There's an excellent article on many of the cloud computing vendors, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, and RackSpace by Michael Miller of PC Magazine. I highly recommend it, especially for a nice understanding of the difference between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), and of just what each vendor is offering.
But I was disappointed that IBM, HP, and the other enterprise-focused cloud vendors were only mentioned, especially since IBM is believed to be one of the largest of the cloud vendors, with a very broad portfolio of offerings -- so broad, in fact, that it's hard to find one IBMer who can put all of them on one page! I'm going to try to do that shortly, but it's important to remember:
- IBM's strengths underly its cloud offerings -- an emphasis on considering the requirements of large enterprises, especially security, compliance with regulatory guidfelines, and the issues of large-scale computing.
- There is an emphasis on upporting private clouds -- and IBM has built or helped build quite a few, around the world, but there are also public services -- MIchael Miller mentioned one, an IBM development and test cloud. Other public clouds include desktop virtualization, Lotus-based SaaS for collaboration and communication, and analytics.
- IBM offers some of these services both on public clouds and as behind-the-firewall services.
It's particularly interesting to note that long before we started talking about community clouds, IBM was building some, providing cloud computing services to governments, software start-ups, and other groups, both non-profit and for-profit.
It's easy to overlook exactly what enterprise vendors are doing; they operate in a somewhat different environment than the highly visible Amazon, Google, et al. But they are an important part of the new cloud computing infrastructure and through their customers and business partners affect large movements in computing from older architectures to the cloud computing paradigm.