PCW has a story about IBM’s initiative to create virtual computing clouds using Xen and PowerVM in an effort called Blue Cloud. IBM hopes that this push will be it’s latest world changing decision and compares it to their decision to support Linux. Of course, IBM wasn’t being totally altruistic when they started backing Linux, and they’re not now either.
It made market sense for IBM to push Linux to keep them from getting into another OS/2 crushing fist fight with Microsoft. And now it makes sense for IBM to push Xen and PowerVM from an open source perspective, especially given XenSource’s “off the table” status. This is survival tactics from the company that knows it best.
On the other hand, this gives IBM the space to define a great deal of the coming cloud computing boom, where physical machines become incidental cogs in a greater processing mechanism…an uber CPU comprised of small pieces loosely joined. Last month, IBM and Google announced the creation of joint academic cluster computing initiative to provide datacenters for remote computer programming to students at several U.S. universities. This will be IBM’s fertile land for the rearing of another generation of technology workers steeped in virtualization.