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IBM pushes cloud plans, partnerships

If anyone can solve the problems associated with selling cloud computing to enterprises, it should be IBM. Today the company announced a step in that direction with a slew of new services and partnerships to build cloud services for businesses.

The key challenges to overcome are:

    1) Identity management – who sees my application and data in the cloud? Security and regulatory requirements are crucial.
    2) Which workloads and applications are appropriate for cloud computing?
    3) How does my application in the cloud get access to my data which is still stored onsite?

IBM doesn’t have all these answers yet but says it is working with the following organizations to understand these issues.

    Elizabeth Arden, Nexxera, The United States Golf Association, and Indigo Bio Systems sign on as new IBM cloud computing customers
    IBM Global Services will offer data protection software “as a service” through the cloud, in addition to a new IBM cloud environment for businesses to safely test applications
    First live demonstration of a global “overflow cloud” – IBM and Juniper Networks to install hybrid cloud capabilities across IBM’s worldwide Cloud Labs for customer engagements. This is to let users bridge between private clouds and IBM’s public cloud offerings to turn up resources as needed.
    At 13 worldwide cloud centers, IBM offers server capacity on demand, online data protection, and Lotus e-mail and collaboration software.
    IBM Rational AppScan 7.8 lets users continuously monitor the Web services they publish into the cloud to check that they are secure, compliant and meet business policies.
    Service Management Center for Cloud Computing contains a set of offerings including Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.1 and the new Tivoli Service Automation Manager, to automate the deployment and management of private clouds.
    Finally, IBM said it will launch a Tivoli Storage as a Service offering through its Business Continuity & Resiliency Services cloud. Not available until late in 2009, users will be able to consume Tivoli data protection technologies via a cloud and pay for only what they use. EMC and Symantec are already offering these kinds of services.

From these announcements it looks like IBM will be able to help businesses figure out which workloads to shift into the cloud, but there are no details yet on how it will ensure identity management, security and compliance.

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