Cloud computing customers need the ability to access pools of information from different sources. They must be able to access code and tools from a variety of vendors, ensuring that they use the best tools for their individual projects.

Typically, small businesses leverage the power of public clouds in order to take advantage of cloud computing. The growing trend towards combining private and public clouds, depending upon the services required, renders this announcement interesting.

OpenStack is a cloud operating platform for private and public clouds, representing the collaboration of developers and cloud computing technologists from across the globe. Its goal is create simple, scalable, and comprehensive cloud solutions. Originally founded by Rackspace Hosting and NASA, its mission is to “to enable any organization to create and offer cloud computing services running on standard hardware.”  IBM is currently one of the many supporters of Open Stack.

IBM has been a longtime supporter of Open Standards for cloud computing. To reaffirm its commitment, IBM introduced an Open Standards-based product in its private cloud portfolio: SmartCloud Orchestrator. It intends to offer a consistent web and computing environment and experience. Businesses should be able to better manage their enterprise-grade cloud.

IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator removes the need to develop specific interfaces for different cloud services. This intention provides clients with greater flexibility in selecting the cloud service which works best for them. Some of the benefits:

  • Easy and straightforward construction of new cloud services
  • Automated cloud-based application deployment and lifecycle management using an integrated cloud management platform;
  • Use an intuitive self-service portal, to simplify the consumption of cloud services

Note, I have not tested this product.

Many, if not all, of IBM’s products cater to government and large enterprises, not to the small business. What is significant to note with IBM’s announcement is its continued recognition that true cloud services require the investment, collaboration, and commitment of hardware and software vendors to enable organizations – regardless of their size – to benefit from the agility and ease of cloud computing.

Also of note, when large technology firms, such as IBM or HP, commit to a trend, they bring with them resources which smaller firms don’t have, including funding, human resources, technology innovation, and the ability to market and promote the collective efforts.

While this announcement might not impact the small business today, rest assured that its benefits will be realized in a relatively short period of time.

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