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Cloud: A computing world without compromise

Following the recent intended acquisition of SoftLayer Technologies, Inc., IBM is finally showing its hand and demonstrating its commitment toward the next era of existential and ubiquitous computing. It comes with a strong strategic alignment and investment, which in this specific case addresses cloud computing. Such alignment brings to light the synergy behind both companies’ strategy to support Open Source Cloud technologies like CloudStack and OpenStack for SoftLayer and IBM respectively.

A rather large constituency of my clients, customers and co-workers have also asked me how the intended acquisition of SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. would benefit them. After an in-depth review of all the questions I thought that I would simplify and focus on the core decision behind such acquisition. From an IBMer perspective, cloud computing means unobstructed access to the computing resources needed to provision, develop, fulfill or support a business objective. In short, cloud is a computing world without compromise.

As far back as 2008, I started my own engagement towards virtualization in the support of TRIRIGA Hosting Services by conceptualizing “ENCLAVE” (Enhanced Network Computing Lab and Virtual Environment). Such engagement needed to fulfill the following cloud computing primary characteristics:

  • Elastic
  • Measured
  • Self-service
  • Network delivered
  • Pooled resource

Our biggest challenges back then related to storage – locked into array/lung configuration – and automation/self-service being a key component of rapid adoption by users.

From my view point, SoftLayer’s leading strength rests in its ability to deliver cloud computing characteristics on bare-metal configurations and single-tenant models while providing the highest level of automation and speed of delivery.

softlayer-structureIn addition SoftLayer will also benefit from IBM experience and innovation related to IBM Patterns for e-Business distribution, which provides additional automation related to images configuration such as the rapid creation of an environment that encompasses an Apache Web server and a database server like DB2. You may also need one or more point-to-point connections to back-end existing applications or databases. Businesses delivering goods or services over the web frequently require such connections.

Furthermore, leading vendors of big data solutions have also engaged SoftLayer as their platform of choice; this includes the delivery of services correlated to analytics, hadoop, MapReduce and noSQL databases like MongoDB. Consequently, media delivery content through the use of SoftLayer’s  bare metal infrastructure and high speed network adds incremental value due the proximity of the data. This accelerates statistical delivery, analysis and customer engagement, an effective advantage for companies looking for rapid deployment and the customization of customer content.

Last but not least, SoftLayer’s high speed network is well suited for mobile applications, especially in the IM/VOIP arena.

As more large enterprises give their lines of business (LOB) more autonomy to make decisions in purchasing/buying technology, IBM access to SoftLayer would enable small and medium business (SMB) customers additional opportunities related to the sale and introduction to IBM SaaS and SmartCloud offering.

smartcloud-productsThese are exciting times as innovation will flourish from the beneficial partnership between IBM and SoftLayer.

Please connect with me on Twitter (@thinkahead) and let’s continue the discussion.

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