IBM cloud services target enterprise with security options

Company seeks to overcome enterprise cloud concerns with security capabilities like node isolation.

SAN FRANCISCO -- IBM Corp. Thursday launched new cloud computing services with security capabilities enterprises...

can tailor to meet their specific needs.

The company unveiled its next generation IBM SmartCloud, which it says meets enterprise demand for security, availability and performance, at the IBM Cloud Forum, held here.

IBM SmartCloud has two implementation options: Enterprise and Enterprise +. The first option, available now, comes with security built into the physical, network, application and data layers, said Ric Telford, vice president of IBM Cloud Services. Enterprise +, available later this year, offers additional security options, including node isolation, application security monitoring, data placement, and enhanced auditing.

“It’s a set of parameters you can tailor to the requirements you have,” Erich Clementi, IBM senior vice president, global technology services, said at a press roundtable.

With node isolation, customers who are uncomfortable with sharing the same physical blade with others can request their VMs run in isolation on a blade, Telford said in an interview. “Some folks want physical not just virtual isolation,” he said.

Enterprise + customers also can define where they want data located; for example, only in Germany. Data location is important for meeting global regulatory requirements.

The security services offered with Enterprise + go “above and beyond what’s typical in public cloud services,” Telford said, adding that IBM targets “a very different market from Amazon.”

With Smart Cloud, IBM cloud services are tackling three issues that routinely come up when enterprises are surveyed about cloud computing: security, performance and availability, and vendor lock-in, he said.

Companies don’t want to be locked into a proprietary cloud computing interface, Telford said.  To address the vendor lock-in issue, IBM is working with more than 45 organizations, including Lockheed Martin and Citigroup, to develop open cloud standards. “We’re trying to move the industry to a more open approach to the cloud,” Telford said.

According to IBM, the new Cloud Standards Customer Council will complement vendor-led cloud standards efforts and establish a set of “client-driven requirements to ensure cloud users will have the same freedom of choice, flexibility, and openness they have with traditional IT environments.”

Telford said if an existing body is already working on a standards effort – such as the Cloud Security Alliance – the council will embrace those as opposed to creating something new or different.



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