Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IBM Eleven Cloud Computing Competency Centers Worldwide

IBM’s cloud computing competency centers are designed to showcase IBM cloud computing infrastructures, applications, and services capabilities through specific competency and training solutions, as well as offer additional services to clients. By June 2010, IBM had opened eleven centers:

» Singapore
» Dublin, Ireland
» Beijing, China
» Tokyo, Japan
» Johannesburg, South Africa
» Sao Paulo, Brazil
» Bangalore, India
» Seoul, South Korea
» Hanoi, Vietnam
» The Netherlands
» Wuxi, China

Craig Sowell, Director, Cloud Marketing and Communications at IBM, was kind enough to discuss IBM’s cloud strategy with me. The points that IBM stresses are that IBM cloud solutions:

» Assist in reducing capital and licensing expenses as much as fifty to seventy-five percent using virtualized resources

» Help reduce operating and labor costs as much as thirty to fifty percent by automating development and testing resource provisioning and configuration

» Facilitate innovation and time to market by helping reduce development and testing setup time from weeks to minutes

» Improve quality through more accurate configurations and enhanced modeling to help reduce defects by as much as fifteen to thirty percent

» Achieve better utilization, as the average enterprise devotes up to fifty percent of its entire technology infrastructure to development and test, but typically up to ninety percent of it remains idle

IBM purchased Rational a number of years ago, and is particularly strong in supporting application development and testing. Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud offers flexible provisioning on demand, at a predetermined cost.

The IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud is a dynamically provisioned and scaled runtime environment that provides a complete environment to develop and test application code; of course, it highlights IBM’s software offerings. These include tools to configure and manage the dynamic execution environment, an IDE that facilitates the direct use of the execution environment, and build and test tools that can exploit the execution environment. Other areas supported include SaaS solutions for collaboration and governance infrastructure and resource repositories for source and reusable assets. It is available now in North America.

The IBM Smart Business Development and Test Cloud provides an onpremises cloud, built by IBM Services. IBM CloudBurst offers pre-integrated hardware, storage, virtualization, and networking to create an onpremises cloud environment. Service management capability is delivered via IBM Tivoli Service Automation Manager V7.2. IBM’s Smart Business Desktop Cloud Solution is an on-premise approach providing virtualized desktops to provide replication of a standardized desktop to enterprises.

In May 2010, IBM acquired Cast Iron Systems, a cloud integrator, to deliver industry-leading cloud integration software, appliances, and services. It does this on a cross-vendor basis; for example, it integrates cloud applications from providers (such as Salesforce.com, Amazon, NetSuite, and ADP) with on-premise applications (such as SAP and JD Edwards). Cast Iron has hundreds of prebuilt templates and services expertise, reducing custom coding and allowing cloud integrations to be completed in the space of days, rather than weeks or longer. These results can be achieved using a physical appliance, a virtual appliance, or a cloud service. IBM also strengthened its offerings by acquiring Sterling Commerce from AT&T. PayPal, the online payment system, is extending its global payments platform, PayPal X, into the cloud. PayPal is working with the IBM Cloud Labs to quickly monetize new applications developed and made available via smart phones. “We want to provide a very simple way to make payments available on all platforms, including mobile applications,” said Osama Bedier, PayPal’s vice president of platform and emerging technologies. “The IBM cloud provides a platform for developers to come together as a community, to create, develop and test new applications. We look forward to seeing the payments innovations our developers create through the IBM cloud and bringing the wallet into the cloud.”

One of I.B.M.’s test beds for cloud computing has been the Interior Department’s National Business Center, a service center that handles payroll, human relations, financial reporting, contracting services and other computing tasks for dozens of federal agencies. The center runs two large data centers, one in Northern Virginia and another outside Denver. Douglas J. Bourgeois, the center’s director, said he is introducing several cloud-style applications over the next nine months including Web-based training, and staffing and recruitment software. In tests with financial and procurement software, the cloud-computing environment has delivered efficiencies of 40 to 60 percent in productivity and power consumption, he stated. “For us, like other data centers, the volume of data continues to explode,” Mr. Bourgeois said. “We want to solve some of those problems with cloud computing, so we don’t have to build another $20 million data center.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/15/technology/businesscomputing/15blue.html

Internationally, IBM has several interesting collaborations:

» Nissay Information Technology is collaborating with IBM to build a cloud-based development and test environment for Japan’s Nippon Life Insurance that will support the development of mission critical Web systems and allow more flexibility for the allocation of IT resources. Prior to the cloud environment, developers needed a month to allocate resources; now the process takes only hours.

» IBM has created Malaysia’s first animation cloud for Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC). The new center is allowing animators, start-ups, and creative content companies to take advantage of cloud computing to significantly reduce in-house production time—animators can perform rendering jobs up to 8 times faster than with local workstations—and produce high quality images for computer-generated content.

» IBM partnered with Spanish hotel company Sol Meliá to manage the company’s technology infrastructure, including its central IT platform and applications (including e-mail and reservation system) and host the Web site (used by guests to book hotel rooms) and the equipment used daily by 4,500 users in an effort to reduce operational cost and foster innovation. As part of the deal, IBM is providing desktop cloud services to Sol Meliá’s users in Spain, Europe and 19 hotels in Latin America.

» Options IT, a leading provider of high-performance financial technology infrastructure-as-a-service (laaS) to buyside and sellside firms, is working with IBM to deliver an optimized private cloud environment for financial services firms. With the new infrastructure, Options IT is able to help clients take advantage of global trading opportunities with new resources.

Source of Information : Implementing and Developing Cloud Computing Applications 2011
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