|By Roger Strukhoff||
|March 15, 2010 03:28 AM EDT||
Cloud Computing was viewed through the lens of reducing complexity and cost within data centers at a recent event in Toronto, during which IBM Canada's Jim Elliott proclaimed Linux as cloud's "past, present, and future." He noted that Linux was certainly not a requirement for large cloud installations, but that its already widespread use by leaders such as Yahoo and Google confirmed Linux's popularity due to its scalability, flexibility, security, "ecosystem," and of course,licensing terms.
Implicit in this message was that the success experienced by the major server-farm companies--which will also likely be the major outsourced cloud providers--can be shared by companies who are considering their own private Cloud Computing infrastructures. Elliott's talk addressed the consolidation of physical infrastructure "to prepare" for Cloud Computing, how to deliver "business-critical workloads," reduce energy costs, and "set up a utility computing environment that adds value to (your) business."
At the heart of the matter lies virtualization, which is really the first mover for Cloud Computing: virtualized resources enable efficient use of resources and server consolidation, whether a company is building a massive server farm or considering a more modest private structure to meet its specific needs.
Yet generally speaking, IBM is being far from modest in its efforts toward Cloud Computing. The company has built what it calls the world's largest network of Cloud Computing labs, with IBM Cloud Labs in Silicon Valley, Dublin, Hanoi, Beijing, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Bangalore, and Seoul.
The company offers everything from infrastructure to consulting to financing for its cloud customers. Part of the company's marketing spiel has latched onto the unfortunate idea that the world is somehow flat, but that said, the company is focused on what it calls the "invisible layer" of computing has become increasingly ubiquitous.
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