IBM: Send in the Clouds

Cisco, HP, EMC, VMware beware; the father of Autonomic Computing has entered the market.  Today, IBM announced the IBM Blue Cloud initiative with Erich Clementi at the helm reporting directly to Sam Palmisano and Kristof Kloeckner as its CTO.

Instead of entering the market with blogs, rhetoric, and posturing, IBM showcased years of research and commercial deployments to demonstrate “overflow cloud”.  Overflow Cloud showed how you can provision and transfer data from one cloud to another with simple the drag-and-drop of a mouse.  Furthermore they built this technology without help from either Cisco or VMware as Overflow Cloud utilizes technology from Juniper Networks and the open source Xen hypervisor.

Does IBM have the research, development, deployment capabilities, and global market presence to make cloud computing a reality?  Will IBM finally unleash autonomic computing to the world?  While some have written that these announcements are a “disappointment”, I believe those comments are out of fear and self-preservation.  Clearly, by creating a division that reports directly to Sam Palmisano, IBM is taking cloud computing very seriously.  Furthermore, no one can question IBM’s research and development credentials in the area of autonomic computing and virtualization.

As Platen has been examining the path to cloud computing, how will IBM answer the technology challenges?  Will Tivoli evolve into the control plane that becomes the foundation for a true data center OS?  As Cisco is pouring millions of dollars into cloud computing, datacenter 3.0, and VMware itself, how will they react to IBM showcasing Juniper and Xen’s technology?

I am excited to welcome IBM to the cloud party and I hope they continue to publish research on both cloud and autonomic computing.

Please stay tuned to Platen as we continue to examine the path toward cloud computing.