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IBM unveils local enterprise cloud service

APIs being published to enable organisations to easily move services to the cloud and bring them back in-house

IBM has launched a new local enterprise cloud computing service – hosted at its data centre in Baulkham Hills in Sydney – suitable for organisations wanting to deploy hybrid cloud models.

The pay-by-the-month service – SmartCloud Enterprise+ – is being provided out of Big Blue’s seventh global cloud centre, which is also the first in the Asia Pacific region.

It builds on the existing “Amazon-like” public SmartCloud Enterprise service, which has about 47 customers in Australia. Around half of these customers are software vendors and the remainder are organisations that need computing power quickly. IBM hasn’t announced any customers yet for SmartCloud Enterprise+.

IBM is publishing the application programming interfaces (APIs) that will aid local enterprises and government departments that want to easily build a hybrid cloud model where some services are pushed to the cloud and some retained onsite.

The service is suitable for organisations that want to deploy between 10 and 500 virtual machines, said Simon Kaye, cloud engagement and strategy executive at IBM Australia and New Zealand.

“It is built around getting rid of that issue where data resides and that barrier around security,” he said.

“An onshore cloud removes that barrier, a cloud that is multi-tenant and shared allows you to do that security isolation, and also allows [companies] to get access to our equipment on a pay-per-use basis.”

According to Kay, IBM is the only provider in Australia and New Zealand that is providing a multi-platform cloud service.

“By multi-platform I mean Unix as well as Linux and Windows. We haven’t just taken an x86 route,” he said.

“Being able to build out x86 and Unix at scale is attractive to a lot of clients.”

IBM has also “exposed the edge of our cloud” by deploying advanced security devices, packet shapers, WAN accelerators and single sign-on appliances, to cater for individual security requirements, said Kaye.

IDC analyst Raj Mudaliar, expected IBM Global Technology Services’ existing top end of town customers in the government, financial services and telecommunications industries to use the service.

“Most of the big customers are on that [cloud] journey,” he said.

“Now IBM has these services, customers can choose it their data resides in Australia or overseas; governments would want their data here.”

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