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IBM paints the cloud-scape blue

Offers the works, including a standards body

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

IBM has backed the creation of a standards body that comprises 40 "leading cloud organisations" but none of its main rivals in the battle to dominate the next big thing in computing.

The Cloud Standards Council was wafted into public view as Big Blue unveiled a slew of cloud products and services and reset its stall to grab [big] customer spend.

IBM will push two cloud services under the SmartCloud brand. The first of these is the Enterprise cloud service, which is available immediately, and expands "on our existing development and test cloud". This will be Windows and Linux-based and pitched at developing and deploying new application designs. It promises 99.5 per cent availability and virtual and "some physical" security.

The second, Enterprise +, available later this year, is described as a "robust multi-tenant solution including managed production services". It is pitched at migration of traditional and higher availability applications, and will support AIX as well and Windows and Linux. Availability is promised at 99.9 per cent with security coming at "multiple levels of isolation".

For those prepared to wait until later this year, IBM will also offer IBM SAP Managed Application Services on the IBM Smartcloud. The vendor makes a range of promises here, including cutting the install of DB2 or Oracle from 24 hours to 12 minutes, database cloning from two or three days to 20 minutes, and OS install from one day to 30 minutes.

IBM will also offer a range of its own brand software across the cloud, including LotusLive TivoliLive, IBM Sterling Commerce and IBM Converged Communication Services.

No strategic announcement would be complete without its own talking shop, and IBM doesn't disappoint.

It has unveiled the Cloud Standards Customer Council for Open Cloud Computing, which spans 40 major organisations. Members, other than IBM, include AT&T, CSC, Lockheed Martin, PwC, Red Hat and Software AG. It styles itself as "an end user advocacy group dedicated to accelerating cloud's successful adoption, and drill down into the standards, security and interoperability issues surrounding the transition to the cloud".

It seems churlish to question how it expects to do this without input from the likes of Microsoft, Oracle and HP... unless the members believe you can have any cloud you want, as long as it's Blue. ®

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