Feeds

IBM thrusts mighty cloud erection at US gov after Amazon beds CIA spies

If you can't win contracts, then you need a swanky showroom

Remote control for virtualized desktops

IBM is building a US government cloud center in Washington DC to win over public-sector tech buyers.

The pork barrel procurement barn Federal Cloud Innovation Center was announced by Big Blue on Tuesday. The IT giant will chain – "align" – some 500 technical experts to its erection in the capital and show off its platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service products.

"These IBMers will be a resource focused on government clients and will be brought in for projects or for research collaborations with government clients," IBM spokesman Michael Rowinski told El Reg via email today. "IBM has a pretty active first-of-a-kind research program that teams IBM researchers with clients on breakthroughs in technology."

An unspecified number of staff from bare-metal cloud acquisition SoftLayer will be assigned to the center as well, a spokesperson confirmed to El Reg on Tuesday.

News of the Washington center comes at a critical time for the company, given its ongoing tussle with Amazon for a lucrative $600m CIA cloud contract.

Though federal government workloads are IBM's traditional bread and butter business, the initial loss of the contract to Amazon – IBM objected, a judge struck the objection down, now IBM is appealing and has used SoftLayer assets in a follow-up bid – seems to have spooked Big Blue enough to elicit a flurry of cloud marketing: this includes an announcement touting the win of a $30m federal cloud contract in September – a mere 20th the size of Amazon's win.

Amazon had been praised by the CIA for its technical proficiency, transparency, and use of well-proven technology. IBM, by comparison, was chided for ginning-up bespoke technologies purely for the contract bid, and for a lack of proven technical expertise in large-scale clouds.

But that's not discouraging IBM, mind, for elsewhere in the Federal Cloud Innovation Center statement the general manager of IBM's US Federal business, Anne Altman, said: "Now is not the time for government to settle for what is only available commercially. Now is the time for them to join with industry to build security, reliability and standards that will make for a trusted government cloud environment."

This point of view draws our minds to a bespoke shoe that requires more of a relationship with the manufacturer, is difficult to replicate with another shoemaker, can cost more, and is much harder to step out of.

The center will also help the government work with IBM to investigate using open-source and open-standards technologies within future IT programs, the company said.

"We see a tremendous opportunity to further the development of cloud technologies with the federal government by providing access to the latest breakthroughs in security and reliability coming out of IBM's research labs," Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice-president and director of IBM Research, said in a canned statement. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Do you spend ages wasting time because of a bulging rack?
No more cloud-latency tea breaks for you, users! Get a load of THIS
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.