IBM to Base All Cloud Services and Software on Open Cloud Architecture

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IBM announced that all cloud services and software will be based on an open cloud architecture. As the first step, IBM unveiled a new private cloud offering based on the open sourced OpenStack software that it says speeds and simplifies managing an enterprise-grade cloud. The offering provides businesses with a core set of open source-based technologies to build enterprise-class cloud services that can be ported across hybrid cloud environments.

IBM’s Open Cloud Philosophy

IBM contends that the development of open industry standards has proven a critical turning point in the success of many technologies, such as the internet and operating systems, and that for cloud computing to grow and mature similar to its predecessors, vendors must stop creating new cloud services that are incompatible. 

IBM says it is applying its experience with open standards from it work with the Linux, Eclipse and Apache communities to cloud computing, and that, working with the IT community, it is currently helping to drive the open cloud world by creating a 400-member strong Cloud Standards Customer Council that grew from about 50 members at launch. IBM is also working with the OpenStack Foundation as a platinum sponsor and founding member, and as one of the top code and design contributors to all OpenStack projects. In addition, the company is helping to drive related cloud standards, such as Open Service for Lifecycle Collaboration, Linked Data in the W3C, and TOSCA in OASIS in order to enhance cloud application portability. And finally, showing its commitment to open source cloud technology, IBM has dedicated more than 500 developers to work on open cloud projects. 

OpenStack Reaction

IBM expressed interest in getting involved with the OpenStack project back in early 2012, about 18 months into the project, says Jim Curry, senior vice president and general manager of Rackspace’s Private Cloud business, which supports and operates OpenStack-based private clouds in data centers worldwide.

At that point, Rackspace had announced that OpenStack was going to move from Rackspace control to a community-controlled foundation. When IBM said it would start participating, “true to IBM’s fashion,” rather than do a press release, they started getting involved in the project, Curry tells DBTA.

While to a great extent, this latest announcement from IBM is not news since the company has been heavily involved with OpenStack for well over a year, “what was different was they showed how they intend to make OpenStack available to customers,” Curry notes, adding that  he expects this will play a major role in driving further adoption and further success of the platform.

In addition, the announcement “goes a long way” to position OpenStack against other more proprietary solutions, and to help establish it as a ubiquitous, widely available platform. "IBM helped out tremendously with that effort last week," says Curry. 

New Cloud Software from IBM

IBM’s new software, called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, aims to give clients greater flexibility by removing the need to develop specific interfaces for different cloud services. With the new software, companies can quickly combine and deploy various cloud services onto the cloud infrastructure by lining up the compute, storage and network resources with an easy-to-use graphical interface, says IBM.

In addition, IBM also announced new versions of software that use open standards to help companies better monitor and control their enterprise cloud deployments. IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight helps businesses monitor the real-time performance and availability of applications hosted on a cloud and being delivered via the Web, hosted on public cloud platforms and IBM SmartCloud. Two new beta programs, that use analytics to predict changes in scale and usage, are also now available.  And, in addition, new integration between IBM SmartCloud ControlDesk and IBM Endpoint Manager automates and extends the ability to control cloud services for compliance, regulation, and security to various "end points" or devices, such as mobile phones, medical devices and car engines. The integration of these two products is made possible through open-standard OSLC.

For more information about cloud offerings from IBM, visit

For more information about OpenStack, visit