Review: IBM Cloud is built to order

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Big Blue lets you have public cloud your way with bare metal, private instances, and even custom-configured hardware options

At a Glance
  • IBM Cloud

There was a time long ago when IBM ruled the cloud, although no one used that word back then. The company’s mainframe line in the 1960s and '70s was the original distant and unseen pile of metal and silicon meant to be shared among all users. Each program got a slice of the big machine’s time, and everyone understood they were “time sharing,” which sounds a bit more precise than the amorphous word “cloud.”

That was then. Today, no one should be surprised that IBM is playing in the modern cloud business because it practically invented the idea decades ago. The current clouds generally use the same slicing and dicing as IBM’s original time-sharing 360 architecture, although the modern cloud sales lingo hides this fact behind the metaphor that these are individual “instances” that act like individual machines.

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