Well, this week IBM announced its plans to bring a commercial cloud service offering online for software development and testing. Development and test is a great entry point into the cloud, and the use case has proven to be a sweet spot for other companies like Amazon, Skytap, Surgient, and VMLogix.
According to IBM research, the average enterprise devotes up to 50 percent of its entire technology infrastructure to development and testing, but typically up to 90 percent of the test infrastructure remains idle. Like many other cloud startups going after the Dev/Test market, IBM found that taking advantage of cloud computing within development and testing environments can help reduce IT labor costs by 50 percent, improve quality, and drastically reduce time to market.
IBM's new offering is called Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud, and while you might have thought IBM would have built this cloud solution on top of a Xen-based virtualization offering, much like many other existing enterprise cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services, they did not. Instead, IBM has chosen to rely on Red Hat's commercialized version of KVM, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV).
For those that are familiar with other more established virtualization technologies like VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer, KVM is an open source virtualization solution that was adopted by the Linux community and quickly added to and included in the Linux kernel. But even though it is built on Linux, the technology supports both Linux and Windows guest environments.