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IBM Dives Into Cloud With OpenStack

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Bangalore: IBM announced earlier this month that it will make OpenStack the foundation of its cloud services and software. Backing the open source project, the Blue giant joined other tech heavyweights behind the technology, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Cisco, Red Hat and Rackspace.

The announcement is likely to send OpenStack's two main competitors VMware and CloudStack, into a battle for second place. “OpenStack has won the race to become the standard, and it has done it rapidly,” Ann Winblad, a venture capitalist and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, a firm that has had a long-term investment interest in open source software and open standards, and has backed companies like Plumgrid and Sonatype, told AllThingsD.

Its first move will be to spin up a private cloud service based on OpenStack. There’s also some new software, specifically something called IBM SmartCloud Monitoring Application Insight, that’s aimed at monitoring the progress and availability of cloud applications.

While IBM isn’t the biggest player in the area of cloud services — right now, it’s Amazon’s Web Services — it has been gearing up for a big push into the business, sensing an opportunity. And there is an opportunity: Gartner says the market for cloud services this year will total $131 billion. Winbladsays that OpenStack has essentially become the operating system for the cloud.

“I think the trend here is that OpenStack has won the race to become the standard, and it has done it rapidly,” Winblad said. “We’ve made some investments around the software-defined data center, and OpenStack is a key component. It is the OS for the cloud.”

IBM has created a 400-member customer council devoted to cloud standards. The council initially started with only 40 members. It’s also backing the OpenStack Foundation as a platinum member, and contributing a lot of code to OpenStack projects. And it is backing other OpenStack-related standards, like one called Open Service for Lifecycle Collaboration which aims to make it easier to manage software over time, and to use multiple tools for the job together.

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