IBM boosts hybrid cloud play with new partnerships, storage offering

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IBM Corp. said Monday it’s working with Red Hat Inc. to speed up adoption of the open-source cloud computing platform OpenStack and make it easier for enterprises to migrate their Linux computing workloads into private clouds.

To that end, IBM said it’s making Red Hat’s OpenStack and Ceph Storage solutions available on the IBM Private Cloud at the end of this month. IBM has already become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider, and said the move would help companies “benefit from the OpenStack Platform’s speed and economics.”

The deal will also see Red Hat’s Cloud Access program made available on the IBM Cloud by the middle of this year, enabling Red Hat customers to migrate their unused Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions off-premises to IBM Cloud data centers. The program also allows Linux customers to retain support services while their workloads are being migrated, the companies said.

Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of OpenStack at Red Hat, said in a statement the collaboration was designed to help enterprises adopt hybrid cloud strategies more quickly and easily. “Now, customers who don’t have in-house expertise to manage an OpenStack infrastructure can more confidently consume Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage on IBM Private Cloud,” Balakrishnan said.

Some of the benefits of IBM and Red Hat’s new hybrid cloud infrastructure include running cloud-based applications more smoothly via OpenStack application programming interfaces and provisioning cloud infrastructure faster, the companies said. They will also jointly sell new solutions around private cloud deployment, such as capacity expansion, data center consolidation, disaster recovery and workload migration.

Also at its InterConnect conference Monday, IBM said it was teaming up with Veritas Software Corp. in a second hybrid cloud partnership. Veritas has certified IBM’s Cloud Object Storage services to run on its data protection platform NetBackup 8.0 in order to help companies better manage, optimize and protect data in hybrid cloud environments. Returning the favor, IBM has certified NetBackup 8.0 to run on its Bluemix platform. The service will be available from the second quarter, IBM said.

Big Blue also touted a new cloud storage offering. Called IBM Cloud Object Storage Flex, the service offers customers the chance to dynamically switch data stored in IBM’s cloud between “Hot,” “Cool” and “Cold” cloud storage. Hot storage is designed for data that needs to be accessed regularly and instantly, while the Cool and Cold storage options are for data that needs to be accessed less often, and for archival data that’s rarely used.

The Flex storage options are available on a “pay as you use” basis, but IBM claims the service works out cheaper and performs better than similar offerings from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. IBM reckons its prices are cheaper by “more than 50 percent” compared to AWS and Azure.

“Flex is the only service available from a major cloud vendor with simplified pricing for clients whose data usage patterns are difficult to predict,” the company said. “Flex enables clients to benefit from the cost savings of cold storage for rarely accessed data, while maintaining high accessibility to all data.”

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