Blue box has met Big blue.
Blue box is a unique OpenStack company that offers Private cloud as a service. Blue Box took it upon themselves to mesh ten years of infrastructure operations with a unique infrastructure management platform called Box Panel. As expected this is no easy task as only very few organizations have the resources, skill set and most of all focus to design, deploy and operate private cloud infrastructure. This was aptly managed by Blue Box. An undertaking that placed it in the eyes of cloud computing market. It is no wonder now that it has agreed to be bought by IBM in a deal of undisclosed value.
This merger was made amidst a flurry of acquisition and merger activity in the cloud computing market which saw the cloud hosting vendor Codero and Virtustream bought by the much larger conglomerates.
“IBM is dedicated to helping our clients migrate to the cloud in an open, secure, data rich environment that meet their current and future business needs,” reported the IBM General Manager of Cloud Services. “The acquisition of Blue Box accelerates IBM’s open cloud strategy making it easier for our clients to move to data and applications across clouds and adopt hybrid cloud environments.”
Most corporations are realizing the power of cloud and are quickly developing and implementing cloud strategies. They are mainly doing so by incorporating a hybrid cloud design.
Piston is also another successful start-up company that the eye of Cisco. While these are great mergers for the company some may argue that the sale too much larger companies consolidates power in the market to larger vendors. Some people like Josh McKenty feel that OpenStack has ‘lost its heart’ because most of the start-up companies are selling to major corps.
It’s interesting to note that Blue Box and Piston have rather different market approach. While Piston offers CloudOS, which basically is the software used for building an open source Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud which is based on OpenStack, Blue Box on the other hand offers private cloud as a service which means that it is essentially a hosted OpenStack cloud that’s a single tenant. Cisco having bought another OpenStack start-up named Metacloud which boosted it, rounded up its cloud strategy by buying Piston and all its employees. The implication is that it definitely includes all the intellectual power that comes with them. IBM’s cloud strategy is grossly centered on its Soft Layer, Internet as a Service (IaaS) public cloud. Their public cloud also provides hosted bare metal servers, however with blue box version of its on-premises product, it not only allows installation of Blue Box system on the consumer’s premises but also allows it to be managed fully by Blue Box. This means that IBM gives its customers many more options for cloud. This transaction is a massive transformation for IBM and with the weight of all its employees pushing its four strategic imperatives: Commerce, analytics, security and cloud, the acquisition of Blue Box by IBM is a sure way to turbo-charge their cloud strategy.
Blue Box also strengthens IBM Cloud’s existing OpenStack portfolio. With the introduction of a remotely managed OpenStack offering, this provides clients with a local cloud, increased visibility, control and security. This comes as it is becoming increasingly important for companies to leverage multiple models while maintaining consistent management across their cloud platforms. Blue Box enhances and compliments productivity by;
For IBM, such an acquisition enables IBM to deliver an experience much like the public cloud within the client’s own Data Centre. This essentially relieves the organization the load of traditional private cloud deployments. Together they will deliver the technology and products businesses need to give their application developers a responsive and agile infrastructure across both private and public clouds. Essentially this is a great aspect for cloud computing and enterprises that depend on cloud.
Since the Blue Box was based in Seattle, IBM will invest heavily in the area which will inevitably become a rather huge engineering hub for IBM. IBM is a powerhouse in the cloud and as a brand is respected in IT and since the possibilities in the industry are that much broader, this move is both strategic and intended to place them in the middle of the cloud boom. The major players in the market will definitely be keeping an eye out for the progress and going back to their drawing boards as they strive to be ahead in cloud innovation. The cloud market being dynamic, is dependent on innovative ventures to stay on top of it.