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Cloud enablement

IBM Gets Cloudy

5:45 PM -- According to reports all over the place, IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is announcing some prefab cloud packages today, hoping to get enterprises (and perhaps itself) more comfortable with the concept.

IBM isn't just doing "cloud," in the vague sense. These are clouds built for specific purposes, such as a virtual desktop, which lets the enterprise use desktop computers that are simpler and less power-hungry. There's also a cloud for the teams developing and testing software, jobs that eat up a lot of computing power -- "bespoke clouds," as The New York Times loftily calls them.

Part of the argument is that IBM can put its name behind the security and reliability of the cloud, which might be the missing piece some bigger enterprises are looking for.

Key terms to remember, by the way, are CloudBurst (the infrastructure, a term IBM already introduced) and Smart Business (the IBM-provided services).

I had been told to expect IBM to do a "cloud in a box," but I was expecting more of an offering for carriers, which in turn would create cloud services. I wasn't thinking about IBM the right way; true to its (relatively new) roots, the prefab cloud is Big Blue's own service offering.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), of course, has its own cloud architecture being pitched to both service providers and enterprises. (See Cisco Beckons Carriers to the Cloud and Cisco Dreams of Data Center Unity.) But Cisco doesn't offer the cloud as a service. It's tempting to call that move inevitable, pitting Cisco in a full-on clash with IBM, isn't it?

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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