Why IBM's New Cloud Lab Is A Good Idea
Just the other day, we discussed the fact that while there are many open source initiatives surrounding cloud computing, there may need to be significant investments in infrastructure for them to have much of an impact. Organizations such as the Open Cloud Initiative and the Open Cloud Consortium have made efforts in this area, but deep pockets are probably required. That's why it's very interesting to see that IBM has just announced the opening of a cloud computing laboratory in Singapore that will not only focus on business initiatives in the cloud, but will help governments, research institutions and institutes of higher learning reap benefits.
Ronnie Tay, CEO of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) announced the launch of the new cloud lab at the opening ceremony of IDA's event, CloudAsia 2010:
"IDA is pleased to collaborate with IBM in its Cloud Lab initiative. IDA sees cloud computing as the next important paradigm in computing that will help to sharpen the competitiveness of organizations and enterprises. We seek to develop a vibrant cloud computing ecosystem here and position Singapore as a center for cloud computing services in the region and beyond."
According to a statement from IBM:
"Through briefings, technology deployment and development sessions, the Singapore lab will work closely with businesses, government and research institutions and institutes of higher learning to design and deploy their own cloud environments. The lab will help these clients deploy first-of-a-kind solutions that increase business responsiveness, lower IT operating and capital costs, enable real-time data streams and information sharing, and provide globally available resources."
While there isn't going to be a specific focus on open source at the new lab, it won't be a surprise to see open source cloud advancements come from it. In fact, labs and universities are increasingly having a big impact on cloud computing, and open source efforts focused on the cloud. For example, Eucalyptus Systems, now one of the well-funded darlings of the open source cloud computing world, was originally just a project at U.C. Santa Barbara when OStatic first broke the story about it. It won't be a surprise to see IBM itself get benefits from lab-based testing of cloud initiatives. Let's remember that the cloud model is relatively new, and there need to be funded tests, experiments, think tanks and investments in infrastructure for it to progress.