Another Step Forward for Utility Computing

Yesterday, IBM announced it is offering access to IBM Software in the Amazon Web Services Cloud. IBM products now offered for use in the Amazon EC2 environment include:

  • DB2 Express-C 9.5
  • Informix Dynamic Server Developer Edition 11.5
  • WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition
  • WebSphere sMash

The IBM approach to utility computing offers considerable licensing flexibility with three models: 1) Development AMIs (Amazon Machine Image), 2) Production AMIs, and 3) Bring your own license.

Development AMIs are available today for testing, education, development, demonstration, and other non-commercial uses. Development AMIs are available from IBM today at no cost beyond the standard Amazon EC2 charges.

Production AMIs are available for production commercial application use with pay-as-you-go pricing allowing the purchase of these software offerings by the hour.

Bring your own License: Some existing IBM on-premise licenses can be used in Amazon EC2. See PVUs required for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud for more detail.

The IBM offering of buy-the-hour software pricing with the Production AMIs is 100% the right model for customers and it is where I expect the utility computing world as a whole will end up fairly quickly. Pay-as-you-go, hourly pricing is the model that offers customers the most flexibility where software and infrastructure costs scale in near real-time with usage.

I like the bring your own license model in that it supports moving workload back and forth between on-premise and the cloud, and supports moving portions of an enterprise IT infrastructure to utility computing with less licensing complexity and less friction.

More data from IBM at the DeveloperWorks Cloud Computing Resource Center and from Amazon at IBM and AWS.

James Hamilton, Amazon Web Services

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