Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

On the Same Day as Dell, IBM Announces a Big Cloud Computing Push

Hey everyone, it’s a cloud computing party! On the same day that Dell announced plans to spend $1 billion to build 10 new data centers, IBM is announcing a brand new cloud service called “Smartcloud” that it hopes will help bring in $5 billion in new revenue by 2015.

Big Blue’s approach will be a little different from that of Amazon’s Web Services, where customers can spin up an instance when they need it and pay only for what they use. With many CIO’s still skeptical of the security and reliability of cloud services that run outside their own premises, IBM is bringing its heft and assurance to enterprise clients and letting them choose a mix of public, private and hybrid cloud options based on what they need. The options are built around five aspects: The need for security and isolation, availability and performance, the technology platforms needed, management and ease of deployment, and payment and billing.

One service available today is an expansion of IBM’s development and test cloud, the one that IBM Cloud Services VP Ric Telford talked about in January. Customers can use the the IBM cloud to develop and test their own internal applications at a considerable cost savings compared to typical environments. IBM is calling this version Smartcloud Enterprise. Then there’s Enterprise Plus: Coming later this year, this will add a bunch of additional services on top of the Enterprise offering.

The company is also making a big move in setting standards. IBM says it’s working with 45 companies as varied as Citigroup, Lockheed Martin, State Street Bank and Rackspace to set cloud computing interoperability standards around management, reference architectures, hybrid cloud, as well as security and compliance. The point is to get everyone working on the same page.

As part of the larger picture, this push is part of CEO Sam Palmisano’s plan to push IBM to bring an additional $20 billion in sales by 2015. The cloud is just a part of it. The other big piece is its Smarter Planet initiative, aimed making infrastructure like, say, the electrical grid in the U.K., more efficient and less costly to operate.