IBM Advances Cloud Computing with New Software

IBM expands its virtualization, image management and cloud computing leadership with major technology breakthroughs

(PresseBox) ( LAS VEGAS, )
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today showcased a series of breakthroughs that extend its leadership capabilities in virtualization, image management and cloud computing, including software that can virtualize a smarter data center within minutes to instantly to meet business demand.

These new technologies build on IBM's existing provisioning and image deployment capabilities that help clients better manage virtualized and cloud environments to achieve greater business efficiency and innovation while controlling costs.

In 2009, approximately $17 billion was spent on cloud-related technologies, hardware and software, according to IDC. According to IDC, by 2013, that spending is expected to grow to $45 billion IDC estimate.(1)

The demand for cloud computing is exploding as organizations seek to expand the impact of IT to deliver new and innovative services while realizing significant economies of scale. The power of the cloud computing model is the ability to harness varying technology investments with rapid and dynamic scheduling, provisioning and management of virtualized computing resources.

New Software Virtualizes Data Center in Minutes

IBM's new advanced virtual deployment software -- now available as an open beta program -- enables organizations to create a cloud environment with unmatched dynamic provisioning of server resources. The software can deploy a single virtual machine in seconds, dozens in a few minutes and hundreds or thousands at the unrivaled speed of under an hour.

This breakthrough performance in "image management," allows organizations to install, configure and automate the creation of new virtual machines-a key to cloud computing-to meet business demands, while minimizing costs, complexity and the risk associated with IT. This capability reinforces IBM's technical prowess in cloud solutions and leadership in advancing cloud capabilities for clients.

An organization's ability to instantly access computational resources is critical for success. This agility enables them to quickly respond to changing demands while opening new business opportunities that require resources of a large data center. Through cloud computing, a telecommunication operator could quickly develop fourth-generation applications for new revenue streams; a healthcare provider could digitize all of its files to provide better service to patients.

One of the key requirements of cloud computing is the ability to create computing resources through the deployment of virtual machines on the fly-called dynamic provisioning and scheduling-but traditional technologies deploy virtual machines slowly, requiring significant hands-on management from IT staff. As organizations rely more heavily on the rapid availability of computational resources, the demand for virtual machines increases dramatically. In fact, virtual machines will grow tenfold from 2008 to 2012.(2)

Virtual server images are typically between five to 20 gigabytes in size. Multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having five to twenty thousand virtual machines, makes it challenging for IT managers who are tasked with improving service levels.(2) These types of requirements demand an environment that delivers rapid access to IT resources. It is becoming a critical requirement to have an automated, "low touch" design that supports a much larger number of virtual machines with fewer administrators - reducing costs and risks associated with human error.

"This new product delivers a definitive step forward in simplifying the way IT staff can manage the cloud," said Ric Telford, vp of Cloud Services, IBM. "IBM is delivering again on our promise of leading cloud innovation for the enterprise."

IBM also announced three new breakthroughs for managing virtual environments:

Automating IT Resources

IBM is announcing the new Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.2 to help organizations better manage virtual computing resources easily by automating best practices for data center provisioning activities. New capabilities to this provisioning software include image federation and deployment across heterogeneous infrastructures.

The new software enables clients to rapidly deploy images in order to provide high value applications, while the automated provisioning helps control image sprawl, reduce cost and optimize resources. Leveraging best practices drives greater consistency to help minimize human errors and speed the execution and accuracy of the testing process.

Extending Service Management to Hybrid Cloud Environments

IBM demonstrated technologies that provide a centralized management platform for hybrid cloud environments for both on and off premise deployments. IBM's cloud integration strategy enables clients to simplify, centralize and control the secure use of hybrid public and private clouds.

The new technology demonstrated today extends service management capabilities such as governance, monitoring and security across physical and virtualized resources in private and public clouds.

Protecting Virtualized Data

The IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments, also announced today at PULSE, integrates with and extends clients requirements to meet backup and recovery needs, online database and application protection, disaster recovery, reduction in stored data, space management, archiving and retrieval

In the virtualized environment, this software improves the frequency of backups to reduce the amount of data at risk, and enables faster recovery of data to reduce downtime following a failure. By off-loading backup and restore processes from virtual machines, Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments allows users and applications to remain productive without disruption.

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments includes features that:

· Utilize VMware's vStorage APIs for Data Protection, including block-level incremental backups based on VMware's Changed Block Tracking

- Offload the backup workload from virtual machines and production VMware ESX hosts to vStorage backup servers
- Provides flexible recovery options-file, volume or image-from a single-pass backup
- Centralizes and simplifies management with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager

(1) IDC
(2) Tom Bittman, “Server Virtualization: From Virtual Machines to Clouds,” Gartner Webinar, January 20, 2010.
(3) Kurt Marko, “The Costs of Virtual Sprawl,” Processor, July 2, 2008.
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