IBM Pulse 2012: IBM adds to SmartCloud Foundation tools family

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IBM has extended the solutions available as part of its SmartCloud Foundation portfolio, adding tools to help business control and automate their virtual environments.

Some 90 per cent of businesses plan to embrace or ramp up their cloud computing efforts in the next three years, according to IBM research. But, before they can reap the rewards, they must first overcome the obstacle of virtual server sprawl.

It allows you to control changes in an environment where you have to be careful when you make changes.

Each virtual image typically weighs in at between five and 20GB multiply that by thousands and then again by the number of virtual machines and firms are staring complex and costly management issues in the face.

IT budgets are standing still against this backdrop of sprawl, but just to keep pace, businesses would need to employ twice the resources and implement 1.5 times the physical infrastructure, according to Danny Sabbah, general manager of IBM's Tivoli software division. It's completely at odds with the promise of cloud computing, he claims.

In addition, more than one third (35 per cent) of the world's digital data in the next decade will be linked to cloud deployments, according to Jamie Thomas, Tivoli's vice president of strategy and development.

IBM has responded by launching three new tools:

1)IBM SmartCloud Control Desk A way of simplifying control of complex environments.

2)IBM Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices A tool to aid the secure management of mobile assets.

3)IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre Designed to boost cloud storage performance, utilisation, flexibility and cost.

The company also refreshed its SmartCloud monitoring offering and launched the beta of software to aid cloud service lifecycle management dubbed SmartCloud Continuous Service Delivery. IBM claims this latter suite can boost application service delivery by 20 per cent.

"It brings together essential capabilities to manage and control the proliferation of cloud services across your enterprise," said Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing for Tivoli software, talking specifically about SmartCloud Control Desk.

"It allows you to control changes in an environment where you have to be careful when you make changes. It gives you the ability to manage change across not just your virtual infrastructure but your physical infrastructure too."

"The objective is to control the environment," added Hebner." If you can't control, you can't automate and if you can't automate, innovation stagnates and costs skyrocket."

The new tools, announced at IBM's Pulse event in Las Vegas, extend the initial lineup of solutions unveiled in October last year: SmartCloud Entry, SmartCloud Provisioning and SmartCloud Monitoring.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.