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SaaS Week

Krissi Danielson

Reactions to IBM's Blue Cloud Intentions

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On November 15, IBM announced a plan it calls "Blue Cloud" for enabling corporate data centers to "operate more like the Internet by enabling computing across a distributed, globally accessible fabric of resources, rather than on local machines or remote server farms," it said in the press release.

The idea behind cloud computing, of course, has a lot to do with SaaS -- applications should be available through a Web browser from remote data centers rather than installed locally. Some call outsourced cloud computing by the moniker Hardware as a Service (HaaS).

By offering the Blue Cloud initiative, IBM hopes to enable customers to get started with cloud computing quickly.

The initiative has met great enthusiasm around the Web for the most part. IBM joins Amazon and Google in offering this sort of a service but IBM is well positioned to be a leader in the enterprise market for obvious reasons. ZDNet bloggers were mixed; analyst Dana Gardner points out that the announcement could herald a change in the relationship between companies' relationships with vendors. Joe McKendrick wondered whether cloud computing might be a major disruptive technology that essentially creates the $80 data center. Phil Wainewright was skeptical that Tivoli software might not be up to the task of managing cloud infrastructure.

Blogger Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch proclaimed that Blue Cloud was Web computing by another name and wondered how exactly IBM would handle the implementation. That is, of course, an interesting question. Industry commentator Amy Wohl raised the very same question but predicted at least a few large IBM customers would find the idea to be "a tantalizing proposition."

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