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IBM Development Cloud Goes Live

Big Blue says IT shops can cut labor costs by 50% and reduce software defects by 30% by moving software development to the cloud.

IBM said Tuesday it's begun selling a cloud-based, software development environment to commercial enterprises, government agencies and other organizations following a successful beta test of the system.

The company's new Smart Business Development & Test cloud provides users with instant access to numerous, online development resources as well as remote server space. The setup offers cloud-based versions of Rational Software Delivery Services and DeveloperWorks Cloud Computing resources.

Customers can either host the environment themselves on a private cloud or tap it from remote servers maintained by IBM. For users looking for an all-in-one setup, IBM is offering CloudBurst for Development & Test, which includes integrated hardware, software, virtualization and storage tools.

IBM said it believes customers can cut IT labor costs by 50% and reduce software defects by 30% by moving development to the cloud.

The problem with internal development and test environments, IBM said, is that they consume as much as 50% of an organization's entire IT infrastructure but typically remain idle 90% of the time.

One company that's already kicked the tires on IBM's development cloud is Ebay's online payments unit PayPal. Among other things, PayPal developers are creating and testing payments applications for smartphones in IBM's cloud.

"We want to provide a very simple way to make payments available on all platforms, including mobile applications," said Osama Bedier, PayPal's VP of platforms and emerging technologies, in a statement.

"The IBM cloud provides a platform for developers to come together as a community, to create, develop and test new applications. We look forward to seeing the payments innovations our developers create through the IBM cloud and bringing the wallet into the cloud," said Bedier.

IBM is enlisting a number of partners to build out its development cloud, including management and provisioning specialists RightScale and Kaavo, as well as security provider Navajo Systems and process management specialist Silanis.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on cloud computing and service-level agreements. Download the report here (registration required).

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