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March 08, 2012

IBM Unveils Smarter SmartCloud, Addresses 'Virtual Sprawl'

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

IBM (News - Alert) this week unveiled updated software that aims to help customers gain more control over their cloud deployments by offering enhanced visibility and automation to securely manage and deploy cloud services.

IBM’s new SmartCloud Foundation includes:

     IBM SmartCloud Archive, specifically designed for eDiscovery and other regulatory requirements for records storage,

     IBM SmartCloud Virtualized Server Recovery, and;

     IBM SmartCloud Managed Backup enhancements to integrate the above two services in the backup stream and in automated backups.

 A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that 90 percent of organizations expect to adopt or substantially deploy a cloud model in the next three years. 

“Virtual images are tripling every two years, outpacing the doubling in compute power and essentially flat IT budgets. With current operating practices, every two years, you’d need 1.5 times the physical infrastructure to support cloud and twice the labor.  That’s an unsustainable cost and management problem which is the exact opposite of the promise of cloud,” said Daniel Sabbah, general manager, IBM Tivoli Software. “We are delivering a much higher level of control over cloud service delivery allowing our customers to quickly, easily and affordably move to higher levels of value beyond virtualization.”

IBM said virtual images are typically between five to 20 gigabytes in size. If you multiply that by the thousands of virtual images created today, with larger enterprises having five to 20 thousand virtual machines, it is often costly and challenging for IT managers tasked with improving service levels.

IBM’s SmartCloud platform promises not only to improve the speed of deployment but also its value and flexibility. As an example, since deploying IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, Dutch Cloud has seen its client base expand significantly.

Now the firm’s IT team spends 80 percent of its time on client migrations and only 20 percent of its time on administration – a more than 70 percent decrease in administrative time, IBM officials said.

“With our original tool, it could take almost an hour to provision an extra 200 virtual machines for a client,” says Martijn Van Zoeren, CEO, Dutch Cloud. “With IBM SmartCloud Provisioning, we can do it within five minutes. Previously, we had to keep changing our tool to support all new versions of VMware, KVM and Microsoft (News - Alert) software coming out, and all the new storage versions,” added Van Zoeren. “It was easy to do that when we first started, but we couldn’t maintain it as we grew. We were spending 80 percent of our time maintaining the tool and 20 percent on supporting client requirements.”

In a company statement, IBM said: “Collectively, the new offerings will help clients speed delivery, lower risk and better control the move to deploy cloud alongside their existing production environments.”

Edited by Rich Steeves

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