IBM Bolsters SmartCloud Services Platform With Provisioning

The upgrades, introduced at IBM’s PULSE 2012 conference in Las Vegas, make it easier for IBM partners and business customers to manage their IT environments in public, private and hybrid clouds.

SmartCloud, which provides a platform customers can use to deploy middleware and applications in the cloud, was introduced by IBM in April 2011.

This week IBM introduced several programs, including SmartCloud Provisioning, for adding or upgrading servers, instantly deploying virtual machines on-demand, adding image versioning and providing hypervisor support; SmartCloud Continuous Delivery, which provides integrated lifecycle management for cloud services and testing; SmartCloud Control Desk, which maintains configuration integrity in response to changes across the data center; and Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, which helps users manage mobile devices in cloud environments.

The new technologies help customers better manage increasing amounts of data in the cloud, said Mike Riegel, IBM vice president of ISVs, star-ups and academic programs, in an interview with CRN.

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"Partners are telling us that, first, they want greater speed and flexibility in cloud service delivery," said Riegel. "Second, they want to reduce capital expenses and operational expenses, and third, that they want greater efficiency and optimization. So our offerings are keeping pace with the cloud’s momentum with speedy delivery, reduced costs and greater flexibility."

Ron Faltin, director of business development for cloud solutions for Sirius, a San Antonio-based IBM partner with $1.3 billion in revenue, said his business customers will welcome IBM tools that will help them better manage their virtualized cloud environments.

"A lot of our clients tell us they are fully virtualized and they are still struggling with managing their environments," Faltin said in an interview. "So the IBM offerings in private and hybrid clouds are their response to challenges those clients are facing to manage those environments. It's really addressing elements fundamental to true cloud implementation, including standardization of services, automation, visibility and managability of virtualized environments."

Likewise, Soasta, of Mountain View, Calif., a supplier of cloud-based testing services for Web and mobile applications that uses IBM SmartCloud, said the upgrade gives users more leeway in handling large amounts of data.

"We sometimes provision hundreds of thousands of cloud servers from around the world," said Tom Lounibos, Soasta president and CEO. "IBM is addressing auto-provisioning, and managing processes to enhance speed. I applaud it."