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IBM spits out one cloud manager to rule them all

Cross-platform? Sure, but there's still no place like home

IBM has trotted out tech it reckons will ease management of services over a variety of cloud infrastructures, including Microsoft and Amazon's as well its own.

"Multicloud Manager" is aimed at controlling Kubernetes clusters over different clouds and data centres. Users can shift their clusters and containers between cloud providers and link public and private clouds via a single dashboard.

So far so good, although in news that will surprise no one, the tech is "optimized on the IBM Cloud", Big Blue's range of cloudy services (from private to the unloved public version). A Gartner report back in August pegged IBM's IaaS public cloud market share at little more than a rounding error, percentage-wise, for 2017. Worldwide, the besuited services vendor trailed a distant fifth in rankings with 1.9 per cent of the market while Amazon and Microsoft occupied the top spots with 51.8 and 13.3 per cent shares respectively.

It is therefore unsurprising to find IBM wheeling out quotes from IDC claiming that the move to the public cloud "never happened" and Ovum saying "80 per cent of mission-critical workloads and sensitive data are still running on on-premises business". Which is where IBM's platform for managing public and private cloud platforms, as though they were a single environment, comes in.

IBM is, of course, not the only game in town when it comes to managing Kubernetes over multiple environments. The joy (or curse) of Kubernetes is its open nature, which has encouraged a wide variety of management services to pop up, including the likes of Kublr.

While it may be a little sniffy about the public cloud, IBM has claimed it is the "global leader in enterprise cloud" with $18.5bn in annual revenues. Although it will be more than happy to point an enterprise toward its own public cloud to create a hybrid service. Just like Microsoft.

How much cash is rolling in via IBM's cloud services will be revealed when Big Blue squirts out its latest financials this evening.

The arrival of Multicloud Manager is a tacit acceptance of the fact that Microsoft and Amazon are running away with lion's share of the cloud market. While Big Blue may not be able to match the duo in terms of numbers, it will be very, very happy to sell users services aimed at fixing whatever mess overexcited customers have got themselves into. ®

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