Cloud Computing is hot but concerns about security and privacy (unjustified in my opinion, but that is a subject for another post coming soon) are severely limiting its adoption. Forrester Research just published a report The State Of Emerging SMB Hardware: 2009 To 2010 where 51% of the small and medium businesses surveyed state that they are not utilizing public clouds due to concerns with security and privacy in the public cloud. This concern coupled with the current economic condition is driving a great deal of interest in building out private cloud infrastructure i.e. IT infrastructure that is based on standardized servers and storage, fully virtualized with highly automated provisioning and operational management. The market for systems and skills to build such private cloud infrastructures is exploding with offerings from every major IT vendor and a small army of start-ups.
IBM has very unique offering in this space and it is called IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. Despite what its name and this blog title may suggest, it is actually not a cloud-in-a-box. In other words, it is not a collection of IT pieces like servers, storage, networking etc. that you just drop in your data center and write a congratulatory memo that you now have a private cloud. Another offering of hardware and services from IBM called, strangely enough, IBM CloudBurst does something like that. WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance is a really funky purple (the official color of WebSphere) server that you slide in to an industry standard 19″ rack.
This appliance is not a WebSphere server i.e. you don’t deploy your Java applications on it. Instead, it contains a catalog of IBM middleware products and a sophisticated automation framework for deploying these products on to your own private cloud infrastructure. So, while IBM CloudBurst can be used be used to create the hardware base for the private cloud, IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance provides a way to deploy sophisticated configurations of IBM middleware on a private cloud. The private cloud does not have to be based on IBM CloudBurst; any virtualized environment that fits the requirements is a target.
So, what does this have to do with databases? I am glad you asked :-). Version 1.1 of the IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance that was announced in November can deploy IBM DB2 images out to your private cloud. Take a look at this 5 minute video demonstration that shows what you may be doing to deploy a cluster of WebSphere servers and a DB2 database server on to your private cloud.
And, since it is going to take a bit of time for the new version of the appliance to be manufactured, we made the DB2 image available for immediate download.