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IBM unveils new hybrid cloud solution

IBM has announced a new hybrid cloud solution — building on its acquisition of Cast Iron — to help clients significantly reduce the time it takes to connect, manage and secure public and private clouds. With new integration and management capabilities, the company claims,  organisations of all sizes will be able to gain greater visibility, control and automation into their assets and computing environments, regardless of where they reside.

As a result, it will be significantly easier to integrate and manage all of an organization’s on-and-off premise resources, and will allow a task that once took several months to be done in a few days.

IBM says an increasing numbers of organisations are looking to leverage the scale and flexibility of public cloud, but are concerned about losing control of resources outside of their four walls. This is causing organisations to embrace a hybrid cloud model, where they can more easily manage some resources in-house, while also using other applications externally as a service.

According to industry analysts, 39 percent of cloud users report that the hybrid cloud is currently part of their strategy, with this number expected to grow to 61 percent in the near future.  This is the result of both private and public cloud users evolving towards the use of a hybrid strategy.

Yet, as businesses adopt a cloud computing model, they are faced with integrating existing on-premise software such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and homegrown applications, while managing their usage and security. Managing the complexities within and between such hybrid environments is key to effective enterprise business use of software-as-a service (SaaS), according to Saugatuck Technology.

To address this challenge, IBM is expanding its SmartCloud portfolio with new hybrid cloud technology.  The solution will build upon IBM Tivoli’s cloud management software and extend those capabilities to the application and data integration technology from its Cast Iron acquisition to provide:

  • Control and Management Resources:  The new capabilities will define policies, quotas, limits, monitoring and performance rules for the public cloud in the same way as on-premise resources. This allows users to access public cloud resources through a single-service catalog — enabling IT staff to govern the access and the usage of this information in a simplified, efficient and secure way.
  • Security: IBM enables better control of users’ access by synching the user directories of on-premise and cloud applications. The automated synchronization means users will be able to gain entry to the information they are authorized to access.
  • Application Integration: Using a simplified “configuration, not coding” approach to application integration, the software combines the power of native connectivity with industry leading applications to provide best-practices for rapid and repeatable project success.
  • Dynamic Provisioning: IBM’s monitoring, provisioning and integration capabilities allow its hybrid cloud to support “cloud bursting,” which is the dynamic relocation of workloads from private environments to public clouds during peak times. IBM’s technical and business policies control this sophisticated data integration.

“As the hybrid cloud model is emerging as a strategic means to quickly unlock business value from data sources, IBM is making it enterprise-ready with the best monitoring, governance and security tools available,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, middleware software, IBM. “IBM’s new solution will expedite and secure this process to help clients of all sizes access key business applications securely, no matter where they reside.”

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