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InfoQ Homepage News More Clouds Gather on the Horizon

More Clouds Gather on the Horizon

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Adobe has readied, IBM has presented their cloud offering, while Oracle will use Sun Cloud to join their ranks. If there was a doubt about it, now it is obvious that cloud computing is the future of enterprise IT. has finished its public beta period and has launched two Premium subscriptions, Premium Basic and Premium Plus, while the free version is still available. The main difference between the Basic and the Plus offering is the number of PDF files that can be created, 10/month versus unlimited. Also, the web conferencing capacity allows 5 people for Basic compared to 20 for Plus. The announcement includes the availability of Tables, an online spreadsheet program, after announcing Presentations in May. Both applications come from Labs, so they are not quite there. Currently, offers the following:

  • Buzzword: a document creator/editor.
  • ConnectNow: a tool for creating virtual meetings with the ability to share the screen, notes, a whiteboard, files, having chat and video.
  • Create PDF: Creating and sharing PDF files.
  • Presentations: collaboratively creating presentations online.
  • Tables: collaboratively creating spreadsheets online.

It is clear that Adobe wants to compete with Google Docs and Zoho on the online collaboration tools market. While Google’s Docs is for everyone, is targeted at businesses. Adobe is leveraging their RIA platform by offering an online collaborative experience completely built in Flash with a highly refined graphical interface. The plan is to integrate the current offering into one interface built on AIR and adding Smartphone and iPhone support by autumn.

Adobe says has gathered 5 million subscribers since its launch a year ago, and 70-80% of those are businesses. Currently, several hundreds of thousands are using the accounts everyday.

After five years spent on research and $10 billion investment, IBM recently announced their Smart Business Cloud portfolio comprising:

  • IBM Smart Business standardized services on the IBM Cloud;
  • Smart Business private cloud services behind the firewall built by IBM (run by IBM or the client);
  • and IBM CloudBurst workload optimized systems, for clients who want to build to their own cloud with pre-integrated hardware and software.   

This offering is addressed to software development&testing and virtualized desktops. Cloud development and testing services come in three flavors:

  • Smart Business Development & Test on the IBM Cloud (preview) – IBM software delivery services for the cloud, enabling organizations to free up resources to gain rapid returns on their software investments by levering IBM’s secure, scalable cloud delivery model for application lifecycle management
  • IBM Smart Business Test Cloud – Private cloud services, behind the client’s firewall, built and/or run by IBM
  • IBM CloudBurst: a family of pre-integrated hardware, storage, virtualization and networking, with a sophisticated service management system built-in 

Virtualized desktop services are offered through IBM or client’s cloud:

  • IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud (preview) – IBM Smart Business Virtual Desktop is delivered via IBM’s secure, scalable public cloud
  • IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud – Cloud services delivered via the client’s own infrastructure and data center 

In an interview (PDF) about Sun’s recent acquisition by Oracle, Larry Ellison said:

We want to work with Fujitsu to design advanced features into the SPARC microprocessor aimed at improving Oracle database performance. In my opinion, this will enable SPARC Solaris open-system mainframes and servers to challenge IBM’s dominance in the data center.

But, perhaps, the most important reason behind the acquisition is Oracle’s desire to enter the cloud market through Sun Cloud announced earlier this year. Oracle would join the ranks of Amazon, Google, HP, Microsoft, and others.

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