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Unlocking the Promise of Open Cloud Computing via OpenStack

IBM to make its enterprise-grade cloud services and software based on open standards, including OpenStack

"Just as standards and open source revolutionized the Web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing," said Robert LeBlanc, IBM SVP of Software (pictured below), as IBM - one of the world's largest private cloud vendors with more than 5,000 private cloud customers in 2012 - last month announced that its cloud services and software will be based on an open cloud architecture, including OpenStack.

"IBM has been at the forefront of championing standards and open source for years," LeBlanc continued, "and we are doing it again for cloud computing. The winner here will be customers, who will not find themselves locked into any one vendor - but be free to choose the best platform based on the best set of capabilities that meet their needs."

IBM is the Diamond Sponsor of 12th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo New York - being held June 10-13, 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City.



LeBlanc explained that IBM's move will ensure innovation in cloud computing is not hampered by locking businesses into proprietary islands of unsecured and difficult-to-manage offerings.

"Without industry-wide open standards for cloud computing, businesses will not be able to fully take advantage of the opportunities associated with interconnected data, such as mobile computing and big data," he said.

As the first step, IBM this week has unveiled a new cloud offering called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator based on open cloud standards, including OpenStack, that will give its clients greater flexibility by removing the need to develop specific interfaces for different cloud services.

"History has shown that standards and open source are hugely beneficial to end customers and are a major catalyst for innovation," said LeBlanc.

The new IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, says IBM, allows users to perform the following:

  • Build new cloud services in minutes by combining the power of pattern-based cloud delivery, with a graphical orchestrator for simple composition of cloud automation;
  • Reduce operational costs by automating application deployment and lifecycle management in the cloud: compute, storage and network configuration, human task automation, integration with third party tools, all delivered by an integrated cloud management platform and;
  • Simplify the end user consumption of cloud services, via an intuitive self-service portal, including the ability to measure the cost of cloud services with metering and charge-back capabilities.

Working with the IT community, IBM is also helping to drive the open cloud world by:

  • Creating a 400-member strong Cloud Standards Customer Council that grew from about 50 members at launch;
  • Sponsoring OpenStack Foundation as a platinum and founding member, and as one of the top code and design contributors to all OpenStack projects;
  • Driving related cloud standards, such as Open Service for Lifecycle Collaboration, Linked Data in the W3C and TOSCA in OASIS, to enhance cloud application portability;
  • Dedicating more than 500 developers on open cloud projects and;
  • Working closely with the OpenStack Foundation, along with its 8,200 members from 109 countries and 1,000 organizations.

IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator is now available through a beta program and is expected to be generally available later this year.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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