IBM has announced that its cloud services and software will be based on an open cloud architecture. This 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.
As the first step, the company today unveiled a new cloud offering based on open cloud standards, including OpenStack, that significantly speeds and simplifies managing an enterprise-grade cloud. For the first time, businesses have a core set of open source-based technologies to build enterprise-class cloud services that can be ported across hybrid cloud environments.
"History has shown that standards and open source are hugely beneficial to end customers and are a major catalyst for innovation," said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software. "Just as standards and open source revolutionized the Web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing. IBM has been at the forefront of championing standards and open source for years, 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."
Based on customer-driven requirements, the new software, called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, gives clients greater flexibility by removing the need to develop specific interfaces for different cloud services. With the new software, companies can quickly combine and deploy various cloud services onto the cloud infrastructure by lining up the compute, storage and network resources with an easy-to-use graphical interface. The new IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator 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 enduser 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.
The development of open industry standards has proven a critical turning point in the success of many technologies, such as the Internet and operating systems. For cloud computing to grow and mature similar to its predecessors, vendors must stop creating new cloud services that are incompatible. A recent report by Booz & Company warned that without a more concerted effort to agree on such standards, and leadership on the part of major companies, the promise of cloud computing may never be reached.