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IBM's cloud computer drifts over Georgia and Ohio

Future of admin sanity at stake

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According to BusinessWeek's public relations department, IBM and Google have already won the virtualized cloud computing war, discovered a cure for HIV and brought about world peace. Curious then that IBM continues to invest in both virtualization and cloud computing.

During "a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Atlanta today," IBM revealed plans to work with the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Ohio State University around two of computing's most-hyped areas. The research partners will work over virtualization and cloud computing technology until the concepts bend to their collective wills. With any luck, server administrators will one day end up with gear that's easier to use and that chews through less power as a result of the research.

Lest you think IBM is engaged in hype fluffery, the company said that its arrangement will produce an actual thing - the Critical Enterprise Cloud Computing Services (CECCS) facility. Both universities will be able to tap into the facility, sharing their expertise, research and computing power.

It's a rare occasion when a vendor will face up to the task of defining something as vague as cloud computing, but IBM has accepted the challenge and then some.

We're told,

Virtualized data centers give organizations the ability to do more with fewer resources by optimizing the use of software, computing hardware and storage, and network infrastructure by sharing not only across departments but also across different physical locations. Cloud computing allows corporate data centers to operate more like the Internet by enabling computing across a distributed, globally accessible fabric of resources, rather than simply depending upon local machines or remote server farms.

Both definitions seem fair enough. Congratulations go out to IBM's public relations word smiths.

IBM has been kind enough to bless both schools with its BladeCenter HS21 servers, DS3400 storage systems, networking gear and Tivoli and WebSphere software.

"For future virtualized and service-oriented systems within a cloud environment, we contend that without the coordinated use of hardware, operating systems, middleware and applications, it will simply not be possible to meet the demands of tomorrow's critical applications and systems that support them," said Georgia Tech's Karsten Schwan. "The CECCS facility will be a test-bed for modern management tools, such as those provided by IBM Tivoli, and a visible artifact for interactions with industry technology users and developers in these regions and around the world."

Nice Tivoli plug, obedient research partner. ®

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