IBM Extends Cloud Presence Beyond IBM Servers

IBM today increased the scope of its internal cloud-computing portfolio with three new CloudBurst offerings. One is an update to the current System x-based appliance that doubles the memory and Fibre Channel bandwidth per blade, while a second appliance, based on IBM’s Power 750 servers, is newly available. However, the most important new offering of the bunch might be IBM’s Service Delivery Manager software, which has been decoupled from the integrated CloudBurst system so it can run atop any standard x86- or Power-based servers.

Decoupling the Service Delivery Manager software is an important step, because it lets IBM compete across the board in the internal (or private) cloud market. CloudBurst appliances will sate customer demand for converged-infrastructure systems like those offered by Cisco, HP and Oracle, but they won’t appeal to customers not willing to lock themselves into the same vendor for computing, networking and storage: both hardware and management software.

With the standalone software offering, IBM can sell against vendors such as Dell and Egenera, for example, which are pushing open converged-infrastructure software, as well as against the growing number of software companies selling internal-cloud platform software. This group is wide-ranging, from startups like Cloud.com and DynamicOps to fellow Big Four systems management vendors CA Technologies and BMC Software.

Also notable is that the new Power 750-based appliance is certified to run SAP applications. IBM has focused its cloud computing strategy thus far on enterprise-class offerings, and SAP is very popular among enterprises, which might make the new CloudBurst appliance a strong candidate among enterprise customers.

Image courtesy of IBM.

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