Big Blue Mixing It Up with BlueMix and More

I’m back in Las Vegas for IBM’s Pulse Cloud Conference where the weather is better with apparently 11,000 people who are all into cloud and IBM. This is my fourth industry conference in the past year focused on cloud software – the others were AWS re:Invent, OpenStack Summit, and VMworld. The size of these software events keeps getting bigger, though they all seem to attract slightly different crowds. As you’d imagine, this one has a lot of more mature people with a lot of suits in the mix. I consider this a good thing because it smells like the enterprise is taking cloud seriously and IBM is positioning themselves. Plus IBM is not catering to IT like many of the other providers – but is instead focusing on the lines of business and developers, trying to bring all three together to improve business agility. How are they doing that? Here are a few tidbits:


  • The acquisition of SoftLayer ($2+B) and committing to building 15 new data centers with another $1.2B investment bringing their cloud data center count up to 40 globally gives the enterprise a global and scalable cloud provider with high performance instances delivered on Bare Metal.
  • IBM just announced that they acquired Cloudant, which is a noSQL database built on Couchbase and will be offered as-a-service. Plus Cloudant potentially gives IBM more reach with Cloudant running on AWS, Rackspace, and other CSPs platforms. For the enterprise, they will be able to consume noSQL along with MongoDB, Hadoop, and their own in-memory database plus SAP and Oracle.
  • IBM is a major OpenStack contributor and sponsor as well as being determined to deliver cloud services on OpenStack.
  • IBM will be extending SoftLayer to manage other CPU designs (namely Power and Z series).
Topics: IBM Cloud Computing Private Cloud Infrastructure openstack Softlayer IBMPulse

Multiple, Multipath, Multifactor, or how about Multi-Cloud?

About this time last year, I published a report on cloud service management (Enabling IT’s Transformation to Cloud Service Provider) where I outlined the software components needed to become a cloud service provider on-premises. Primary capabilities include orchestration and automation but also things like CMDB, federation, and chargeback. Like everything in this industry, there has been a lot of change in the past year, which I will cover in detail in the update to the CSM report later this quarter. In the meantime, I thought it would be useful to write about some of the trends I’m seeing in this space:

· Hybrid Isn’t Even Table Stakes – Last year I thought it was goodness when I saw a CSM company building functionality that supported an IT department being able to manage on-premises ‘private cloud’ and off-premises ‘public cloud.’ Over the past year that has evolved to requiring the ability to manage multiple cloud types in on- and off-premises. For example, a company may have an MS Azure cloud as well as a VMware cloud on-premises and public cloud off-premises with a VMware cloud and AWS resources on Amazon’s cloud. This means that the CSM software has to be able to manage all of these resources and be able to provide a unified dashboard, rationalize pricing methods, and potentially a way to move workloads seamlessly between clouds.

Topics: IBM Cloud Computing cloud Private Cloud Infrastructure Dell CSC Softlayer Ostrato ServiceNow Tier 3 CenturyLink Multi-Cloud Public Cloud Service

IBM’s Global (SoftLayer) Services

Last week IBM announced their intent to spend another $1.2B on expanding their SoftLayer-based cloud data centers to 15 new data centers around the world in 2014. This brings the total data center count to 40 data centers globally in 13 countries. SoftLayer has over 22,00 customers and was acquired by IBM in 2013 for a reported $2B. Why does this matter? There are few reasons why this matters for IBM and for their customers:

Topics: IBM Cloud Computing Private Cloud Infrastructure Amazon AWS Softlayer Public Cloud Service

Big Blue is Betting on More than Just Cloudy Technology

The past few days were spent engaged with IBM and their annual Software Analyst event. The meetings started out with Steve Mills talking about their overarching strategy and their shift in how they design products (you have to check out their new design studio in Austin) and how the enterprise is driven by internal and external customers.

Topics: IBM Cloud Computing Analytics Internet of Things cloud Private Cloud Infrastructure IoT mobile Data Management Softlayer Public Cloud Service