IBM switches to OpenStack based clouds
IBM has announced that it is re-architecting all of its cloud services and software to be based upon open source in general and OpenStack in particular. "Just as standards and open source revolutionized the Web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing", said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software, in the company's announcement.
IBM's move has been likened by some as similar to the company's adoption of Linux in its early years, but unlike Linux at that time, the open source or open standards cloud is generally accepted throughout the industry. Dedicating itself to using open source foundations for its cloud offering makes sense for IBM as it is able to drive standards and development more effectively.
As the first part of IBM's process, the company has unveiled a new private cloud product based on OpenStack, the IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, which has been designed to allow new cloud services to be created and deployed quickly using cloud delivery patterns and a graphical interface.
OpenStack is the open source platform developed for managing private or public Infrastructure-as-Service (IaaS) clouds. IaaS clouds provide computing resources in the form of easily provisioned virtual machines and distributed storage services. Created by NASA and Rackspace initially, OpenStack developed first into an open source project, and then with companies such as IBM, Red Hat and even VMware joining, into a thriving community. After pressure from the community that had formed around it, OpenStack was handed over to an independent foundation to manage its evolution. The most recent release of Openstack is Folsom 2012.2, released last September; the next release, currently under development, is Grizzly, due in April.