IBM Guns For Oracle, HP With Cloud Platform

IBM has beefed up its CloudBurst line of pre-integrated cloud service delivery platform in a bid to catch up with its chief rivals Oracle and HP, which have recently hit the ground running with all-in-one cloud computing offerings.

Big Blue on Thursday said it will deliver CloudBurst on its POWER7-based hardware and also offer it as software that can run on currently installed IBM and non-IBM systems.

The appliance and software stack are designed to automate service delivery within private clouds, IBM's CloudBurst appliances tie together hardware, storage, networking, virtualization and service management software that enable the building of private clouds, cutting gout the need to manually configure cloud computing systems. IBM estimated that CloudBurst can chop a solution provider's or IT staff's labor in integrating systems, provisioning and managing storage by up to 95 percent.

"Automating IT resources to support new applications is critical because at most companies, a business user typically must wait weeks to get access to new IT resources due to the manual processes required to set up resources," Lauren States, vice president of cloud computing for IBM's Software Group, said in a statement. Automating those processes, she said, can speed time to market.

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IBM's CloudBurst updates come as the Armonk, NY, computing giant's chief competitors also hit the market with integrated cloud computing systems. At its OracleWorld event last month Oracle unveiled the Exalogic Elastic Cloud server, a systems designed to serve as a cloud computing platform that CEO Larry Ellison called a "cloud in a box." Other major players have prepped all-in-one packages to build private clouds with the goal of easing installation and management by integrating hardware and software. IBM's CloudBurst portfolio will also pit it squarely against HP's BladeSystem Matrix and CloudStart offerings and Dell's Virtual Integrated System.

NEXT: IBM Details New CloudBurst Hardware, Software

IBM launched CloudBurst in appliance form last year. The CloudBurst refresh gives IBM channel partners tools to easier implement and manage private cloud systems for their clients while also helping to develop applications that run in those cloud computing environments.

The heart of the revamped cloud plays from IBM is the company's autonomic computing advance, the new IBM Service Delivery Manager, which deploys applications and automates the deployment, monitoring and management of cloud computing services.

The new CloudBurst product line includes a new appliance, the IBM CloudBurst v2.1 on Power Systems, which will be available in December is based on IBM Power 750 servers. The appliance can support from 160 to 2,900 virtual machines. The new software, IBM Service Delivery Manager, is based on a pre-integrated, software-only stack for x86 and Power systems. The software can be ordered separately from the hardware to give clients flexibility of using IBM or non-IBM hardware. The IBM Service Delivery Manager for x86 systems is available now, while the version for Power systems will hit in December.

IBM also released a new version of IBM CloudBurst v2.1 on System X that is based on IBM HS22V blades and equipped with more memory and double the fibre channel bandwidth. The new system can run 30 or more virtual machines per blade and provide a workload optimized solution where processing power can be increased by adding compute notes in a pay-as-you-go model.

The CloudBurst revamps come during a cloud-fueled week for IBM, which earlier this week launched its Blueworks Live platform, a cloud-based business process management (BPM) platform delivered by solution providers. IBM's cloud push also comes on the heels of an IBM study that found cloud computing and mobility are creating major shifts in IT and the channel.