IBM's OpenStack Ambition Laid Bare in Hong Kong

The CTO of IBM's cloud effort explains why open source OpenStack will change everything.


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HONG KONG - Danny Sabbah, CTO and General Manager, Next Generation Platform at IBM is very bullish on the cloud, and in particular the open source OpenStack cloud.

Speaking at the OpenStack Summit here, Sabbah detailed in a keynote why OpenStack works and how IBM and everyone else is now able to benefit from it. Sabbah told the audience that he started his career as a developer in 1974 and has seen a lot of technology shifts over his career.

"This one has the potential to change everything," Sabbah said. "How we think about computing, about not only what we compute but how we compute."

With the coming era of the Internet of Things, a connected car essentially becomes a data center on wheels that is connected by the cloud. Sabbah stressed that we all have to look at scale now, as the Internet is no longer any one specific datacenter, it's literally everything and everywhere.

"'Software defined' to me means the computing engine is the Internet and not any specific silo or individual application," Sabbah said.

Open Source

As to why OpenStack is the right direction, the fact that it's open source is the key for IBM. Of course IBM is no stranger to open source technology. The company plays a leading role in many organizations and efforts including Apache, Linux and Eclipse.

"OpenStack is just the latest in a long series of open source initiatives, we have tried to promote," Sabbah said.

From a resource and staffing perspective, IBM now has close to 400 people working on OpenStack as it throws its weight behind the open source cloud computing effort.

OpenStack clouds offer is the ability to scale up and rapidly provision which is important in the modern era. Sabbah said that there there is lots of noise in data. Amid all this noise, organizations are trying to generate signals and find solutions.

From a technology perspective, Sabbah said that OpenStack is not just a virtualization layer, rather it's an abstraction layer to virtualization and cloud scale technologies.

"We are working at every level to build a dynamic environment that we think will be necessary," Sabbah said. "It's not about a single provider, it's not about a single software-based data center, it's about the Internet and making sure we create the right sets of open communities, open standards and marketplaces."

IBM cloud CTO

Danny Sabbah, CTO and General Manager, Next Generation Platform at IBM

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Tags: open source, cloud computing, OpenStack

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