The IBM cloud game plan has a three-pronged strategy. It involves building its own private clouds and filling them with customers who appreciate the solid infrastructure and the services that IBM brings to the table. It is also developing a robust business model of being an infrastructure provider to business partners that are eager to create their own cloud business models. The third prong is a mix of private and public cloud options, operating systems, and virtualised infrastructure, which comes under the heading of hybrid cloud.
IBM i tends to be a niche in the big picture, just as we know it in its traditional on-premise mode. You’ll find i mixed in with all the other options in some of the existing clouds and sometimes as a single, i-specific cloud.
“We continue to see a lot of interest,” says Jane Munn, an IBM vice president and business line executive for cloud. “It’s not growing as rapidly as other areas, but it’s clear the IBM i install base wants the opportunity to participate in cloud.”
What’s not so clear is how many shops are moving all or part of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. The service providers with multi-tenant environments are not exactly crowing about their successes. The still-developing theater of operations is predominantly occupied by service providers hosting dedicated systems for clients that have made a decision to not purchase infrastructure. In most cases the shop continues to run the system from its off-premise location. And rare is the IBM i shop that owns its own private cloud.
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