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IBM Wheels Out New Cloud Unit

Cloud computing is so important to IBM, the business Is reporting directly to CEO Sam Palmisano

Remember we said cloud computing was so important to IBM that the business was reporting directly to CEO Sam Palmisano?

Well, the company disclosed Tuesday that it's had a hush-hush cloud unit being run by Erich Clementi (told ya so) orchestrating its cloud strategy and that it's now supposed to push into accounts like it did with Linux.

Cloud computing is after all expected to grow into a $42 billion market by 2012, according to IDC, and a golden opportunity, in Big Blue's world, for pricey IBM Global Services.

Officially Clementi is general manager, enterprise initiatives.

IBM has recruited Juniper Networks and commandeered Rational and Tivoli as part of the Blue Cloud initiative it launched a year-and-a-half ago with Google's two cents thrown in.

Juniper is helping put IBM in the hybrid cloud business. That's when enterprises offload work from their private clouds to a public cloud because resources are constrained or demand has spiked.

Juniper is installing the network capability in nine of IBM's Cloud Labs, promising customers that they will be able to seamlessly roll client workloads from Beijing to Silicon Valley to Sao Paulo without missing a service level agreement.

IBM also calls this an "overflow cloud."

The company is throwing Rational and Tivoli software into the effort for data protection. Later this year it will launch a utility-style Tivoli Storage as a Service.

Then there's Tivoli Provisioning Manager 7.1 and a Tivoli Service Automation Manager for automating both the deployment and management of computing clouds and their attendant middleware, applications, hardware and networks.

Meanwhile, a new IBM Rational AppScan 7.8 is supposed to see that Web Services published in the cloud are secure, compliant and meet business policies.

The widgetry apparently works with something called Rational AppScan OnDemand to monitor Web Services continuously and provide IT managers with ongoing security analysis on cloud-deployed applications.

IBM is bringing Nexxera, an ISV that provides an electronic data environment among enterprises, customers and banks for business and financial transactions between firms.

It's described as "a hub between the elements of the value chain" and is supposed to provide "a cloud of financial and commercial information," replacing paper invoices, purchase orders and receipts with electronic documents shared between all parties.

It is working with IBM to create an on-demand, resilient, secure and scalable business infrastructure to support its business growth and global expansion.

IBM says Elizabeth Arden, Nexxera, the United States Golf Association, and Indigo Bio Systems sign up as new IBM cloud clients.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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