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Amazon's Cloud Improves Access To IBM's Cloud

The lack of pay-as-you go pricing in IBM Blue Cloud announcement ignored the budget realities of small and midsize businesses, but by offering through Amazon Web Services, IBM has thrown open the door to the midmarket.
The lack of pay-as-you go pricing in IBM Blue Cloud announcement ignored the budget realities of small and midsize businesses, but by offering through Amazon Web Services, IBM has thrown open the door to the midmarket.Earlier this week when IBM announced its Blue Cloud strategy it may have been big news for large enterprises, but left small and midsize businesses watching from the sidelines. As InformationWeek's John Foley pointed out, "Big Blue's cloud strategy remains focused on the enterprise; customers can't pay by the minute with credit cards, as they can with Amazon Web Services and other general purpose cloud offerings."

Now IBM has an option for customers that want pay-as-you-go service. And it's a familiar name: Amazon Web Services. Pricing hasn't been unveiled and there will be a beta period, but later this year, IBM DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Web Content Management, WebSphere sMash, and Novell's SUSE Linux operating system will be offered via Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service on an hourly rate -- Amazon's 10 cents per hour access fee. Tivoli service management software is coming too, but the timeline hasn't been announced.

Official statements about the announcement came from Dave Mitchell, director of strategy and emerging business for IBM's software unit, who said, "This relationship with Amazon Web Services provides our customers with a new way to use IBM software and broadens our distribution channels." And Terry Wise, director of business development for Amazon Web Services weighed in saying, "Extending IBM software to the cloud via Amazon EC2 will help even more businesses take advantage of the benefits of the reliable, scalable, and cost efficient infrastructure in the cloud."

IBM's plunge into cloud adds to the perceived legitimacy of cloud computing and the alliance with Amazon makes IBMs offerings more accessible to the midmarket, and even small business, via channel partners.

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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
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Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Greg Douglass, Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter