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IBM tries to promote its on-premises cloud initiative

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December 12, 2016

It looks like IBM has found a new method to spread its Bluemix Cloud technology around the world by having industry partners blaze a new trail with its on-premises cloud initiative.

Dubbed "Bluemix Local" the concept is on-prem cloud and is a collection of software that, when thrown at a pool of x86 servers that conform to a reference architecture, it turns out a cloud with most of the features of Bluemix, except that it's on-premises.

But you also get some compatibility with the full public version of the Big Blue cloud, including elasticity from on-premises to the public cloud.

Bluemix local can offer bare metal, the same VMware experience that VMware and Big Blue already offer in the public cloud or simply pick up a Cloud Foundry template and run with it.

IBM thinks that Bluemix Local fits a few of niches, among them latency-sensitive apps that are happier on premises, or to operate against location-sensitive data that organizations simply can't place in public cloud for regulatory reasons.

And it looks like IBM is also doing the “run it on your premises, don't pay for equipment up-front but do pay for its consumption as if it were a public cloud” implementation that most hardware concerns now offer.

For his part, Andrew Kupetz, IBM's Australia and New Zealand chief technology officer for all things cloud, told us that Bluemix Local also has a new role in spreading IBM's cloud platform into places that Big Blue won't even tread yet.

“To be sure, we already configured a Bluemix Local in Asia, where we and a few other industry partners don't even have dedicated data centres,” he told us. Service providers, he said, “can go large with them and go multi-tennant.”

The overall result is that a service provider that stands up to a Bluemix Local to become a managed cloud service provider could have some success in the process.

However, if the service provider scales and offers it to a wider pool of customers, Kupetz thinks that IBM doesn't mind a bit as it takes Bluemix beyond the company's current data centre network.

That network already comprises thirty-one locations around the world, but Kupetz hopes that by adding more service providers running Bluemix local, that footprint might expand somewhat.

Service providers who run a Bluemix Local implementation won't get a mention on the list of official data centers however, and that's something that IBM might want to look into sooner rather than later if it wants any traction out of this concept.

However, there are plenty of reasons why IBM will likely consider wider engagements, namely the 4,000+ members of VMware's vCloud Air Network and the fact that Microsoft recently extended the overall support for its Azure-for-Service-Providers program.

For their part, Google and Amazon, the two other top-tier cloud contenders, do not have competing products. The latter is yet to offer any signal it has an interest in hybrid cloud.

The former is in the midst of a re-invention of sorts as it seeks out to address a certain perceived under-achievement. At any rate, time will tell what's going to happen next.

But for now, Kupetz said that most Asian service providers are the most likely target for a Bluemix Local structure. We'll soon find out how that pans out, however.

Source: IBM.


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