OpenStack, the open source platform for building public and private clouds, has now gotten a big boost from a big player: IBM

The computing giant announced this week that, henceforth, all of its cloud services and cloud-related software will be based on the OpenStack open cloud architecture and related standards. The company said that the new direction is intended to “ensure that innovation in cloud computing is not hampered by locking businesses into proprietary islands of insecure and difficult-to-manage offerings.”

SmartCloud Orchestrator

IBM cited a 2012 report from Booz & Co., “Standardizing the Cloud - A Call to Action,” which said that the “inconsistent, often incompatible standards” for cloud computing are likely to “hold back its ongoing development and limit the benefits the cloud offers enterprises.”

Accompanying the announcement of its commitment to OpenStack, IBM unveiled a private cloud offering for enterprises, called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, which is based on OpenStack. It provides the ability to build new cloud services very quickly through pattern-based cloud delivery, using a graphical orchestrator for creating cloud automation.

The orchestrator is designed to automate and simplify application deployment and lifecycle management, such as the configuration of computing, networking and storage resources or integration with third-party tools. Similarly, end users can employ a self-service portal in SmartCloud Orchestrator to specify cloud services and to measure the cost via metering.


Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software, said in a statement that, “just as standards and open source revolutionized the Web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing.”

Resources, New Versions

In addition to SmartCloud Orchestrator, the company is releasing new versions of existing software to include support for OpenStack. These include SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight, and a new integration between SmartCloud ControlDesk and Endpoint Manager for controlling cloud services to devices while meeting compliance, regulation and security requirements. It is also making available betas of two new analytics programs for predicting changes in cloud usage and scale.

Additionally, IBM highlighted the resources it is putting behind open cloud computing. The company has created a 400-member Cloud Standards Customer Council, has sponsored the OpenStack Foundation as a platinum and founding member, is one of the leading code and design contributors to OpenStack projects, and has dedicated over 500 developers to open cloud projects.

OpenStack has also received backing from other major industry players, including HP, Dell and Rackspace, as well as hundreds of other companies and major governmental agencies, such as NASA. IBM’s backing of the open source operating system Linux had been considered a major step in that platform’s march toward eventual acceptance by enterprises.

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