The big news was the release of WebSphere CloudBurst, an appliance for private clouds.
The CloudBurst release at least in part addresses how you deploy and manage applications and services on cloud infrastructure. As an appliance, CloudBurst comes with out-of-the-box virtual images and patterns. These represent known best ways to deploy services.
As we've been exploring in this blog, SOA is growing again and seems to be accelerating. Moreover, the interest in clouds is exploding. IBM owns so many assets in the SOA space, and I suspect it will own more by the end of the year, that its influence in the world of SOA will be approaching domination. That said, it's going to be a challenge for them to create a strategy that crosses all departments at IBM and is much less confusing than it is today. In addition, they must adjust to quick changes in the SOA and cloud computing markets that are surely going to occur this year and next. The trouble with being so big, is you typically become less nimble.