IBM Expands Global Cloud Footprint and Focus on OpenStack
Despite a recent poor quarterly results report, IBM appears to be applying even more focus to its cloud services business. The company has announced an expansion of its global cloud network with a new cloud center in Mumbai, India and a new suite of cloud services for OpenStack. And these are just the latest components of IBM's $1.2 billion investment in cloud centers in every major market worldwide.
IBM is introducing IBM Cloud OpenStack Services via the IBM Cloud marketplace. According to the company, "this will enable greater interoperability between existing IT systems and off-premise cloud workloads and provides clients with the means to more easily deploy an OpenStack cloud."
IBM, along with big players like HP and Oracle and smaller ones like Mirantis and Red Hat, wants a piece of the growing OpenStack cloud market. The IBM Cloud marketplace includes IBM services and services from hundreds of business partners. Through it, businesses can launch a private cloud based on OpenStack and SoftLayer bare metal services, or mix and match other types of cloud deployments.
IBM is also serving up some customer success stories, one of which surrounds a company called Kona:
"Kona chose IBM Cloud over AWS, Microsoft and Rackspace -- and has deployed a new cloud-based application development service on cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company to help it build dynamic mobile applications that link its customers' back end systems of record with mobile systems of engagement and help them expand globally."
The real differentiator in IBM's strategy, though, is that it is spending money on cloud centers worldwide that will help support 24/7 availability for OpenStack-based and other types of cloud deployments. About the new Mumbai-based center, IBM's announcement notes:
"Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the new, 31,000 square foot Mumbai facility offers an array of solutions including proven cloud resiliency services. These services guarantee customers up times of 99.99 percent across any IT environment, including traditional IT, public, private, or hybrid cloud deployments. In the event of an outage, the center's support team can recover data in minutes to ensure that is has little to no impact on business operations while going virtually unseen by customers."
Time will tell if this strategy pays off for IBM, but judging from its recent results, the company needs to shift away from mainframes and other stagnant parts of its business, and identify growth markets to be in. OpenStack may choose to be a wise choice on that front.