IBM cloud computing
IBM cloud computing consists of cloud computing solutions for enterprises as offered by the global information technology giant, IBM. All offerings are designed for business use, marketed under the name IBM SmartCloud. IBM cloud includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offered through public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models, in addition to the components that make up those clouds.
IBM offers an entry point to cloud computing whether a client is designing their own virtual private cloud, deploying cloud service, or consuming cloud workload applications.
The IBM cloud framework begins with the physical hardware of the cloud. IBM offers three hardware platforms for cloud computing. These platforms offer built-in support for virtualization. The next layer of the IBM framework is virtualization. IBM has been involved with virtualization technology for over 40 years and offers IBM Websphere application infrastructure solutions that support programming models and open standards for virtualization.
The management layer of the IBM cloud framework includes IBM Tivoli middleware. Management tools provide capabilities to regulate images with automated provisioning and de-provisioning, monitor operations and meter usage while tracking costs and allocating billing. The last layer of the framework provides integrated workload tools. Workloads for cloud computing are services or instances of code that can be executed to meet specific business needs. IBM offers tools for cloud based collaboration, development and test, application development, analytics, business-to-business integration, and security.
IBM cloud computing emerged from the union of two of IBM’s most influential technologies: mainframes and virtualization. Known as the original virtualization company, IBM’s first experiments in virtualization occurred in the 1960s with the development of the virtual machine (VM) on CP-40 and CP-67 operating systems. CP-67, a hypervisor used for software testing and development, enabled memory sharing across VMs while giving each user his own virtual memory space. By partitioning the mainframe into separate VMs, mainframes could run multiple applications and processes at the same time, making the hardware more efficient and cost-effective. IBM began selling VM technology for the mainframe in 1972.
In February 1990, IBM released POWER processor based servers. The servers, in combination with the IBM mainframe, were built for complex and mission-critical virtualization. Power systems servers include PowerVM hypervisors with live partition mobility and active memory sharing. Live migration was introduced with POWER6 in May 2007. Next, IBM looked to implement standardization and automation in their technology in order to keep up with the proliferation of data produced by increasingly efficient hardware and data centers. This combination of virtualization, standardization and automation led to the development of IBM cloud computing. By offering hardware, software, storage, management and security, IBM was capable of providing enterprises with all the components to build their own integrated private cloud.
IBM first began to develop a clear strategy for cloud computing in 2007, stating its mission to build clouds for enterprise clients and provide services to fill gaps in existing cloud environments. In October 2007, IBM announced a partnership with Google to promote cloud computing in universities. In addition to donating hardware and machines, the two tech giants also provided a curriculum to teach students about cloud computing. The effort was made in hopes of preparing tech students for modern computing.
Since early 2011, adoption of IBM SmartCloud solutions has increased steadily. IBM announced in April 2011 that 80% of Fortune 500 companies use IBM cloud. Also the software and services are utilized by more than 20 million end-user customers worldwide. Some of their clients include American Airlines, Aviva, Carfax, Frito-Lay, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company, and 7-Eleven.
IBM SmartCloud is a branded ecosystem of cloud computing products and solutions from IBM. It makes up an increasingly large share of IBM cloud computing offerings. IBM SmartCloud includes infrastructure as a service, software as a service and platform as a service offered through public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models. IBM places these offerings under three umbrellas: SmartCloud Foundation, SmartCloud Services and SmartCloud Solutions.
SmartCloud Foundation consists of the infrastructure, hardware, provisioning, management, integration and security that serve as the underpinnings of a private or hybrid cloud. Built using those foundational components, PaaS, IaaS and backup services make up SmartCloud Services. Running on this cloud platform and infrastructure, SmartCloud Solutions consist of a number of collaboration, analytics and marketing SaaS applications.
IBM also builds cloud environments for clients that are not necessarily on the SmartCloud Platform. For example, features of the SmartCloud platform—such as Tivoli management software or IBM Systems Director virtualization—can be integrated separately as part of a non-IBM cloud platform. The SmartCloud platform is distinct in that it consists of solely IBM hardware, software, services and best practices.
IBM SmartCloud Enterprise and SmartCloud Enterprise+ compete with products like those of Rackspace and Amazon. According to Erich Clementi, vice president of Global Technology Services at IBM, the goal with SmartCloud Enterprise and SmartCloud Enterprise+ is to provide an Amazon EC2-like experience primarily for test and development purposes and to provide a more robust experience for production workloads.
The SmartCloud platform is continually evolving as IBM continues to feed it with a number of cloud technology acquisitions. In 2011, IBM SmartCloud integrated Hadoop-based InfoSphere BigInsights for big data, Green Hat for software testing and Nirvanix for cloud storage, to name a few. More additions to the platform are expected, as new CEO Virginia Rometty has pledged to spend $20 billion on acquisitions by 2015.
Users may build their own private cloud or purchase services hosted on the IBM cloud. Users may also purchase IBM hardware, software and services to build their customized cloud environment.
Public, private and hybrid cloud models
IBM offers a spectrum of cloud delivery options ranging from solely private cloud to solely public cloud and numerous variations in between. Private, public and hybrid clouds are not strictly distinct, as IBM allows the option to build a customized cloud solution out of a combination of public cloud and private cloud elements. Companies that prefer to keep all data and processes behind their own firewall can choose a private cloud solution managed by their own IT staff. A company may also choose pay-as-you-go pricing that allows them to run lower profile applications on a secure public cloud model. Hybrid cloud options allow for some processes to be hosted and managed by IBM, while others are kept on a private cloud or on a VPN or VLAN. IBM also offers planning and consultation throughout the deployment process.cloud computing is best for mobile software. IBM offers five different cloud provision models:
- Private cloud, owned and operated by the customer
- Private cloud, owned by the customer, but operated by IBM (or another provider)
- Private cloud, owned and operated by IBM (or another provider)
- Virtual private cloud services (based on multi-tenanted support for individual enterprises)
- Public cloud services (based on the provision of functions to individuals)
The majority of cloud users choose a hybrid cloud model, with some workloads being served by internal systems, some from commercial cloud providers and some from public cloud service providers.
