Also heading down the long cloud-laden horizon, IBM announced this week at its Pulse conference in Las Vegas a new cloud unit replete with its own czar, and on Monday IBM joined forces with Juniper Networks to give a glimpse into a forthcoming interface the companies claim will arm enterprise IT shops for more easily reallocating resources among private and public clouds. Big Blue also on Monday detailed what it considers to be building blocks for the 21st-century IT infrastructure, which one official said extend service management beyond IT and provide the foundation for cloud-based resources.
Then Big Blue and Amazon revealed on Wednesday that some IBM software is available via Amazon's EC2 on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that developers can access IBM's DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition, WebSphere sMash, and WebSphere Portal Server under what the companies claim is a "new and flexible licensing model."
Amazon also teamed up with DataSynapse to foreshadow on Wednesday a beta version of Federator 1.5, software that will help "DataSynapse customers bridge traditional datacenter resources and the Amazon EC2 cloud" to better control capacity, according to DataSynapse's Web site. The beta program is slated to begin in April.
That sweet spot where users feel comfortable with someone else hosting their datacenter won't come quickly. "It's not pie-in-the-sky," says Gary Barnett, analyst with the Bathwick Group, "but the truth is customers are going to take a long time getting from 'my infrastructure is a mess' to 'I'm starting to get control and outsourcing some pieces' to, ultimately, 'I'm OK with outsourcing a substantial amount of it.'"