IBM cloud computing consists of cloud computing solutions for enterprises as offered by the global information technology company, IBM. All offerings are designed for business use, marketed under the name IBM SmartCloud. IBM cloud includes infrastructure as a service , software as a service and platform as a service offered through public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models, in addition to the components that make up those clouds.
IBM offers an entry point to cloud computing whether a client is designing their own virtual private cloud, deploying cloud service, or consuming cloud workload applications.
The IBM cloud framework begins with the physical hardware of the cloud. IBM offers three hardware platforms for cloud computing. These platforms offer built-in support for virtualization. The next layer of the IBM framework is virtualization. IBM has been involved with virtualization technology for over 40 years and offers IBM Websphere application infrastructure solutions that support programming models and open standards for virtualization.
The management layer of the IBM cloud framework includes IBM Tivoli middleware. Management tools provide capabilities to regulate images with automated provisioning and de-provisioning, monitor operations and meter usage while tracking costs and allocating billing. The last layer of the framework provides integrated workload tools. Workloads for cloud computing are services or instances of code that can be executed to meet specific business needs. IBM offers tools for cloud based collaboration, development and test, application development, analytics, business-to-business integration, and security.
IBM cloud computing emerged from the union of two of IBM’s most influential technologies: mainframes and virtualization. Known as the original virtualization company, IBM’s first experiments in virtualization occurred in the 1960s with the development of the virtual machine (VM) on CP-40 and CP-67 operating systems. CP-67, a hypervisor used for software testing and development, enabled memory sharing across VMs while giving each user his own virtual memory space. By partitioning the mainframe into separate VMs, mainframes could run multiple applications and processes at the same time, making the hardware more efficient and cost-effective. IBM began selling VM technology for the mainframe in 1972. VMware then developed the inexpensive x86 server, which largely took the place of virtualization in the 1980s and 1990s.
In February 1990, IBM released POWER processor based servers. The servers, in combination with the IBM mainframe, were built for complex and mission-critical virtualization. Power systems servers include PowerVM hypervisors with live partition mobility and active memory sharing. Live migration was introduced with POWER6 in May 2007. Next, IBM looked to implement standardization and automation in their technology in order to keep up with the proliferation of data produced by increasingly efficient hardware and data centers. This combination of virtualization, standardization and automation led to the development of IBM cloud computing. By offering hardware, software, storage, management and security, IBM was capable of providing enterprises with all the components to build their own integrated private cloud.
IBM first began to develop a clear strategy for cloud computing in 2007, stating its mission to build clouds for enterprise clients and provide services to fill gaps in existing cloud environments. In October 2007, IBM announced a partnership with Google to promote cloud computing in universities. In addition to donating hardware and machines, the two tech giants also provided a curriculum to teach students about cloud computing. The effort was made in hopes of preparing tech students for modern computing.
Since early 2011, adoption of IBM SmartCloud solutions has increased steadily. IBM announced in April 2011 that 80% of Fortune 500 companies use IBM cloud. Also the software and services are utilized by more than 20 million end-user customers worldwide. Some of their clients include American Airlines, Aviva, Carfax, Frito-Lay, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company, and 7-Eleven.
On 4 June 2013 IBM announced its acquisition of SoftLayer, to form an IBM Could Services Division.
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