Opening Up The Clouds
Yesterday was a big day for the clouds.
Not only did we encounter a lot of mentions around cloud computing here at IBM Pulse 2013 and its growing importance in the IT realm, we also heard from IBM in an important announcement that all of its cloud services and software moving forward would be based on an open cloud architecture, OpenStack.
This move will ensure that innovation in cloud computing isn’t hampered by locking businesses into proprietary “islands.” For without industry-wide open standards for cloud computing, businesses won’t be able to fully take advantage of the opportunities associated with interconnected data, including mobile computing and business analytics.
As part of a first major step here, IBM unveiled a new private cloud offering based on the open sourced OpenStack software that will speed up and simplify managing an enterprise-grade cloud.
Now, businesses will have a core set of open source-based technologies on which they can build enterprise-cloud services that can be ported across hybrid cloud environments.
Based on customer-driven requirements, the new software, called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, gives clients greater flexibility by removing the need to develop specific interfaces for different cloud services.
With the new software, companies can quickly combine and deploy various cloud services onto the cloud infrastructure by lining up the compute, storage and network resources with an easy-to-use graphical interface.
The new IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator allows users to perform the following:
- Build new cloud services in minutes by combining the power of pattern-based cloud delivery, with a graphical orchestrator for simple composition of cloud automation;
- Reduce operational costs with an orchestrator that can automate application deployment and lifecycle management in the cloud: compute, storage and network configuration, human tasks automation, integration with third party tools, all delivered by a single cloud management platform and;
- Simplify the end user consumption of cloud services, via an intuitive self service portal, including the ability to measure the cost of cloud services with metering and charge-back capabilities.
In addition, IBM also announced new versions of software that use open standards to help companies better monitor and control their enterprise cloud deployments.
For example, IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight helps businesses monitor the real-time performance and availability of applications hosted on a cloud and being delivered via the Web, hosted on public cloud platforms and IBM SmartCloud.
Two new beta programs, that use analytics to predict changes in scale and usage, are now available. In addition, new integration between IBM SmartCloud ControlDesk and IBM Endpoint Manager automates and extends the ability to control cloud services for compliance, regulation, and security to various “end points” or devices, such as mobile phones, medical devices and car engines.
The integration of these two products is made possible through open-standard OSLC.
The development of open industry standards has proven a critical turning point in the success of many technologies, such as the Internet and operating systems.
For cloud computing to grow and mature similar to its predecessors, vendors must stop creating new cloud services that are incompatible. A recent report by Booz & Company warned that without a more concerted effort to agree on such standards, and leadership on the part of major companies, the promise of cloud computing may never be reached.
About IBM, Cloud, And Open Standards
IBM is applying its experience in supporting and validating open standards from Linux, Eclipse and Apache to cloud computing. Working with the IT community, IBM is helping to drive the open cloud world by:
- Creating a 400-member strong Cloud Standards Customer Council that grew from about 50 members at launch;
- Sponsoring OpenStack Foundation as a platinum and founding member and as one of the top code and design contributors to all OpenStack projects;
- Driving related cloud standards, such as Open Service for Lifecycle Collaboration, Linked Data in the W3C and TOSCA in OASIS, to enhance cloud application portability;
- Dedicating more than 500 developers on the open cloud projects and;
- Working closely with the OpenStack Foundation, along with its 8,200+ members from 109 countries and 1,000 organizations.
IBM is one of the world’s largest private cloud vendors with more than 5,000 private cloud customers in 2012, which increased 100 percent year-over-year. IBM’s cloud portfolio, called SmartCloud, is based on a common code of interoperability, allowing clients to move between IBM’s private, hybrid and public cloud services.
IBM Orchestrator is expected to be available later this year. IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight is expected to be available in the second quarter of the year. The analytics beta programs are expected to be available by the end of March.
Go here for more information about cloud offerings from IBM.