The journey to cloud, part 3: evolution to the present


Editor’s Note: This is the third and final post of a three part series, detailing the continuous journey of the infrastructure evolution from virtual to cloud, together with IBM.

In part 1 of “The journey to cloud” series, I discussed the beginnings of the IBM journey to cloud: Application Service Providers. In part 2 I covered the next stage, grid computing. This third and final post in the series continues with stages 3 and 4, bringing us to the present state of cloud computing and completing the IBM journey to cloud.

The Journey to Cloud ComputingStage 3: How has it evolved?

In 2008 IBM formalized the New Enterprise Data Center (NEDC) strategy and vision, which outlines IBM’s point of view for how customers should design and deploy their infrastructures in the data centers going forward. The NEDC was supported by a set of critical product announcements that demonstrated key technologies and capabilities from IBM to help customers begin this journey.

Those key offerings included the IBM System z10 Enterprise Class, the new mainframe. It included exciting new storage offerings for both disk and tape, as well as very important offerings from our software group portfolio and from Tivoli, WebSphere and Rational, as well as very important new capabilities from IBM Global Technology Services (GTS).

Again we were in the position to announce an evolutionary new model for efficient IT delivery, based upon the notion of new economics by leveraging virtualization with highly optimized systems and networking to break the lock between IT resources and business services.
Second, it was about rapid service delivery, leveraging service management to enable visibility, control and automation to deliver quality service at any scale. And, finally, it was about aligning IT with the business objectives—about real-time integration of transactions, information and analytics delivering IT as a service.

This was really a breaking point and IBM was showing its strengths to the market. The power of IBM was demonstrated through our ability to leverage our hardware capabilities, our software and our services. This is what really brings all of IBM together.

Equally important, the NEDC complimented other key IBM initiatives such as service-oriented architecture (SOA), which was all about making applications and business processes more flexible and dynamic. It also complimented IBM’s service management strategy and IBM’s Information On Demand strategy.

The NEDC was all about providing the infrastructure necessary to support these other initiatives. The strategy for the NEDC will discuss the impact and influence that information technology is having on the evolution of the enterprise of the future, what IBM perceives to be the stages of adoption toward the NEDC, and how key technologies such as cloud computing can help clients get started on that journey today.

Theoretical Consideration 3: This was already cloud, but we didn’t call it that yet. Maybe we didn’t realize in that moment the big jump we were making in changing the usual paradigms—the same jump we are making today (in my opinion) when we talk about smarter computing.

Stage 4: Where are we today (since the end of 2009)?

Today we are in the IBM Smarter Planet scenario, where IT leaders are seizing the opportunity to deliver innovation that matters for customers, employees and partners. Smarter Computing is a new and evolutionary model of the IT infrastructure that enables a smarter planet. It helps organizations rethink their IT infrastructure so they can unleash innovation through the cloud, unlock the power of big data and secure critical information and business processes.

The Smarter Computing approach is supported by a comprehensive portfolio of systems, software and services, and it is delivered through flexible deployment models.

IBM created the IBM SmartCloud Foundation to help enable technologies for cloud. It aimed to move beyond virtualization to secure, scalable, workload-aware private and hybrid clouds. For more information, see What Is Cloud? and SmartCloud Overview.

Thanks for joining me in this three-part series on the journey to cloud. We have to remember that Smarter Computing is a continuing journey, not a destination (as the above history has shown), and cloud is an important part of this model.

For more information, check out the following links:

Leone Branca Leone has over 30 years experience with IBM, mainly focusing on STG sales and bringing new and emerging technologies to the European market. You can find Leone on Twitter: @Lb001Lion

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