IBM introduced its SmartCloud Orchestrator tool on Monday amid a lot of verbiage about supporting open standards that we’ve all heard before. But if you scratch the surface of the product it put into beta, it’s actually quite interesting.
SmartCloud Orchestrator is software based on OpenStack APIs including Nova for compute, Quantum for networking and Cinder for block storage, which also throws in what IBM calls patterns (sort of like templates) for application deployment.
But the most interesting feature may be an adapter IBM engineers have written that translates between OpenStack and Amazon cloud APIs. It only requires users to know OpenStack as a kind of “lingua franca” of the cloud, according to Mohamed Abdula, director of SmartCloud foundation strategy and portfolio management for IBM.
Another user-friendly feature is compatibility with Opscode’s Chef, such that clients would not need to throw away or rewrite Chef recipes; SmartCloud Orchestrator can reuse them from within its UI, Abdula said.
Amazon and OpenStack are often put at odds with one another, and it is OpenStack’s stated mission to compete with AWS. At the same time, however, compatibility with AWS APIs is a foundational concept within OpenStack, as is automation and portability between clouds.
IBM looks to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to those concepts.