IBM recently opened up its public IBM Cloud for test and development after a beta period. The offering relies on Red Hat’s KVM-based hypervisor for its underlying virtualization system.
This new “Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud,” is not to be confused with CloudBurst, Big Blue’s private cloud product that lives behind the corporate firewall. The company says its new public cloud (or “commercial cloud” as IBM terms it) can, however, work in conjunction with CloudBurst.
It is not terribly surprising to see a large vendor using open source technologies as the underpinning for a cloud infrastructure. Amazon uses open source Xen for virtualization and Google – well its love of open source goes without saying. What may surprise some is that, well, it’s IBM.
A recent story on SearchCloudComputing.com makes an interesting point, saying IBM brings the confidence of another strong brand name to cloud computing. Enterprises are looking for some degree of familiarity and accountability from their provider and the IBM name offers that.
While we can no doubt expect a new and confusing set of buzz words to come of IBM’s foray into the already-hyped world of public cloud computing, the move will likely bring confidence to the market. Initially, many people associated “cloud” with more recent runaway successes like Amazon and Google – many of whom are viewed as newer upstarts who love going against the grain. People will be encouraged by IBM hopping on the cloud bandwagon for the same reason Microsoft created so much buzz with Azure: Here we have the old line of IT giants finally embracing the new wave.