IBM To Announce New Cloud Initiatives

Focus on automating, simplifying IT for inefficient business tasks

Tomorrow IBM will formally announce a new set of enterprise cloud services and integrated products, offering clients a "reliable way to standardize IT functions that are rapidly becoming too costly or difficult to use," according to a prepared statement release.

IBM's Smart Business cloud portfolio applies automation technology and self-service features to digital tasks, from software development and testing to desktop and device management. The announcement centers on three delivery options:

  • IBM Smart Business standardized, "public" services that run in IBM's cloud

  • IBM Smart Business private cloud services which run behind the client's firewall built by IBM (it can be run by either IBM or the client)

  • IBM CloudBurst, a family of "pre-integrated service delivery platforms" that combine hardware, storage, networking, virtualization, and service management software to create a private cloud

All three offerings include IBM’s service management system – what Big Blue refers to as "a kind of air traffic control system for IT – that automates self-service, provisioning, monitoring as well as managing access and security for the cloud."

The first workload type for these three delivery options goes by the name of IBM Smart Business: Software Development and Test; the products were built to improve developer efficiency. "Developers are driving so much business value that the average enterprise devotes 30 to 50 percent of its entire technology infrastructure to development and test, but typically up to 90 percent of it remains idle," IBM pointed out in a release. The company says enterprises can reduce costs by over 20 percent through operating cost reductions that use automation.

In addition to this costly, inefficient delivery method, software developers lose further productivity because they have to acquire "permissions and access to the systems and tools they need to do their jobs." The solution: give developers a safe, self-service option, which Big Blue says can cut labor costs in half and shrink provisioning from weeks to minutes.

IBM says it will offer its customers the three deployment choices noted above. Its standardized service will be called IBM Smart Business Development & Test and uses Rational Software Delivery Services; IBM Smart Business Test Cloud is the private-cloud version; and a CloudBurst version will be offered.

Target: Virtual Desktops

Leveraging cloud computing in desktop virtualization can reduce power consumption by 73 percent over traditional desktop and laptop systems, IBM says. Furthermore, the company says data collected from its client shows that virtualized desktops can reduce end-user IT support expenses by as much as 40 percent.

Two deployment options will be available for virtualizing desktops: IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud provides cloud services using the client’s own own infrastructure and data center, while IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud uses IBM’s "secure, scalable public cloud."

"The IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud helps clients provide anytime, anywhere access for more efficient desktop management, improved security and compliance, enhanced user productivity, and lower end-user IT support costs, including power and cooling for green initiatives," Big Blue says. It will be available in two implementation strategies: Project Based Services is designed for organizations the need assistance with strategy through implementation of virtual desktops; Managed Services is targeted at want IBM to also manage the virtual desktops.

More information on IBM’s cloud computing is available at ibm.com/cloud.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (esj.com).