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IBM Evolves from On Demand to SmartCloud

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Posted October 12, 2011 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

New IBM application services for cloud include middleware, DB2, SAP services and CRM.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is rolling out a new set of SmartCloud services and software, providing new opportunities for enterprises to move their applications to a cloud model.

The new offerings include the debut of SmartCloud Enterprise 2.0, which is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering. The new SmartCloud will also enable IBM DB2 database-as-a-service as well other IBM applications. IBM isn't just enabling its cloud for IBM software; the SmartCloud also has a service for SAP ERP applications.

"This announcement takes our cloud capabilities to the next level," Lauren States, VP and CTO of Cloud Computing at IBM, told InternetNews.com. "We're adding capability to the portfolio for application development and deployment in the cloud with SmartCloud Application Services."

States said SmartCloud Application Services is IBM's PaaS for the enterprise. She noted that initially the application services are focused on Java applications and transactional database applications with IBM's DB2. There is also an SAP Applications service that delivers SAP as a packaged app that can be deployed and administered in the cloud.

"We're starting with what our core clients use with our technology and we'll be building that out with other capabilities over time," States said.

Last week, Oracle announced its own public cloud offering, including a database-as-a-service offering. States said IBM's platform is all about exposing IBM's middleware capabilities as a service. She added that programmers who are writing applications for the cloud can just call the service, whether it's database or another service, and they don't have to be concerned about the underlying complexity of the stack.

The SmartCloud platform is being delivered on a Linux infrastructure with future plans to expand with Windows and IBM's AIX Unix. IBM is using KVM and Red Hat as the underlying technology vendor platform.

IBM is also introducing a SmartCloud Foundation software portfolio for organizations looking to deploy on-premise.

"A lot of clients are just getting started with cloud and they want to focus on the benefits of virtualization, management and automation for operational efficiency," States said. "This SmartCloud Foundation fills a gap in our on-ramp to the cloud and it can set the foundation for clients that eventually want to get to self-service, pay-as-you-go infrastructure."

IBM's cloud push is also being extended to IBM's existing On Demand hosted customer base. States noted that IBM already has a large application on demand hosting business. IBM announced in April that the plan was to provide On Demand customers with cloud capabilities.

"It's our intention to provide a cloud enabled environment within our application on demand hosting business for those clients that want to leverage that operational efficiency," States said.

IBM also announced a collaboration with SugarCRM to make its customer relationship management (CRM) products available on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. "Clients can now take advantage of advanced CRM solutions, deployable in a matter of minutes, while achieving all the benefits of a private cloud environment," IBM said in a press release.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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