IBM Blue Cloud: quite a nothingness

Prior to my attendance at this year's IBM's Pulse event, I had become somewhat numb to IBM's cloud efforts. In some cases, I used to be frustrated with all the announcements of IBM's Blue Cloud. Everywhere you switch there have been articles on "IBM's Blue Cloud this" and "Blue Cloud that." the straightforward fact was that nobody could explain where you'll find this "Blue Cloud" or exactly what it had been. Now, every week after attending the event and with no broken ribs, I can tell you that like Everest, IBM remains a force of industry and will never be taken without any consideration in any technology space, particularly cloud computing. About a year ago, IBM created a working party of IBM fellows and significant thought leaders from the SOA, ITSM, and provisioning groups to work out what it should do on the cloud. This group talked with different product groups also as a number of IBM's largest customers.

 technology credit union Over the past year, tons of the work that has been done at IBM, culminating with the recent Pulse event announcements, are often described with one among the industry-standard cloud computing taxonomies referred to as SPI. The SPI (or SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) model may be a common taxonomy for describing cloud computing. Here's a breakdown of IBM's cloud computing offerings in these three areas. Software as a Service Lotus Live Facebook for the enterprise. Although IBM wasn't promoting Lotus Live the maximum amount at Pulse this year, it did show a solid checkmark with its coverage of the SaaS space. information technology degree Lotus Live is what I might call a Facebook for the enterprise. I even have played around with a number of the features of Lotus accept its predecessor called Blue House. Lotus Live includes Notes, Web Conferencing, Instant Messaging, and Reporting and Charting. Platform as a Service Have you received the memo? during this area, everyone at IBM has received the memo.

 It says that each one product group got to find out the way to play with the cloud. An IBM product manager described its primary Platform as a Service (PaaS) play as a block and tackle for middleware within the upcoming cloud computing revolution. IBM middleware is and has been a robust component of enterprises' participation within the Web 2.0 revolution. they need to form sure they need the proper stuff for this new cloud computing switch. As I talked to different product groups within IBM during the conference, it had been clear that each one of them was gearing up for the cloud. In fact, most had already produced significant cloud infrastructure components. The Rational Software Architect product features a new feature where cloud "server" topologies are often created on a workflow screen then saved as configuration (i.e., XML) data to be used later to make clouds. Tivoli Provisioning Manager has been retooled during a number of the way to support cloud computing architectures. information technology school TPM 7.1 can provide most of the common virtualization platforms and already has working prototypes for provisioning public clouds like Amazon Web Services. The WebSphere products are tooling for the cloud revolution for a few time now with their Virtual Enterprise releases.

Middleware on steroids. Another significant sign that IBM's "Got cloud" is its new offering of middleware products like DB2, WebSphere and Lotus offered as Amazon Machine Images (AMI'). With these new deliverables, a developer can stir up Amazon cloud instances and begin working immediately with IBM's enterprise middleware software products. IBM also announced a pricing model for product use of the IBM middleware by publishing its PVU (Processor Value Units) models for Amazon instances. An enterprise with IBM middleware licenses in situ can move production resources over to Amazon's clouds immediately by using their current PVU based license model. It's all about services, stupid. Probably the foremost promising offering within the PaaS space for IBM is its new TSAM offering (Tivoli Service Automation Manager). TSAM is enterprise-cloud-on-a-stick.

 Supposedly TSAM was jointly developed with JP Morgan Chase as a self-service portal for managing internal clouds. one of the foremost difficult aspects of managing private clouds and public clouds is that the end to finish the management of resources. Since most clouds are supported virtual instances, the pictures wont to deploy cloud instances become an enormous source of management chaos. With cloud computing, it's very easy for a private or group to make virtual servers on the fly. Also, image sprawl and image identification become very real management problems. the thought that a rogue contractor or employee could take companies secret sauce (i.e., an image) and sneak it out on a USB stick may be a frightening thought. Cataloging and site information of services can become impossible to manage even within the tiny enterprise. So it's no surprise that IBM would apply tried-and-true solutions like service management to unravel this problem. IBM has been ready to connect a number of its strongest ESM products into TSAM. It includes service management products, formally MRO, from the Maximo acquisition. TSAM also includes core provisioning solutions from the Think Dynamics acquisition in 2003.