On August 25, 2011, IBM announced the release of a new hybrid cloud model orchestrated by IBM WebSphere Cast Iron integration of on- and off-premise resources. Enterprises can use Cast Iron integration to link their public cloud appliances— hosted on environments like Amazon EC2, Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Oracle CRM, SugarCRM and a number of others—to their existing systems or in-house, private cloud environments. Cast Iron Integration reduces the time and effort needed for customized coding, in favor of simple workload provisioning through Tivoli.
The IBM public cloud offering is SmartCloud Enterprise, launched April 7, 2011. SCE is hosted IaaS with committed service level agreements (SLA)s, and it can be offered in a private, public or hybrid model. The environment is hosted on IBM servers (System p or System x), with a standard set of software images to choose from.
For enterprise customers who perceive that the security risk of cloud computing adoption is too high, IBM specializes in secure private cloud offerings. IDEAS International wrote in a white paper, “IBM believes that its clients are currently more comfortable with private clouds than public or hybrid clouds, and that many are ready to deploy fundamental business applications in private clouds.” For building strictly private clouds, IBM offers IBM Workload Deployer and Cloudburst as ready-to-deploy, “cloud in a box” style solutions. Cloudburst provides blade servers, middleware and virtualization for an enterprise to build its own cloud-ready virtual machines. Workload Deployer connects an enterprise’s existing servers to virtualization components and middleware in order to help deploy standardized virtual machines designed by IBM. For customers who prefer to perform their own integration of private clouds, IBM offers a choice of hardware and software building blocks, along with recommendations and a reference architecture, leading the way to deployment. Clients may choose from IBM virtualization-enabled servers, middleware and SaaS applications.
IBM participates in several cloud standards initiatives within various standards development organizations across the spectrum of cloud service models IaaS, PaaS and SaaS, all of which work toward improvements in cloud interoperability and security.
IBM is a member of The Open Group, a council devoted to the development of open, vendor-neutral IT standards and certifications. Other members of the group include HP, Oracle, SAP and numerous others. IBM contributed the Cloud Computing Reference Architecture in February 2011 to The Open Group as the basis of an industry-wide cloud architecture. IBM’s CCRA is based on real-world input from many cloud implementations across IBM. It is intended to be used as a blueprint/guide for architecting cloud implementations, driven by functional and non-functional requirements of the respective cloud implementation. HP and Microsoft have also published Cloud Computing Reference Architectures.
Within the IaaS space, IBM is a leader in the Cloud Management Work Group (CMWG) within the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), which released a draft version of their IaaS APIs, called the Cloud Infrastructure Management Interface (CIMI), on September 14, 2011. The CIMI APIs define a logical model for the management of resources within the Infrastructure as a Service domain. With these APIs, clients can create, manage and connect machines, volumes and networks.
Within the PaaS and SaaS space, IBM joins Red Hat, Cisco, Citrix, EMC and numerous others as a contributor to the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) technical committee within Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) that provides a standardized way of managing the lifecycle of cloud services, enhancing the portability of cloud based applications. TOSCA's stated goal is to advance an interoperability standard that will make it easier to deploy cloud applications without vendor lock-in, while maintaining application requirements for security, governance, and compliance.
IBM participates in a number of cloud security related standards including the DMTF Cloud Auditing Data Federation (CADF) working group and the OASIS Identity in the Cloud (IDCloud) technical committee. CADF addresses the need for a cloud provider to provide specific audit event, log and report information on a per-tenant and application basis. IDCloud addresses the serious security challenges posed by identity management in cloud computing and investigates the need for profiles to achieve interoperability within current standards.
IBM founded the Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) in April 2011 in partnership with the Object Management Group (OMG) Kaavo, Rackspace and Software AG, creating an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption and eliminating barriers to security and interoperability associated with the transition to the cloud. In addition to contributing standards requirements to the appropriate standards development organizations (SDO), the CSCC also creates guides that companies can use on their own path to cloud adoption, such as the Practical Guide to Cloud Computing, a straightforward document which outlines the steps an enterprise should consider when adopting cloud computing.
- IBM SmartCloud Application Services
- IBM SmartCloud Foundation
- IBM SmartCloud Ecosystem
- IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+
- Launch of hybrid cloud solution with Cast Iron Cloud Integration
- IBM opens two cloud data centers in Japan
- IBM Smarter Commerce
- IBM SmartCloud Archive launch
- IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery
- IBM SmartCloud Managed Backup
- Launch of IBM SmartCloud
- Launch of IBM SmartCloud Enterprise
- IBM Workload Deployer
- IBM joins Cloud Standards Customer Council
- IBM Federal Community Cloud for government organizations
- IBM Service Delivery Manager
- IBM CloudBurst v2.1 (with POWER7-based hardware)
- IBM Blueworks Live
- Announcement of cloud computing data center in Ehningen, Germany
- IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud
- IBM opens cloud computing data center in Raleigh, North Carolina
- IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud
- IBM Smart Analytics Cloud
- IBM Smart Business Storage Cloud
- IBM Smart Business Services
- IBM Cloudburst (later renamed IBM Workload Deployer)
- LotusLive collaboration suite
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