Unisys, the IT services company, today became the latest with a set of products aimed at helping customers create their own internal clouds. And in a month it will offer a true Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that will deliver computing and storage on demand and on a per-instance basis. Like many of the traditional IT vendors, Unisys is investing in a hybrid cloud strategy, which will involve customers revamping their own data centers through heavy virtualization to create an on-demand environment for IT workloads, while Unisys provides a pool of compute resources that a customer can dip into when needed.
To distinguish its offerings from those of other vendors such as Sun Microsystems, IBM or Microsoft, Unisys is pitching security. CSC says it is doing the same thing, although it will be a while before we see widespread product deployments from many of these vendors.
On top of its cloud computing layer, Unisys hopes to offer a platform with which customers can build Java, .Net and WebSphere applications. Those programs could be hosted internally at the customer’s site, on the Unisys cloud or in another provider’s cloud. However, if the customer chooses another provider’s cloud, he will lose some of the security features Unisys is touting. Unisys will also take its cloud further up the stack by offering software as a service. Rich Marcello, president of Unisys Systems and Technology, said email through a hosted Exchange server would be a good example of an SaaS offering. Another might be desktops delivered over the web.
At the end of the year Unisys plans to announce a service that will build out internal clouds for businesses, and by March 2010 aims to have a product that will bridge internal and external clouds seamlessly — something that every big vendor is working on.