IBM Sees Real Value In Services Offered On Top Of OpenStack Cloud Platform


IBM embraces OpenStack, the open-source standard used for building cloud-computing stacks, but believes a key piece of its cloud strategy is offering products and services on top of the platform.

“We believe open standards are critical for the industry, and we have a lot of synchronization with OpenStack,” Lauren C. States, vice president and CTO for cloud computing and growth initiatives for IBM Corporate Strategy, said Wednesday at the Cloud Leadership Forum in Santa Clara, Calif. “We want to capture the higher-value services that sit on top of the stack.”

The OpenStack standard was developed in part by cloud provider Rackspace, of San Antonio, Texas, and turned over to the OpenStack Foundation. The standard is endorsed by many technology vendors because it allows different products to be used in building cloud platforms rather than allowing proprietary systems to be used.

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In April, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM embraced the OpenStack Foundation along with Red Hat, Dell and other top vendors.

The development of cloud standards has created rivalries among cloud providers, with Citrix withdrawing its OpenStack distribution and its CloudStack software platform and moving it to the Apache Software Foundation, which in turn gives Citrix and its customers greater access to Amazon Web Services.

The OpenStack platform, States said, brings many different companies together to build best-of-breed platforms. It “brings an ecosystem with it,” she added. “We can’t go it alone.”

States said IBM will be offering OpenStack-based cloud solutions in the near future. “We are working on integrating the OpenStack into our stack,” she said. “Stay tuned.”