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IBM Unveils Cloud Computing Software Tools

Rational Software Delivery Services offers software development and testing tools for public and private cloud computing environments.
IBM on Thursday introduced software development and testing tools for its public and private cloud computing environments.

The Rational Software Delivery Services includes a set of "ready-to-use" application lifecycle management tools for developing and testing software. The vendor claims the offering can lower costs by reducing the time to provision a test environment from weeks to hours.

In addition, IBM unveiled a free public cloud beta for software development called the Smart Business Development and Test. The service provides compute and storage as a service, as well as access to Rational Software Delivery Services and WebSphere and Information Management software. IBM has launched a Web site where developers can participate in the free beta.

IBM's Rational Software Delivery Services is also available for use in customers' private cloud infrastructures. The services can be used behind a client's firewall and provide additional development options and customization in deploying software in a private cloud, according to IBM.

Like other enterprise IT vendors, IBM has been expanding its offerings for cloud computing, which companies are exploring as a way to reduce the licensing, deployment, and maintenance costs of on-premises software.

Last month, IBM launched a collection of hardware, software, and services for large organizations looking to build private storage clouds. Cloud storage is a broad term that typically applies to storage systems that are highly scalable and can be used internally or externally. The systems often use some form of clustered or grid-based storage.

IBM's solution for private storage clouds comprises its XIV storage arrays, BladeCenter servers, and General Parallel File System. The environment supports multiple petabytes of data, including text, audio, and video, in a single global namespace.

IBM competes with a number of cloud computing vendors, including Amazon, AT&T, Rackspace, Savvis, Unisys, and Verizon. IBM's environment uses VMware and Xen as the hypervisor platforms and supports a number of operating systems, including Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, and Gentoo.

IBM offers a 100% service-level agreement guarantee and its server price is 1.5 cents per hour for 256 MB of RAM and 10 GB of disk space.


InformationWeek and Dr. Dobb's have published an in-depth report on how Web application development is moving to online platforms. Download the report here (registration required).