IBM advanced its hybrid cloud capabilities by announcing a new cloud offering with VMware that enables enterprises to extend their existing on-premises VMware infrastructure into the IBM Cloud through VMware NSX.IBM said the offering, which includes monthly billing and processor-based pricing, enables customers to easily move workloads and applications across IBM’s global network of cloud data centers without sacrificing performance or low network latency.IBM’s SoftLayer cloud infrastructure runs VMware vSphere deployments via bare-metal servers. Enterprises can run a single VMware environment to do live workload migrations between data centers across continents while being able to easily implement disaster recovery solutions. This makes transitioning into a hybrid model easier because it results in greater workload mobility and application continuity, IBM said. It also helps companies make a more gradual transition to the cloud.“IBM is a key partner for VMware by providing its SoftLayer global cloud solutions for our joint enterprise clients,” said Geoff Waters, vice president of the Service Provider Channel for VMware, in a statement. “This partnership provides enterprises with a proven cloud platform on a global basis with high performance, enhanced security and control by using technologies from IBM and VMware. The ability to move workloads across continents offers enterprises new and exciting deployment options for their applications and cloud services.”
Moreover, new cloud services featuring VMware NSX and VMware Virtual SAN will be available on the IBM Cloud beginning in November.In other IBM Cloud news, Etihad Airways and IBM announced a10-year technology services agreement worth $700 million whereby IBM will helpthe airline to enhance guest experience, upgrade its infrastructure and security, and improve efficiency. Etihad Airways, based in the United Arab Emirates, carried 14.8 million passengers in 2014, and serves 113 passenger and cargo destinations.IBM will deliver a range of services, including cloud-based platforms. The agreement includes plans for a new cloud data center in Abu Dhabi. The center will be developed and operated by IBM.“This is a long-term, strategic partnership which will allow Etihad Airways and its partners to harness the latest technologies as we deliver our services,” said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, in a statement. “This is a game-changing agreement for Etihad Airways, for our partners and employees, and for Abu Dhabi.”IBM was selected due its global reach, its experience and alignment with Etihad Airways’ technology and strategy of deploying cloud-first initiatives. The airline will tap IBM’s cloud, analytics, mobile, security and cognitive technologies.“By partnering with IBM in this transformation journey, Etihad Airways is accelerating the move to new technologies such as cloud computing and cognitive,” said Martin Jetter, senior vice president of IBM Global Technology Services. “These technologies will help the airline to improve efficiencies and achieve its ambitious growth plans as a globally integrated aviation group.”In addition, through IBM’s mobile solutions, developed under the Apple-IBMalliance, the airline will provide enhanced mobile capabilities to its employees and guests. Other solutions will enable airport operations to run more efficiently.Also, IBM and Etihad Airways will create a joint technology and innovation council in Abu Dhabi to develop more personalized travel solutions using IBM’s global research capabilities and the airline’s industry expertise.“This landmark agreement, a fundamental part of our technology and innovation strategy, will bring us a global IT delivery platform that is secure, resilient and future-ready for Etihad Airways’ companies and equity partner airlines,” said Robert Webb, Etihad Airways’ chief information and technology officer. “We have chosen IBM as a global technology partner due to its commitment to its people, its experience in delivering such transformations, and its history of leadership and innovation in the airline industry. We are confident that this collaboration will ultimately enhance our guest experience and reinforce our competitive position further within the industry.”Etihad Airways’ current data center, IT infrastructure, applications and security operations will be migrated to the new data center in Abu Dhabi, and disaster recovery will be managed at an IBM Cloud data center in Europe. This approach will allow the airline to scale and manage its IT resources more efficiently, while ensuring business continuity.As part of the agreement, around 100 Etihad Airways information technology employees will transition to IBM. IBM will manage the data center operation, including individual infrastructure services and IT helpdesk for Etihad Airways.The collaboration provides a global framework for technology service delivery for Etihad Airways and its Etihad Airways Partner airlines, including Alitalia, airberlin, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional.The agreement was signed at the end of September 2015, IBM said.