ARMONK, NY - 24 Nov 2008: In a move that could spur the rise of the nascent computing model known as "cloud," IBM (NYSE: IBM) today said it would introduce a program to validate the resiliency of any company delivering applications or services to clients in the cloud environment. As a result, customers can quickly and easily identify trustworthy providers that have passed a rigorous evaluation, enabling them to more quickly and confidently reap the business benefits of cloud services.
Cloud computing is a model for network-delivered services, in which the user sees only the service and does not view the implementation or infrastructure required for its delivery. The success to date of cloud services like storage, data protection and enterprise applications, has created a large influx of new providers. However, unpredictable performance and some high-profile downtime and recovery events with newer cloud services have created a challenge for customers evaluating the move to cloud.
IBM's new "Resilient Cloud Validation" program will allow businesses who collaborate with IBM on a rigorous, consistent and proven program of benchmarking and design validation to use the IBM logo: "Resilient Cloud" when marketing their services.
Operating the most data centres in the world, IBM has delivered remote technology services to clients for decades and has developed strict standards for service quality -- from infrastructure design to process excellence. Through its new Resilient Cloud Validation program, IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services unit will build on its 40-year history of eliminating downtime in the most demanding business environments to help cloud service providers meet the highest standards of resiliency. In addition, IBM Research has developed end-to-end tools for assessment and discovery within a customer's configuration, modeling, ROI analysis, optimisation and migration to a highly virtualised cloud environment.
IBM announced today that Allscripts, a leader in delivering innovation technologies that improve the health of patients and the bottom line of physicians and other healthcare organisations, is the first company to begin the certification process. The designation is expected to enable Allscripts to enhance the current online data backup service it provides to better serve the needs of the 150,000 physicians who use the company's electronic health records, e-prescribing and practice management solutions. Next Spring, Allscripts will release a new online backup service, powered by IBM, which will provide a simple, easy to deploy remote data protection service, helping to ensure that sensitive patient information and medical documentation will be encrypted, securely stored away from the customer location, and easily recovered at a moment's notice.
"Our physician clients have come to expect that the clinical information stored by our software solutions is secure, private and available without interruption around the clock. By partnering with IBM, we're able to deliver an affordable, enterprise-class data protection and recovery service through the cloud, to even the smallest physician practices," said Paul Edge, Vice President of Solutions Management for Allscripts. "We're dedicated to continuing to provide highly available cloud services to our clients, and IBM is a critical partner for us -- we look forward to continued work with IBM on the Resilient Cloud Proven program."
"Every cloud service provider has the same objective: provide an uninterrupted flow of information for their business," said Philippe Jarre, IBM General Manager of Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. "Since these providers power other businesses, there is a 'network effect' of downtime, it's absolutely critical to build to the highest standards of resiliency."
IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services have 155 data centres around the globe, and offer a range of capabilities from advisory services to fully-managed resilient infrastructures. These teams are available today to evaluate current cloud architectures against resiliency best practices, identify, quantify, and prioritise gaps and risks, then provide the ongoing design assistance and management expertise to run more resilient infrastructures.
The IBM "Resilient Cloud" program will be available in early 2009.
For more information about IBM's cloud computing initiatives, please visit www.ibm.com/cloud
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