Blue Box is a privately held company based in Seattle that provides businesses with a simple, private cloud as a service platform, based on OpenStack. Customers benefit from the ability to more easily deploy workloads across hybrid cloud environments. Financial details were not disclosed.
Enterprises are seeking ways to embrace all types of cloud to address a wide range of workloads. Today's announcement reinforces IBM's commitment to deliver flexible cloud computing models that make it easier for customers to move to data and applications across clouds and meets their needs across public, private and hybrid cloud environments. With Gartner forecasting that 72% of enterprises will be pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy this year , it is increasingly important for companies to leverage multiple models while maintaining consistent management across their cloud platforms.
Through Blue Box, IBM will help businesses rapidly integrate their cloud-based applications and on-premises systems into OpenStack-based managed cloud. Blue Box also strengthens IBM Cloud's existing OpenStack portfolio, with the introduction of a remotely managed OpenStack offering to provide clients with a local cloud and increased visibility, control and security.
This move further accelerates IBM's commitment to open technologies and OpenStack. IBM has 500 developers dedicated to working on open cloud projects to bring new cloud innovations to market. With Forrester Research recently finding that more than twice as many firms use or plan to use IBM Cloud as their primary hosted private cloud platform than the next closest vendor , Blue Box is a strategic fit into the IBM Cloud portfolio.
Blue Box can enhance and complement developer productivity by:
- Speeding delivery of applications and data through simplified and consistent access to public, dedicated and local cloud infrastructures
- Supporting managed infrastructure services across hybrid cloud environments and IBM's digital innovation platform, Bluemix
- Offering a single management tool for OpenStack-based private clouds regardless of location
This acquisition will enable IBM to deliver a public cloud-like experience within the client's own data center, relieving organizations of the burden of traditional private cloud deployments.
"IBM is dedicated to helping our clients migrate to the cloud in an open, secure, data rich environment that meet their current and future business needs," said IBM General Manager of Cloud Services Jim Comfort. "The acquisition of Blue Box accelerates IBM's open cloud strategy making it easier for our clients to move to data and applications across clouds and adopt hybrid cloud environments."
"No brand is more respected in IT than IBM," said Blue Box founder and CTO Jesse Proudman. "Blue Box is building a similarly respected brand in OpenStack. Together, we will deliver the technology and products businesses need to give their application developers an agile, responsive infrastructure across public and private clouds. This acquisition signals the beginning of new OpenStack options delivered by IBM. Now is the time to arm customers with more efficient development, delivery and lower cost solutions than they've seen thus far in the market."
IBM currently plans to continue to support Blue Box clients and enhance their technologies while allowing these organizations to take advantage of the broader IBM portfolio.
IBM total cloud revenue — covering public, private and hybrid engagements — was $7.7 billion over the previous 12 months at the end of March 2015; it grew more than 60% in first quarter 2015. IBM's cloud delivered as a service business, a subset of the total, includes IaaS.
1. Source: Gartner Presentation: "Hybrid Clouds and Hybrid IT: The Next Frontier", Gartner Data Center Conference Poll, December 2013 (N=68) Thomas Bittman, October 1, 2014
2. Forrester Research, "Adoption Profile: Hosted Private Cloud, North America and Europe, Q3 2014," May 4, 2015 by Lauren E. Nelson with Michael Caputo, Glenn O'Donnell 
This article was originally posted “IBM Acquires Blue Box” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.