IBM and utility-based services provider iTricity announced that iTricity will open a brand new Cloud Computing Hosting Center for Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Based on IBM “Blue Cloud” technology, iTricity will use the center to host computing services for its customers. The two companies will work closely to build this landmark center.
Cloud computing is an emerging model in which users gain access to their applications from anywhere through Internet-connected devices. A simplified user interface makes the infrastructure supporting the applications transparent to users.
IBM Blue Cloud, a series of cloud computing services, allows corporate datacenters to operate more like the Internet by enabling computing across a distributed, globally accessible fabric of resources, rather than on local machines. IBM Blue Cloud technologies enable computing resources to be dynamically provisioned and shared to achieve significant economies of scale. This strong service management platform results in near-zero incremental management costs when more information technology (IT) resources are added to the cloud.
With the new center, the iTricity computing service will be made available under monthly credit card billing for either fixed or variable, usage-based fees. The hosting service is planned to span iTricity’s five datacenters located in the Amsterdam region.
“We are excited about the opening of this newest highly advanced cloud computing center for continental Europe. Customer demands for flexible computing resources are rapidly increasing. Therefore, we need to take into consideration more aspects such as security, continuity and compliance. Fast delivery is no longer the single most important selection criteria. Hosting services should also be reliable, fully resilient across multiple centers and compliant to business rules and regulations,” said iTricity’s chief executive officer and founder, Robert Rosier. “The IBM Blue Cloud technology helps us to provision fast and fully compliant IT resources across our multi-datacenter environment.”
“Customers will access shared IT resources on iTricity’s cloud computing center much faster and easier than previously available,” said Rosier. “iTricity expects to achieve both operational efficiency and power savings as a result of improved resource utilization.” He added, “iTricity will add powerful functions to current cloud computing capabilities, such as secure cloud management, infrastructure profiling and self service provisioning and payment portal.”
Since 2005, iTricity has provided hosting services to customers in The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany across a variety of industries including sports, government, finance, automobile and health.
iTricity’s clients are eager to subscribe to the new cloud computing service. “The new service will ensure we pay only for the resources we use. Yet we are able to have the flexibility to move quickly when we need more resources,” said Jos Swart, managing director of Sportlink. Sportlink is an application service provider (ASP), servicing large sports federations. Sportlink has been using the iTricity Services for almost two years and is excited by the newest developments in the iTricity platform.
The IBM Cloud Computing Centre at Dublin, Ireland, and IBM High Performance Solutions Lab in Silicon Valley, Calif., will work in close collaboration with iTricity in building this center.
“IBM welcomes iTricity as they join the global community of cloud computing,” said Willy Chiu, vice president of IBM High Performance Solutions Lab. “Enterprise computing centers are expanding across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, using IBM Blue Cloud technologies.”
The center will be powered by IBM System x and System p servers, and IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager Software. The five datacenters will be linked with a virtual storage area network (SAN) and the newest Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technologies. The cloud computing center in Amsterdam will be a tightly secured infrastructure, managed by iTricity’s sister company, GlidePath. The center will comply with the ISO27001 – Code of Information Security. Additional security functions required by banks or governmental agencies are available at iTricity, including auditing by one of their certification partners.
IBM Cloud Computing Milestones
IBM has been expanding its cloud computing capabilities around the world. Over the past year, IBM has announced cloud computing clients such as Wuxi City of China; Sogeti, the local professional services division of Capgemini; and Vietnamese government institutions and universities. IBM built Europe’s first cloud computing center in Dublin, Ireland in March, 2008. In October, 2007 IBM announced a joint academic program with Google to help university students gain the skills to program cloud applications. In November 2007, IBM launched Blue Cloud technologies that are key to IBM’s New Enterprise Data Center (NEDC) initiative, as well as for all of the IBM Cloud Computing centers worldwide.
For more information about iTricity, visit www.itricity.nl/cloudcomputing.
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