IBM is about 108 years old and it has been in the industry of technology longer than anyone else and can be called a legend that lives and is always ready to thrive. Entering the cloud market in 2011, IBM is one of the major cloud service providers that offer both platforms as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Though only accounting for a market share of 3% in cloud computing business, which is incomparable to huge providers such as Google, Microsoft or Amazon, IBM’s revenue from cloud computing has shown a steady increase through years. In particular, it was reported that in 2022, hybrid cloud revenue was $22.4 billion, up 11% from a year earlier, and revenue produced by Red Hat increased 10%.
This article provides an insight into IBM cloud computing to discover the strong points as well as weak points of the cloud services that IBM is offering in comparison with other giants in the cloud market.
1. What does IBM cloud offer?
With 30,000 clients from 140 countries, IBM Softlayer is the largest privately held cloud infrastructure provider in the world. 40 data centers spread over 15 nations and 5 continents make up the cloud infrastructure platform of Softlayer, which supports more than 100,000 different types of devices. Businesses and organizations can employ dedicated physical servers, virtual servers (public clouds), or private clouds to deploy cloud computing services. In a highly automated environment with quick and instant expansion, the network and storage technologies are also tailored to accommodate private cloud, public cloud, or hybrid cloud models.
IBM Softlayer provides a variety of services such as: Cloud server, Cloud server, Networking, Security, Developer, and Management.
Watson is IBM’s AI (artificial intelligence) project named after its founder. Watson was introduced to the world in 2011 as a Jeopardy contestant. Basically, Watson is a supercomputer that can be queried and responded to in natural language.
With natural language processing capabilities and superior machine learning systems, Watson artificial intelligence is tasked with handling all the big data analysis needs for organizations, businesses, … through the open platform IBM Watson Analytics. As a typical representative of the first steps in cognitive systems in AI, facing new problems, Watson also undergoes basic steps such as observing, evaluating and making decisions. similar to humans but with far greater speed and range.
IBM Cloud Functions
IBM Cloud Functions is a multilingual functions-as-a-service (FaaS) programming environment for creating compact code that can scale when needed. Anyone can participate in the Apache OpenWhisk ecosystem through IBM Cloud Functions, where their action code can be added as building blocks to the growing repository. Application development is sped up by IBM Cloud Functions, allowing programmers to create apps with action sequences that react to our event-driven environment swiftly.
Bluemix is a cloud platform for creating and delivering applications. Bluemix leverages the Cloud Foundry project as one of its open source technologies to speed up new application development and DevOps techniques by offering a platform as a service (PaaS) environment coupled with containers and virtual machines. By offering prebuilt services and hosting capabilities, it offers efficient and adaptable workloads, enables continuous availability, and makes the delivery and manageability of an application easier.
2. What advantages does IBM cloud computing have over other large cloud services like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud?
– First and foremost, it is cost.
Many of IBM cloud services are provided free with free cloud repositories. The pay-as-you-go option is also cheaper.
IBM Softlayer provides cheap cold storage services compared to AWS glacier. IBM’s cold vault goes around 0.002/GB per month which is two times lower when compared with Amazon’s glacier that goes at around 0.004/GB per month. IBM Cloud Functions which are developed based on Apache OpenWhisk is the IBM alternative for AWS lambda. It is said that ICF is more cost-effective and scalable than lambda functions.
– Second, it is what IBM has already owned
IBM Watson is a head-turner which is a service that will help towards big data and AI. The other two vendors also provide similar facilities but Watson is more popular. IBM is the only PaaS featuring IBM Watson and it is also a good reason to use IBM clouds.
IBM is the only cloud service provider that has its own processor hardware, POWER, that allows them to offer services others can’t. Both Google and Microsoft have application specific hardware design (TPU and BrainWave), but neither has a powerful general purpose CPU.
Additionally, IBM is still generating $40B a year from its mainframe hardware business and that can be cloudified only by IBM as no other cloud provider has those skills.
IBM cannot afford many missteps to convert its IT business to a cloud native universe but there are a lot of large global customers that won’t touch AWS or Google with a ten foot pole, and IBM is uniquely positioned to convert these customers to their cloud offering. Microsoft is the one that sits squarely in its enterprise universe and it has the benefit of coming from the commodity market so it can consolidate segments on its platform that IBM working from the high-end can’t.
– Third, it is the flexibility
With IBM cloud, you can do everything you want on the web. Continuous delivery is also ensured without the use of something like Trevis Cl.
Also, the advantage of having IBM Cloud virtual servers is that the latency and speed is wonderful, they all work at peak performance and there are few drops. The API manager is simple and for connoisseurs of IT terminology it is very basic to create and adjust the configuration of the VPS.
3. What are the limitations of IBM cloud computing?
– Each Direct Link on Classic connection requires a unique order. If you require multiple connections, open an IBM Cloud Direct Link order for each connection.
– IBM Cloud Orchestrator with RDO Queens does not support volume management use cases for Public Cloud Gateway regions.
– Heat cell management is not supported.
– Administration as a cloud administrator (Project and Administrator section) is not supported.
– You cannot import images from external sources into public cloud repositories.
– OpenStack command-line clients are not compatible with the Public Cloud Gateway.
– The public cloud gateway supports a limited set of OpenStack APIs.
– OpenStack Cinder Storage Volume Toolkit: When connecting a volume, the Format Volume and Mount Volume options are not supported by Windows operating systems. These options are only supported by the RHEL operating system by performing the Attach Volume as root action.
Besides the above-mentioned drawbacks, there are some other reasons why IBM cloud is not as popular as its competitors, such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud:
– Less Marketing for IBM Cloud:
While the local public may now readily access and use AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, start-ups and small- to medium-sized enterprise software companies don’t talk as much about IBM Cloud.
– IBM plays on the high league:
The majority of Fortune 500 organizations worldwide use IBM’s services and cloud offerings. The majority of its income is generated in this manner. Although IBM doesn’t have to sell its services online, it does it nevertheless in order to have an online presence for such services.
– IBM Cloud was late to join the cloud market:
IBM joined the cloud market in 2011, while AWS launched in 2006, Google Cloud in 2008 and Microsoft Azure in 2010.
Despite being the run-after with respect to the top cloud services on the world, many believe that IBM has a potential to rise beyond its current position in cloud computing based on what it has had and the depth that it has entered in the field of information technology. However, with the rocketing growth of tough competitors, IBM cloud seems to be still far away from the top names.