I finally had a chance to try out IBM's up and coming Development and Test Cloud this morning (currently a tech preview). Within 10 minutes I had an 8-way Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU system with DB2 pre-installed and already running. With a quick comparison, I found that the top system I could provision from IBM had the following CPUs:
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5450 @ 3.00GHz
vs. Amazon’s “High-CPU Extra Large” at:
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5345 @ 2.33GHz
IBM’s cloud offering has some impressive numbers. Given my experience with Amazon, the IBM cloud environment was also much less noisy (e.g., monitoring %steal with iostat) although this could in theory change over time.
My first impression is that this is going to be a very popular cloud platform. I know this is hard to quantify but let me try. First, it is offered by IBM which has about a century of technology experience to draw on. In other words, IBM isn’t going anywhere and there is an incredible amount of technical expertise at IBM. IBM has research as well as products in the areas of security, hardware technology, software technology, etc. Not to mention vast resources and expertise for hosting, consulting and business services that are also found under the IBM umbrella. IBM even invented virtualization technology which is a requirement for cloud computing. Everything lines up from a technical point of view but providing value to businesses requires more than just technical leadership. What else does IBM have?
Technology leadership aside, IBM also has a well-earned trusted name. IBM is a safe place for companies to host their data and their services. This is important for enterprise customers who want to leverage Cloud Computing using a trusted provider but also for start-ups who want to focus solely on their business and not have to worry about the cloud platform they’ve chosen. IBM is known for security, quality, reliability, etc… all of which are key concerns for cloud computing.
There are many ways to use the IBM Development and Test Cloud. One great example is cost reduction through consolidation. Companies often have several development and deployment phases including (but not limited to):
3. User Acceptance Testing
4. Functional Tests
5. Staging (pre-production tests)
7. Disaster Recovery
Historically, each of these phases could have had its own hardware. The problem is that the average utilization of this hardware can be very low (even < 10%) which means that only a small fraction of the up front hardware investment would be utilized. Virtualization provides the means to consolidate these phases but cloud computing makes it trivial. For public cloud offerings, cloud computing even removes the up front costs greatly reducing or eliminating the need for capital investments. Cloud computing from the trusted name of IBM combined with IBM’s technology leadership makes an unbeatable cloud environment to host your business services.
For information about DB2 in IBM’s up and coming Development and Test Cloud, see the following:
- Use DB2 Express-C in the IBM Developer Cloud
- Use DB2 Enterprise in the IBM Developer Cloud
- Free Big Database on Free Blue Cloud
- Development and Test on the IBM Cloud
Want to know more about IBM's cloud initiatives? Check out the latest YouTube videos including:
- Creating Instances on Development and Test
- IBM CloudBurst: Simplifying the IT environment for better productivity
- Cloud Computing: Why choose IBM
The tech preview is open until later this year when a limited beta will be announced. Keep watching this space for updates about IBM’s public cloud offerings.
- Mark Wilding (mwilding <.at.> ca.ibm.com)