IBM Allies With Amazon To Deliver Cloud Services

Web Services database WebSphere

IBM is making "Amazon Machine Images" of its DB2 and Informix Dynamic Server databases, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere sMash mash-up tool, WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management software available through Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. ISVs, paying only Amazon's 10 cents per hour access fee, can access the images to develop and test applications that run on the IBM software.

IBM plans to add Tivoli service management software to the Amazon-hosted products sometime in the future.

"What we want to do is give our customers and third-party developers as much freedom as we can," said Dave Mitchell, director of strategy and emerging business in the IBM Software Group. He said the deal with Amazon Web Services also would create opportunities for solution providers to develop new cloud computing implementation services.

Sometime in the next few months, IBM will begin offering, on a beta trial basis, Amazon Machine Images of those same software products that customers and partners can use as a production environment to run their applications. That platform will include an image of Novell's SUSE Linux on Amazon EC2, according to Mitchell. IBM and Amazon will charge a single hourly rate -- yet to be set -- for the entire hosting system.

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IBM is also developing price guidelines based on its processor value units pricing model for how customers that already own IBM software can run those applications on Amazon EC2.

And the company is creating space on its DeveloperWorks Web site where developers can go to learn more about the Amazon EC2 deal and cloud computing in general.

Mitchell said the move to help ISV partners take their applications to the cloud computing market is one facet of IBM's broader cloud computing initiative called "Blue Cloud." IBM offers its own portfolio of cloud computing applications, such as the recently unveiled Lotus Live, and services for helping customers build out cloud computing systems and integrate those systems with on-premise applications.

On Tuesday, IBM unveiled a partnership with Juniper Networks to install networking technology across IBM's nine cloud computing laboratories worldwide to help demonstrate to customers the potential of hybrid public-private cloud computing networks. IBM also is offering customers test environments for designing and implementing cloud computing technology and this week unveiled Tivoli Storage, available later this year, as a service that will provide customers with cloud computing data protection services.