discovery Advisor, Watson Engagement Advisor and The Watson Development Cloud, a platform-as-a-service that contains the technology, tools, SDKs and APIs that enable third parties to design, develop and deploy cognitive applications;
- Software as a Service -- includes a wide range of data services optimised on Power Systems including IBM's DB2 BLU and IBM Cognos analytics solutions;
- Infrastructure as a Service -- bare metal Power Systems will be offered to clients as an on-demand infrastructure platform.
The new IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service is a ready-to-run cluster in the cloud, complete with workload management, SoftLayer infrastructure, and the support of a dedicated cloud operations team. With IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service organisations can extend resources to physical, non-shared infrastructure in the SoftLayer cloud to accommodate peaks in demand without being concerned about performance.
With IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service, organisations can access SoftLayer’s cloud resources on a temporary basis without the need to acquire, install and configure the infrastructure in-house. IBM Platform LSF or Platform Symphony software is provisioned on SoftLayer and the on-premise infrastructure, expanding capacity as needed by bursting jobs from on-premise to secure off-premise resources.
The final announcement from IBM is its acquisition of Cloudant, a privately held DBaaS provider that enables developers to easily and quickly create next generation mobile and web apps. Clients across a variety of industries, including gaming, financial services, mobile device manufacturers, online learning, retail and healthcare are already using Cloudant technology. Cloudant will extend IBM's leadership in Big Data and analytics, cloud computing and mobile, further helping clients take advantage of these key areas of growth for their businesses.