IBM Provides Cloud Services to California State Agencies
There's a big, new cloud coming to California, powered by IBM. The tech giant said Thursday it will be supplying cloud services for more than 400 state and local agencies.
The service, called CalCloud, is the first of its kind in the U.S. at a state level. It will allow data and programs to be stored and made available to all participating agencies, which will only pay for the computing workload they actually use.
The cloud services need to comply with a range of requirements from such federal agencies as the IRS and the Social Security Administration, not to mention HIPAA (the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the security standards of the National Institute of Standards.
Through CalCloud, agencies can now share a common pool of computing resources that the California Department of Technology said would be more efficient than the current setup. Nearly two dozen departments have requested IT services via CalCloud.
Marybel Batjer, secretary of the Government Operations Agency, said in a statement that CalCloud "is an important step towards providing faster and more cost-effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California."
IBM will be supplying and managing the infrastructure of CalCloud, and the state's Department of Technology will take care of the other aspects. Big Blue also said it will work with the state to transfer knowledge and best practices relating to security and systems integration with the department.
As with other cloud services, this pay-for-use arrangement will enable the state agencies to scale up or down the resources they need for variable workloads. It also provides immediate and round-the-clock access to such configurable resources as compute, storage, network and disaster recovery services.
High Performance, Watson
IBM has been rapidly building up its cloud services, and creating more than a hundred software-as-a-service solutions for specific industry needs. The CalCloud project will likely become the basis for similar offerings to other states, as well as to other governments worldwide.
In other IBM news, the company said Wednesday that it will be making high performance computing more accessible through the cloud to clients that need additional capabilities for big data and other computationally intensive workloads.
Very high data throughput speeds will be enabled from IBM's SoftLayer company, using InfiniBand networking technology to connect SoftLayer bare metal servers. InfiniBand is a networking architecture that delivers up to 56 Gbps.
SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby said in a statement that "our InfiniBand support is helping to push the technological envelope while redefining how cloud computing can be used to solve complex business issues.”
Also on Wednesday, IBM and financial services firm USAA announced that IBM Watson intelligence-as-a-service technology will now be employed for USAA members. It is the first commercial use of Watson in a consumer-facing role. Watson will be used in a pilot project to help military men and women transition from military to civilian life.
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Posted: 2014-07-26 @ 5:28am PT
Surprising that a Silicon Valley company didn't win this business, but then again IBM is a top shelf IT vendor.