IBM is advancing its aggressive cloud computing strategy with a string of announcements this week. The most recent was IBM’s partnership with Amazon Web Services to allow access of its software to solution providers using Amazon’s cloud computing applications. The partnerships offers pay-as-you-go access to development and production versions of IBM Information Management database servers, IBM Lotus content management, and IBM WebSphere portal and middleware products through Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service. The partnership makes sense because Amazon has been an early leader in the cloud computing sphere, and IBM is making strides towards becoming the master of cloud computing. Microsoft is readying its own cloud-computing software service, Windows Azure, that will allow developers to create services and applications that are supported by Microsoft’s data centers.
IBM is also providing free Amazon Machine Images of its software applications for development and test purposes, in an effort to enable software developers to quickly build applications based on IBM software within Amazon EC2. IBM also said that its Tivoli service management software will be used on Amazon EC2 to help clients control the infrastructures in the cloud computing sphere.
Amazon expanded on the reasoning behind this deal on its Web Services blog:
“Existing IBM customers can use the licenses they’ve already bought while still taking advantage of the elastic nature of AWS to handle spikes and peaks. These licenses retain their value and can be used to handle steady state processing needs, with more licenses available (on an hourly basis) in the cloud for peak times. This clean and innovative new model should clear up some of the uncertainty which can cause potential users to think twice before jumping in to cloud computing. “
So the implication here is that IBM is using Amazon as supplier to play in the cloud computing sphere and is also pricing the transition so that it is easy for existing customers to switch to cloud computing. IBM has been making aggressive moves towards making its mark in the cloud computing sphere, including its recent partnership with Juniper Networks to offer cloud computing services to IBM clients, which we reported on earlier this week. For more information on cloud computing, please join TechCrunch and TechCrunchIT for a round table discussion and meeting on cloud computing on February 27, 2009.