IBM Cloud Ecosystem: Spotlight on Sonian

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The cloud ecosystem 

The cloud ecosystem is undoubtedly a valuable asset to cloud computing.  With the empowerment that comes from the value of the vendors, the limits on cloud vendor’s growth surely diminishes with each passing day.  The IBM cloud ecosystem team is comprised of business and technical leaders who look toward independent software vendor (ISV) relationships and their ability to grow the IBM cloud.  One vendor that I have had the pleasure of working alongside recently is a cloud data archival service named Sonian.  Over the last few months, Sonian has shown its value as a truly unique cloud vendor as it begins to expand the IBM cloud’s capabilities, so I thought it was due time to work with Sonian on relaying the company’s words to the global cloud community.

I have asked Joe Kinsella, Sonian’s Vice President of Engineering, for a debrief of the Sonian solution and for some initial impressions of our cloud.  Joe was more than eager to provide the following information.

First impressions: IBM SmartCloud Enterprise

Boston-based Sonian, Inc. was founded with the mission to archive the world’s electronic documents to the cloud. The original vision to harness multiple public cloud computing infrastructures is now within grasp. Since 2007, we have mastered importing, archiving, and searching big data, running a few thousand cores of cloud compute and petabytes of cloud storage. Until this year, our list of clouds did not however include IBM.

Driven by customer demand, we became an IBM Smart Cloud Enterprise customer in January of this year. Our first baby step into the IBM cloud has been to port our software, which uses technologies such as Chef, Ruby, Clojure, and Ubuntu. In the first few weeks, we built a custom Ubuntu image, implemented IBM SmartCloud support in the open source Ruby Fog gem (, and extended our Chef automation to support dynamic provisioning IBM SmartCloud infrastructure. After the core automation was in place, we quickly ported the remaining software.

We’ve been using IBM SmartCloud Enterprise now for almost three months, and our impressions have all been positive. After navigating the expected differences in porting from one cloud to another — for example, security model, pricing, and API — we managed to get our distributed application up and running reliably across multiple IBM SmartCloud regions. We found the IBM cloud to have very competitive compute and storage services, with a flexible global footprint. In addition, the IBM SmartCloud ISV program team has proven to be an invaluable partner in ensuring our success.

With our launch date rapidly approaching, we are confident our enterprise customers will appreciate the reliability and performance of the IBM SmartCloud. Over the next few months, we also hope to engage with other IBM SmartCloud customers, helping to build a growing community of independent software vendors developing on the IBM cloud. We expect you’ll be hearing more from us in the future,  but for now we’ll get back to delivering our first SaaS application on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

In closing

Thanks to Joe Kinsella and Sonian for providing an overview of their solution and words on the IBM cloud.  Over the upcoming months, the ecosystem team will continue to drive articles with Sonian and more cloud vendors.  These articles will depict the positive works that vendors are doing for our cloud and the extended value that they have as a company, contributing back to IBM’s cloud community and the global cloud landscape.

About Joe Kinsella

Joe Kinsella is Vice President of Engineering for Sonian. He has 20+ years experience delivering commercial software for both startups and large enterprises. He joined Sonian from Dell, where he managed global engineering teams delivering SaaS solutions. Joe was also Vice President of Engineering at SilverBack Technologies, where he helped pioneer remote management software, which was acquired by Dell in 2007. You can also follow Joe on Twitter or his High Tech in the Hub blog.

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