IT Management and Cloud Blog

« | Home | »

5 reasons it might not be “Blue Skies” for IBM

By John | February 7, 2008


  1. It was only a matter of time before IBM let Chris O’Connor get his hands on TPM. Chris O’Conner, IBM’s vice president of Tivoli strategy and market management, recently moved from the VP position of ABSM to Tivoli strategy, a good move for IBM because Chris is very good at strategy. He was one of the primary pioneers in Tivoli’s huge CMDB push a few years ago. Now , he appears to have his head in the “clouds” with the Tivoli Provisioning Manager (TPM) product. TPM was acquired technology from Think Dynamics a few years back and has, until now, really been IBM’s flagship provisioning and orchestration product. In a recent announcement, “New IBM Software Helps Clients Automate Data Centers, Realize Benefits of Cloud Computing,” IBM shows a sneak peak at the “Blue Cloud” initiative. Interestingly enough, I had a a similar debate just yesterday with a gentleman named James Urquhart from Cassatt on whether utility style provisioning and orchestration solutions are really clouds, and we are continuing the debate on another thread. My opinion is that provisioning is not quite a cloud. Last year, I attended an IBM session at which the IBM development lab in Markham, Ontario, showed a giant utility-based provisioning system called Tornado. IBM developers in the facility select automated provisioned systems from a self service portal, and it’s all on demand. This system was developed by two former Think Dynamics employees.

  2. IBM’s Haifa Research Labs is know as the world’s largest IT research organization. IBM recently announced a joint 17M Euro research project of 13 academic and commercial enterprises to develop a project called RESERVOIR (Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers). This is an EU-based cloud computing initiative aimed at combining transparent resources using provisioning. An IBM team at Haifa Research Lab will lead the RESERVOIR project. Other partners involved in this project are: Elsag Datamat, CETIC, OGF.eeig standards organization, SAP Research, Sun Microsystems, Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo, Thales, Umea University, University College of London, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, University of Lugano and University of Messina.

  3. By now everyone has heard about the IBM Google “Academic cluster computing initiative.” The story behind the story is one that would make “Cortés” proud. One of the main ingredients to IBM’s mad scheme to eliminate blue skies is its frontal assault on America’s hallowed breeding grounds. IBM and Google know where the their bread is buttered–universities. Get them young and not just from any old university. It is no coincidence that the first four universities to which IBM donated were Carnegie-Mellon, MIT, Stanford, and Cal-Berkley. These universities, at least in the US, are considered the future of IT. I recently read that a top CS graduate from Stanford can get a starting salary in the range of $90k to $100k. If I were smart enough to graduate from one of those universities with a CS degree, and I really wanted to become a scientist, IBM would be the place for me. Google may be cool, but can it measure the magnetic anisotropy of a single atom?

  4. When IBM wants to prototype a business transition, whom does it call? China. When IBM wanted to expand its personal computer opportunities, it went into business with a Lenovo, which may have looked like a sale though IBM still retains a significant interest and control over over the product line. IBM’s first real proto-type for a cloud initiative appears to be starting in China. IBM signed an agreement with the Wuxi Tai Lake Industry Investment and Development Company Limited to build a “China Cloud Computing Center.” Wuxi is a little known city between Beijing and Shanghai that has been classified as an investment zone by the Chinese government. The funny thing is that, when I look at the software and hardware being provided for this so called “cloud” (Rational, WebSphere, DB2, System x, System p ,BladeCenter servers and Tivoli systems management software), it looks more like an IGS bait and switch. Who knows? One man’s cloud is another man’s rainbow, I suppose. The bottom line is that IBM is attaching three major continents with its cloud initiatives, which will surely pay off for it in the long run.

  5. Ok, lets’ say that IBM’s mad plan works and that it covers all of the sky with clouds. How are they going to run this beast? It looks like those boys up in Yorktown Heights at the IBM Watson Research Center might get the last laugh. The boys in upstate NY are just yuk’n it up about those Google 1.3 million core data centers (see annotation #18 in the recently published “Project Kittyhawk: Building a Global-Scale Computer” white paper). They believe that they have been doing this cloud stuff all along with their “Blue Gene,” and they now think that they can do something in the magnitude of 67 million cores with a Petabyte of memory. I am not one for that new math stuff, but I think that they are saying 134 million cpu’s with a 1 and 16 zeros. If IBM gets its way, maybe Nick Carr will get the last laugh when he says, “One computer to rule them all.”

I really do need to read his book.

For more of my stuff about clouds see:

Demystifying Clouds

Topics: blue cloud, cloud computing, ibm, other, tivoli, utility cloud computing | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “5 reasons it might not be “Blue Skies” for IBM”

  1. Demystifying Clouds | John M Willis ESM Blog Says:
    February 7th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    [...] 5 reaons it might not be “Blue Skies” for IBM [...]

  2. Supercomputers are making a come-back ... and man are they pissed! | John M Willis ESM Blog Says:
    February 14th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    [...] recently wrote an article about IBM’s cloud initiatives and one of the initiatives I talked about was the was their published “Project Kittyhawk: [...]

  3. February 2008 - Review Post | John M Willis ESM Blog Says:
    March 4th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    [...] 5 reasons it might not be “Blue Skies” for IBM [...]