IBM Plans SmartCloud End, Shifting Customers to SoftLayer

IBM Plans SmartCloud End, Shifting Customers to SoftLayer

IBM will be bringing its SmartCloud Enterprise to a service to an end on Jan. 31. The company is shifting customers over to SoftLayer and has given them notice to begin migration.

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise customers are soon going to find their cloud computing service unavailable. After IBM (IBM) worked to expand SmartCloud, even up to earlier this year, it is cancelling the cloud service. Instead, Big Blue is looking to capitalize on its SoftLayer acquisition and has given customers notice they must migrate off of SmartCloud by Jan. 31, 2014.

Making good use of its SoftLayer acquisition makes sense, but there are bound to be SmartCloud customers that are chomping at the bit right now. Big Blue gave them notice earlier this week, and they—and their trusted IBM partners—are faced with what could be large migrations off of the IBM cloud.

It's a decision that could bite Big Blue in its lower posterior. Cancelling a service often doesn't go over well, and forcing customers to migrate to a different service opens up the possibility they'll migrate to a competitor's cloud. In this case, there may be a good chance some customers will find cloud services elsewhere, as SmartCloud and SoftLayer are two entirely independent architectures, and SoftLayer doesn't support AIX, the proprietary IBM Unix operating system.

Partners that have so far supported SmartCloud but who are not involved in SoftLayer may feel a little put out, as well.

The news of the death of SmartCloud was broadcast via Twitter earlier this week by Lydia Leong, a Research vice president at Gartner who focuses on the cloud computing market.

Leong wrote: "IBM has formally notified SmartCloud Enterprise customers of Jan 31st end-of-life. (I'll be blogging on this when I get some time.)" She then confirmed that IBM had already started migrating customers prior to informing the analyst community.

For IBM SmartCloud customers, the migration may be a pain, but in the end, SoftLayer provides a stronger and better-performing public cloud platform. But considering the IBM IaaS offering was only introduced in 2012, it seems like a life too short for the service.

Perhaps, however, this was inevitable. Last month, IBM noted it had integrated the SoftLayer portfolio into its own and would be putting SoftLayer at the core of its cloud offerings going forward. It was just a matter of time before SmartCloud Enterprise either evolved or died.

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