IBM in cloud push for developers

IBM has introduced a new set of cloud products and services under the name of Smart Business, with an initial focus on cloud development and virtual desktops.

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IBM has introduced a new set of cloud products and services under the name of Smart Business, with an initial focus on cloud development and virtual desktops.

The company said it was building on the growing interest in cloud computing and was introducing the services to tap into the growing need by organisations to get the most from their IT investments.

The company's first attempt at cloud services was called the Blue Cloud initiative, which has now been superseded by the Smart Business portfolio. But the company denies that Blue Cloud was a failure.

"Smart Business is very much the follow-up to Blue Cloud," said Dennis Quan, IBM Director of Autonomic Computing. "We kicked off with Blue Cloud and tried out a few ideas about what our clients wanted from cloud computing.

Quan said that the company had introduced three mechanisms as a way of getting into cloud computing. The first, Smart Business standardised services, is a beta service that allows firms to run and test software on an IBM cloud. The second, IBM Smart Business Test Cloud, is a private cloud built by IBM inside a company's firewall. Lastly, Cloud Burst is a set of integrated hardware, storage, virtualisation and networking products offered to customers who want to run their own cloud.

All three mechanisms will include IBM's service management system, software that IBM describes as a kind of air traffic control system for IT, to help with the monitoring and provisioning of the cloud services.

He added that many companies were looking to introduce a hybrid model where public and private clouds were mixed, where companies could pick what mechanism was right for them.

"Software developers lose a massive amount of time and productivity getting permissions and access to the systems and tools they need to do their jobs," said the IBM statement.

Quan said that there were a variety of pricing models but said that, as an example, CloudBurst would start from $200,000(£122,00).

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