At its core, TSAM may be a service management tool that gives service catalogs, a configuration management database (CMDB), incident, and alter management to cloud provisioning. In TSAM all services are defined within the service catalog. Each service can have a template design for a way it's to be deployed within the cloud. An order entry system, for instance, could be made from multiple systems including DB2, IBM HTTP Server, and WebSphere e-commerce. If a business owner selects a choice to deploy this service to the cloud, a typical change management process is often applied for approval processing, then the automated provisioning is often invoked. TSAM also can include the IBM Tivoli Monitoring product as a plugin to feature true autonomics to the deployed cloud. Some of the TSAM product managers and developers told me that they have already got working customers with integration for Citrix XenServer also as other third-party CMDB solutions (e.g., BMC's Atrium). Since TSAM features a robust connect architecture it's easy to integrate with virtually any third-party service management or cloud offering.

are you able to use Amazon Web Services provisioning with TSAM? Well, IBM wasn't officially saying this; but company representatives told me off the record that they need a working prototype and to remain tuned. Having worked with IBM Tivoli products for several years, I can tell you TSAM is one of the foremost exciting products I even have seen begin of the Tivoli software group in additional than 15 years. Infrastructure as a Service
After leaving Pulse, I used to be a touch disappointed with IBM's Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. there have been some bright spots, though, with IBM announcing a replacement Storage as a Service offering called Tivoli Storage as a Service. I used to be hoping for a stronger IaaS story than simply storage as a service. I used to be hoping for something within the neighborhood of an Amazon Web Services public cloud offering or more sort of a 3Tera private cloud offering. IBM had some samples of private cloud customer success stories; most of them, however, were just great provisioning and server consolidation virtualization examples. IBM also had some public hybrid cloud stories with what they were calling "cloud spillage."

IBM described "cloud spillage" as provisioning additional resources on a public cloud when a personal cloud has met its capacity. But actually, most of those were really just bare-metal (nonvirtualized) provisioning stories of IBM server on-demand resources (IBM Blade Server Hosting). Even after I pinned down one among the IBM senior executives about IBM's IaaS public cloud, he admitted that today their public offering is simply IBM Computing on Demand, and it isn't even a virtualized technology. With, say, Amazon's public cloud, a server is often provisioned from anywhere in about 10 minutes; in contrast, an IBM on-demand server has got to be physically requested and might take an entire day to be fully provisioned. this sort of physical provisioning wouldn't be within the category of what I call "autonomics" (i.e., where a server automatically detects the necessity for additional resources and, without human intervention, provisions more servers).

I did get the sense that a future storm is brewing in IBM's IaaS, although none of the IBM IaaS folk would spill their guts -- even after a couple of Heinekens and Coronas. Another bright spot for IBM and IaaS cloud computing was the announcement with Juniper Networks on the formation of hybrid, or rolling, clouds. except, for now, this space may be a little early within the works. IBM GTS offers cloud consulting services IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) will help enterprises determine which cloud formations are best for them. This follows the recent announcements by Capgemini and CSC stating that they're fixing cloud consulting practices. IBM hopes that its customers will come to IBM first when deciding to use the cloud. One of the foremost telling tales of the IBM cloud computing stories came on my last night at the heartbeat conference during a dinner meeting with members of the IBM team. 

one among the IBM product managers told me that IBM/Tivoli has been trying to urge the whole IBM product portfolio precuts integrated for over the past 10 years to no avail. I can remember a minimum of two or three IBM wide initiatives where IBM has tried to make a seamless, not a smoke and mirrors, interoperability story between the IBM products. Most of those previous efforts have failed. However, somehow with the thrill and that, I guess the promise of cloud computing, IBM might finally pull it off. In the end, I assume you'll say I went on an expedition to Everest (IBM) and located out something that had always been pretty darn obvious to me: IBM may be a force that ought to never be taken without any consideration -- a minimum of not on something as important as cloud computing.VMware vCloud partners mixed on enterprises' cloud readiness key element of cloud computing is its reliance on shared infrastructure. 

With its vCloud initiative and forthcoming Virtual Datacenter OS (VDC-OS), VMware hopes its software can provide the inspiration for myriad future cloud offerings. But among the various managed to host providers that have signed on as vCloud partners, there's debate about whether enterprise shops are able to run their environments on shared, multi-tenant VMware infrastructure. Rackspace Managed Hosting supports VMware environments running on dedicated hardware, and therefore the business is "rocking and rolling," said Emil Sayegh, ahead at Rackspace. except for cloud computing services running on shared infrastructure, Rackspace directs customers to Mosso, the company's cloud hosting division. Among Mosso's offerings are CloudServers, a virtual private server (VPS) offering supported Xen, and Cloud Sites, a Platform as a Service offering more like the Google App Engine. VMware may be a higher-end offering targeted at higher-end customers," said Sayegh. "VMware on shared hosted infrastructure isn't the sweet spot of the market."

Shared hosted infrastructure: Will it take hold? 
VMware vCloud partner Savvis Inc. thinks which may be close to change. The latter has launched Savvis Cloud Compute, a replacement managed hosting service that permits customers to run virtual environments on shared server infrastructure. Savvis Cloud Compute also presents customers with a self-service portal through which they will provision and manage infrastructure. Savvis' older offering, Virtual Intelligent Hosting, enables customers to host VMware virtual environments only on dedicated server hardware (i.e., equipment that was leased exclusively to them, whereas customers often shared storage and networking equipment, customers). Any changes to the environment were performed by Savvis employees.