IBM is going open cloud . This week, the technology giant announced that all its cloud products and services will be based on the OpenStack platform and other open-source cloud standards.
The company said that its decision will help to ensure that cloud computing innovation is not restrained by what it described as "proprietary islands of insecure and difficult-to-manage offerings." In the past, IBM's commitment to open standards has helped gain acceptance for those standards in enterprises, such as Linux.
Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software , said in a statement that the company "has been at the forefront of championing standards and open source for years, and we are doing it again for cloud computing."
The first new IBM product offering based on OpenStack will be a new private cloud offering that is designed to speed up and simplify the process of managing an enterprise-grade cloud. Called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, it uses the same interface for various cloud services, such as assigning computing, storage and network resources.
Orchestrator also allows users to automate application deployment and lifecycle management in the cloud, and IBM says the product will reduce operational costs for integration with third-party tools or organizing human tasks. For the end user, the product provides a self-service portal that includes the ability to meter, track, and charge-back costs.
The company is also releasing new versions of existing software products that are now supporting open standards. These include the IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application, to monitor the real-time performance of cloud-based applications, and a new integration between IBM SmartCloud ControlDesk and IBM Endpoint Manager that utilizes open-standard OSLC. The integration automates and extends management of cloud services to various devices, in accordance with compliance , regulation and security needs.
IBM is also applying its considerable corporate muscle in a variety of other ways to back open cloud standards. These include the expansion of a Cloud Standards Customer Council to 400 members from its original 50, assigning more than 500 developers to open cloud projects, and backing the OpenStack Foundation as a platinum and founding member.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, described IBM's move as "very smart." She noted that, by becoming such a big supporter of OpenStack and open cloud standards, the company will now "have a bigger say and can help to drive the standard." (continued...)