IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced new cloud computing services to help businesses of all sizes take advantage of this increasingly-attractive computing model. With today’s announcements, IBM is applying its industry-specific consulting expertise and established technology record to offer secure, practical services to companies in public, private and hybrid cloud models.
* Industry-specific Business Consulting Services for Cloud Computing – IBM Global Business Services will use an economic model for assessing the total cost of ownership for building private clouds, and/or moving data and applications off-site in a public or hybrid cloud model.
* Technology Consulting, Design and Implementation Services – IBM Global Technology Services is announcing new services to help clients install, configure and deliver cloud computing inside the data center.
* Cloud Security – Spanning IBM Systems, Software, Services and IBM’s lauded Research and X-Force arms, this effort is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities in the cloud.
The old one-server-per-application model has created a dire situation in the data centers of large enterprises. Their infrastructures are becoming too complex and expensive to maintain, and smaller organizations want new ways to grow and expand their businesses without falling victim to these same issues.
Cloud computing, or network-delivered services and software, can save customers up to 80 percent on floor space and 60 percent on power and cooling costs, and deliver triple asset utilization(1). While the economics are compelling to businesses of all sizes, concerns over security, data portability and reliability are causing reluctance among enterprise customers.
New Services for Cloud Computing
IBM’s new business consulting services use economic modeling to assess the total cost of ownership for building and integrating clouds. Initial research indicates that organizations will employ both public and private clouds to achieve business goals, and IBM can help companies find the most effective balance, and manage it all as one integrated strategy.
In addition, cloud technology consulting services will help clients create roadmaps for re-constructing their IT environments, so they can take advantage of cloud computing models to improve operational efficiency, overall carbon posture and return on investment. With new cloud implementation services, IBM will apply expert-level skills, methods, guidance and project management techniques to help clients plan, configure and test the servers, storage and technologies necessary to support a dynamic technology environment.
“Cloud strategies need to be in line with business strategies,” said Willy Chiu, Vice President, High Performance on Demand Solutions, IBM. “Over the last year in our 13 cloud computing centers worldwide, we’ve worked with clients to understand how to help them take advantage of both public and private clouds to get the best economics.”
New Clients Move into the Cloud with IBM
In addition to new services, IBM is helping new clients move into the cloud. One of Houston’s largest and fastest-growing human services agencies, Neighborhood Centers serves over 200,000 citizens in Southwest Texas and delivers key services including economic development services, citizenship and immigration services, early childhood development programs, a K-5 charter school and seniors programs. The non-profit organization depends on IBM cloud services to back-up server and PC data from distributed environments, and store it in secure off-site locations.
“Neighborhood Centers is dedicated to helping citizens cope with disruption and plan for contingencies in life — as second responders in emergencies we simply cannot afford to be shut down, or slowed down, by a data loss,” said Tom Comella, chief information officer, Neighborhood Centers Inc. “IBM cloud services were critical in our community recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike. Since we experienced no business interruptions in any of our 20 facilities, we were able to focus on bringing the community, our services and our citizens back online. But the benefits of cloud services reach far beyond disaster recovery. Better data protection — demonstrating that we are good stewards of information — has become a selling point for us in willing contracts.”
IBM Research is working directly with clients to create replicable, cloud-delivered, industry-specific services like Lender Business Process Services or Healthcare Process Services, as well as horizontal business services like CRM and supply chain management.
In China, for example, IBM Research is piloting a newly developed cloud computing platform, codenamed Project Yun which is Chinese for “cloud,” for companies to access business services, designed to make the selection and implementation of new cloud services as easy as selecting an item from a drop-down menu. With no need for back-end provisioning, the IBM platform stands to cut the time required to deliver new services dramatically. The Yun platform allocates storage, server and network resources for the customer application with zero human input, achieving top performance, availability and power utilization.
One of China’s largest retailers with more than 10 million customers per day, Wang Fu Jing Department Store, has deployed several key cloud services from Project Yun, including a supply chain management solution for its vast network of retail stores to easily share supply chain information and visualize the execution of B2B business processes with thousands of their own SMB suppliers via the cloud.
Securing Enterprise Cloud Computing
To ensure the widespread adoption of cloud computing services, IBM has initiated a company-wide project to form a unified and comprehensive security architecture for cloud computing environments. The effort, which spans Systems, Software, Services and IBM’s lauded Research and X-Force arms, is aimed at re-architecting and re-designing technologies and processes, to infuse security and shield against threats and vulnerabilities. Security is built-in to the cloud, not an afterthought.
The project incorporates next-generation security and cloud service management technologies, as well as simplified security management and enforcement, offering enterprise customers the same security and compliance guarantees that are equivalent or better than what they can expect in traditional computing environments.
Built upon IBM’s extensive industry security leadership, the project focuses on developing trusted virtual domains, authentication, isolation management, policy and integrity management and access control technologies designed specifically for cloud computing
For more information on IBM’s cloud computing initiatives, please visit www.ibm.com/cloud
(1) Numbers based on IBM client implementations