Matthew Weinberger

April 8, 2011

2 Min Read
IBM SmartCloud: Building a Better Cloud For Service Providers?

IBM has announced SmartCloud, an enterprise-class, secure managed cloud services platform that aims to bring the best of the public and private cloud models together into something that can meet customer needs. Right now, IBM SmartCloud is available for development and test clouds. But later this year, SmartCloud Enterprise + will bring the full service delivery experience to cloud providers.

My peer, Nicholas Mukhar, attended an IBM Cloud Forum yesterday in San Francisco, where he heard about SmartCloud first-hand. Mukhar thinks IBM is focusing much of the SmartCloud effort on security. But ultimately, I think SmartCloud is a much broader initiative from IBM.

SmartCloud, IBM claims, lets administrators choose from “key characteristics of a public, private and hybrid cloud to match workload requirements from simple Web infrastructure to complex business processes.” Part of that includes choosing the level of your cloud’s secutity and isolation, availability and performance, technology platforms, management support and deployment, and payment and billing.

And IBM is leaving the option open for enterprises to have every facet of their cloud deployment managed, up to and including end-to-end management. The idea is to make it easy, efficient, and needs-friendly to move to the cloud, whether you’re deploying a simple SaaS application or ordering a whole CRM system.

What’s Here Today, What’s Coming?

IBM SmartCloud Enterprise, available today, is the aforementioned development and test cloud, with self-service management, limited security, and a 99.5% SLA. But the Enterprise + offering, launching later this year, is the real deal, with 99.9% uptime guaranteed and “a core set of multi-tenant services to manage virtual server, storage, network and security infrastructure components including managed operational production services.”

Intriguingly, cloud service providers will be able to host Lotus Domino applications in the IBM SmartCloud — so long as they’re willing to use the Lotus Domino Utility Server for LotusLive to move to their integrated SaaS platform. All the same, it could potentially give LotusLive adoption a boost in the enterprise.

Details are still fairly scant about how this announcement fits into the larger IBM cloud computing channel strategy. But TalkinCloud has a hunch that they wouldn’t make so much noise about including MSPs in their cloud plans if they didn’t have some idea where they fit into the SmartCloud ecosystem. Keep watching TalkinCloud for answers.

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