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IBM Unveils New Hybrid Cloud Solution for the Enterprise

Analysts from North Bridge Venture Partners, GigaOM Pro and 451 Group agree: The need for hybrid cloud solutions is growing. The joint "Future of Cloud Computing Survey, 2011" reports that 39% of cloud users say that the hybrid cloud is currently part of their strategy, with this figure expected to grow to 61% in the near future. This is the result of both private and public cloud users evolving towards the use of a hybrid strategy.

Analysts from North Bridge Venture Partners, GigaOM Pro and the 451 Group agree: The need for hybrid cloud solutions is growing. The joint "Future of Cloud Computing Survey, 2011" performed by these analyst firms reports that 39% of cloud users say that the hybrid cloud is currently part of their strategy, with this figure expected to grow to 61% in the near future. This is the result of both private and public cloud users evolving toward the use of a hybrid strategy.

According to IBM, increasing numbers of organizations are looking to leverage the scale and flexibility of public cloud, but are concerned about losing control of resources outside of their four walls. This is causing organizations to embrace a hybrid cloud model, in which they can more easily manage some resources in-house while also using other applications externally as a service.

IBM is looking to serve that potential market with a new Hybrid Cloud Solution, designed for enterprises looking to simplify the integration, security and management of cloud components that combine remote and local services into a hybrid model.

IBM is able to deliver this solution by leveraging an investment the company made in Cast Iron Systems, a software as a service (SaaS) and cloud application integration provider that IBM purchased in May 2010. The solution will build new hybrid cloud capabilities of IBM Tivoli cloud software onto the application and data integration technology from its Cast Iron acquisition to provide:

  • Control and management resources: The new software will define policies, quotas, limits, monitoring and performance rules for the public cloud in the same way as on-premise resources. This allows users to access public cloud resources through a single-service catalog, enabling IT staff to govern the access and the usage of this information. As a result, organizations will more easily be able to control costs, IT capacity and regulatory concerns.
  • Security: IBM enables better control of users’ access by synching the user directories of on-premise and cloud applications. The automated synchronization means users will be able to gain access to the information for which they are authorized.
  • Application integration: Using a simplified "configuration, not coding" approach to application integration, the software combines the power of native connectivity with industry-leading applications to provide best-practices for rapid and repeatable project success.
  • Dynamic provisioning: IBM’s monitoring, provisioning and integration capabilities allow its hybrid cloud to support "cloud bursting," which is the dynamic relocation of workloads from private environments to public clouds during peak times. IBM’s technical and business policies control this sophisticated data integration.

    The new offering makes it significantly easier to integrate and manage all of an organization's on- and-off-premise resources, and allows a task that once took several months to be done in a few days. What’s more, IBM’s offering lends itself well to those looking to build private clouds, especially when it comes to provisioning disparate services and securing the applications and data within a private cloud.

    "IBM's hybrid cloud offering not only easily integrates our on-premise and cloud-based applications, but also allows us to provide live feeds of order data changes to our sales reps on any device, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops," says Randy Berger, senior application architect, Siemens. "IBM is now taking this a step further to provide even better access and management of hybrid clouds--a move that is sure to help any organization see productivity soar."

    For those building private clouds, IBM’s latest service should ease many of the management and security woes, especially those created by integrating local, cloud services and applications with hosted SaaS options, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and platforms as a service. The ability to manage those heterogeneous elements as a single entity should save countless hours, while paving the way for companies of any size to dive into the private cloud market.

    For more information about IBM WebSphere Cast Iron, visit: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/integration/cast-iron-cloud-integration/.

    See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Strategy: Cloud SLAs (subscription required).

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