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IBM has an on-prem cloud it thinks can go big in Asia

'Bluemix local' does the 'turn your pile of x86 into a cloud' thing, complete with PAYG

IBM has found a new way to spread its Bluemix cloud around the world: have partners blaze a trail with its on-premises cloud.

"Bluemix Local" is that on-prem cloud and is a collection of software that, when thrown at a pool of x86 that conforms to a reference architecture, turns out a cloud with most of the features of Bluemix, but on-premises. You also get compatibility with the full public version of the Big Blue cloud, including elasticity from on-prem to public cloud.

Bluemix local can offer bare metal, the same VMware experience Virtzilla and Big Blue offer in the public cloud or pick up a Cloud Foundry template and run with it.

IBM thinks Bluemix Local fits a few of niches, among them latency-sensitive apps that are happier on premises, or to operate against location-sensitive data organisations can't place in public cloud for regulatory reasons. Big Blue's also doing the “run it on your premises, don't pay for kit up-front but do pay for consumption as if it were public cloud” thing that most hardware concerns now offer.

Andrew Kupetz, IBM Australia New Zealand's chief technology officer for all things cloud, told The Register Bluemix Local also has a role spreading Big Blue's cloud platform into places IBM won't yet tread.

“We configured a Bluemix Local in Asia, where we and others do not have dedicated data centres,” he told The Register last week. Service providers, he said, “can go large with them and go multi-tennant.”

The result is a service provider that stands up a Bluemix Local to become a managed cloud service provider, or to help a client with a hybrid cloud. If the service provider scales that rig and offers it to a wider pool of customers, Kupetz said IBM doesn't mind a bit as it takes Bluemix beyond IBM's current data centre network.

That network already comprises 31 locations around the world, but Kupetz hopes that by adding more service providers running Bluemix local that footprint will expand. Service providers who run up a Bluemix Local won't get a mention on the list of official bit barns.

For now Kupetz said Asian service providers are the most likely target for a Bluemix Local blitz.

But there are plenty of reasons IBM will likely consider wider engagements, namely the 4,000+ members of VMware's vCloud Air Network and the fact that Microsoft recently extended support for its Azure Pack Azure-for-service-providers play.

Google and Amazon, the two other top-tier cloud contenders, do not have competing products. The latter is yet to offer any signal it has an interest in hybrid cloud. The former is in the midst of a re-invention as it seeks to address perceived under-achievement. ®


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