According to the recent IBM Center for Applied Insights Study, the number of enterprises moving to cloud will more than double in the next few years as they seek to transition their IT from a cost center to a strategic center of business innovation. Cloud can improve the responsiveness of the IT infrastructure and implementing the right cloud framework can help you achieve the desired business outcomes without increasing risk or cost. Think of flexibility, automation, integration; these are the enablers to an efficient cloud delivery and components of a Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI), an IT infrastructure that brings high degree of flexibility, integrates the data center workloads and resources by automating the entire data center. A Software Defined Infrastructure or Environment is an enabler and ideal architecture for private, public and hybrid clouds where enterprises take advantage of virtualization not just in servers, but also in networking and security, storage and availability, management and automation. With flexibility and automation capabilities, Software Defined Environment (SDE) is a vital component of cloud that enable data center administrators to use a single graphical user interface to do everything from deploying virtual machines to assigning storage to configuring networks hence allowing clouds to become more simpler, responsive and adaptive!
Throughout the next decade, business agility and innovation will continue to be the critical business differentiator for businesses, and those that can shift their business strategies quickly in response to market dynamics, emerging opportunities, and competitive threats will prosper as on demand organizations. One of the foundational capabilities to get there is by leveraging open standards based SDE and cloud. As cloud, mobile and analytics platforms get into main stream, Software Defined Environments based on Open architecture deliver massive portability and interoperability for cloud-enabled infrastructure applications. It’s a framework where vendors can innovate and deliver additional capability and see how their products would plug into this API-driven behavioral model of an environment.
As markets evolve, many innovative technology companies including IBM support open standards and leverages a common cloud stack that enables software defined environments not only across compute, storage and networking but also automates the workloads and can meet the adaptive and dynamic needs enabled by innovations in cloud computing and software defined environments. Innovation in cloud is happening all over IBM - more than 400 experts contributing back to open stack community, we have multiple offerings from software based cloud enabled data centers, to internal private clouds to augment existing data centers to integrating cloud enabled solutions in various industry solutions. The biggest benefit is accelerating the speed of innovation, creating new capabilities that we could not imagine few years back. For example, IBM Smart Cloud Orchestrator (SCO) is a hypervisor neutral cloud management platform that can manage multiple clouds and automate business processes to extend the power of Software Defined Environments enabling true Business Process as a Service (BPaaS). With SDE and Open Stack, we provide the flexibility to create these capabilities in an incremental way without being locked into any specific vendor and build on what they already have.
For example, in the past it took few weeks or even months for many enterprises to provision, develop and test their IT environments. With products like IBM Smart Cloud Orchestrator based on OpenStack, a customer can now have a hybrid cloud environment in minutes, this not only increases productivity and time to capability but also contributes in creating an innovative work environment for engineers to try to things with minimal risks and collaborate across teams. Another innovation IBM is driving innovations in Platform as a Service (PaaS) integration with SDE with initiatives like BlueMix, an API-driven economy enabling an innovative cloud eco system based on an implementation of IBM's Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications. Leaders and pacesetters are using IBM cloud and software defined networks to unlock the power of big data and make better, more accurate, decisions faster. IBM Software Defined Networking (SDN) has brought lots of new networks based on the OpenFlow protocol and existing networks using virtual overlays based on IBM's Distributed Overlay Virtual Ethernet (DOVE) technology that creates more value with fewer resources, faster while reducing business risks like security breaches, vendor lock-ins, and services that don't respond well to workload spikes. IBM Software Defined Storage capabilities provide an open, extensible platform with enterprise-class services including elastic storage software based on IBM GPFS integrated with OpenStack to deliver flexible and massively scalable storage infrastructure with policy based tier storage management.
With IBM’s Open Software Defined Environments for Clouds, the opportunities are endless, it is important for customers to start leveraging these innovations to create new capabilities and differentiate in the market place with new products and services!
Chief Architect - US Federal CTO
IBM Software Group