Cloud computing involves the delivery of on-demand computing resources, from applications to data centers, using the Internet. The field of managed cloud services brings together expertise and automation to manage end users’ compute, storage, and network resources. Such services also can help in the management of runtime components, operating systems, and middleware, as well as the distributed application stack. The managed cloud allows flexibility of choice of service provider for different cloud functions across the stack. This results in complex networks of providers and consumers.
As noted by our guest editors Canturk Isci, Valentina Salapura, and Maja Vukovic, important candidates for managed cloud environments include critical enterprise workloads as well as managed enterprise-grade cloud infrastructures for Web, mobile, analytics and social applications. Other candidates include development and test applications, industry-specific solutions, and infrastructures for data-center transformation. Customers that need resilient infrastructures and the ability to scale up to large databases with many users will often benefit from managed cloud services.
This special issue of the IBM Journal of Research and Development presents ways that managed cloud services are employing automation, analytics, and process orchestration. The issue also explores the impact of DevOps-based approaches to continuous life-cycle management. Specific topics of interest include discovery and migration, open-standards cloud platforms (such as OpenStack and IBM Bluemix), containers, analytics, and APIs (application programming interfaces).
Clifford A. Pickover
IBM Journal of Research and Development